I know a lot of these people, but some I don’t. All have an enormous task in front of them. Without further ado, this is the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission:
Tony Allen, Chairperson, Bank of America Senior Executive
Kenny Rivera, Vice Chairperson, President of Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education and teacher in Brandywine School District
Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman, Education Advocate, Wilmington Parents, and Public Allies alumna
Eve Buckley, Parent and Education Advocate, Christina S.D.
Nnamdi Chukwuocha, Chair of Education Youth & Families Committee for Wilmington City Council
Rosa Colon-Kolacko, Chief of Diversity Officer, Christiana Care
Karen Eller, Teacher in Christina S.D.
Reverend Meredith Griffin, Chairperson of the Education Committee for Interdenominational Ministers Action Council
Frederika Jenner, President of Delaware State Education Association
Yvonne Johnson, Delaware PTA Parent & Education Advocate, Red Clay S.D.
Joseph Laws, President of Colonial School District Board of Education
Margie Lopez Waite, Head of School for L’Aspira Academy Charter School
Aretha Miller, Executive Director of the Community Education Building
Harrie Ellen Minnehan, President of the Christina School District Board of Education
Joe Pika, PhD., former President of the State Board of Education
Chandra Pitts, Executive Director of One Village Alliance
Delaware State Rep. Charles Potter
Vicki Seifried, Teacher in Red Clay Consolidated S.D.
John Skrobot, President of the Brandywine School District Board of Education
Delaware Senator David Sokola
Michelle Taylor, President of the United Way of Delaware
A High School student from Red Clay Consolidated S.D.
A High School student from Colonial S.D.
As well, support is being given by the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration and the following employees:
Dan Rich, PhD., Policy Director
Kelly Sherretz, Project Manager
Elizabeth Burland, Administrative Coordinator
Jerome Lewis, PhD., IPA Director and Senior Policy Advisor
Ed Freel, Senior Policy Advisor
Liz Farley-Ripple, Policy Advisor
Neil Kirschling, Policy Advisor
Sarah Pragg, Communications Advisor
The following committees have been announced with the following as Committee Chairs:
Redistricting Committee: Joe Pika, Henry Harper, PhD. (former Superintendent of Appoquinimink S.D.)
Charter & District Collaboration Committee: Eve Buckley, Aretha Miller
Meeting the Needs of Students In Poverty Committee: Chandlee Kuhn (former Family Court Chief Judge), Michelle Taylor, Jackie Jenkins Ed.D. (Education Advisor for Office of the Mayor of the City of Wilmington)
Funding Student Success Committee: Jill Floore (Chief Financial Officer for Red Clay Consolidated S.D.), Mike Jackson (Deputy Comptroller for the State of Delaware)
Parent, Educator, and Community Engagement Committee: Yvonne Johnson, Chandra Pitts
At first glance, this is a very diverse group in this. But I have a major new concern, as the below document will clearly show, the website for this, still under construction but will be available on September 1st, is http://solutionsfordelawareschools.com. I thought this was a Wilmington thing. I know, some of the recommendations from the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee can help all of Delaware, but if they are doing this, why is there NO representation from anyone in Kent or Sussex Counties? I think excluding representation from the whole state is very dangerous in this political climate, especially for a commission that will be meeting for the next 5-6 years.
As well, they need to make an entirely separate committee to cover special education. If special education is not improved, nothing they do will make any difference for students with disabilities who represent anywhere from 16-20% of the student population affected. I actually advised Tony Allen of this twice. Once at the House Education Committee in February, and last March in private. I know there will be sub-committees, but this needs to be its own committee. I have to say I’m very disappointed, but then again, special education doesn’t seem to be a priority anywhere these days in Delaware. We keep making the same mistakes over and over again and then we are left scratching our heads wondering why these children don’t have better outcomes. Meanwhile, disabilities are on the rise and funding is going to become a huge issue, especially with Autism.
I don’t like the idea of Senator Sokola being in WEIC at all. This is a man who has done more harm than good for all the students of Delaware, specifically in Wilmington. Most don’t see it that way, but he was the spearhead behind a lot of legislation that has further segregated Wilmington schools. I know, I’m biased cause we went head-to-toe on House Bill 50, the parent opt-out bill, but I wasn’t a big fan of his before that.