Delaware Met Under Consideration For Formal Review At State Board Of Education Meeting This Week

The Delaware Met certainly got the Delaware Department of Education’s notice, and not in a good way.  This was just updated on the agenda for the State Board of Education meeting this Thursday.  Now how this works, this is just a recommendation.  It is presented to the State Board.  The Acting Secretary of Education (Dr. Steven Godowsky) and the State Board have to give assent.  I have a strong feeling this will happen.  Here we go again…

The DOE Charter School Office is seeking to submit  the charter of The Delaware Met to formal review to determine whether the school is violating the terms of its charter and whether to order remedial measures under the Delaware Code. 

 

The issues for formal review include, but are not limited to, concerns about the school’s compliance with its charter, financial viability, policies regarding student conduct and discipline, and appropriate strategies to accommodate the needs of at-risk students and those needing special education services.

 

In accordance with the requirements of 14 Del. C. . § 511(c), the Department is seeking the assent of the Acting Secretary and the State Board of Education to the formal review of The Delaware Met.

I’m hearing two founding members of The Delaware Met’s Board of Directors resigned from the board last night. As well, Innovative Schools is telling the board everything is going great, but the reality on the ground is vastly different. Parents want out, but they are being told the students can’t leave because it is after the September 30th date when schools in Delaware get their funding.

To anyone wishing to leave Delaware Met: You have something called “Good Cause”. If the school isn’t living up to their obligations in providing even a basic education and can’t get the school climate under control, you can present a case to the DOE. Call the Charter School Office tomorrow at phone number 302-735-4020. Let them know what is going on there and why you want to transfer your child out. This is a very unique situation with this school, and I can’t recall this happening before.

Delaware DOE: I’m not sure it is safe to keep this school open all year long. You may want to take a drastic step here for the benefit of all the students…

Mapleton Charter School A No-Show At Their Own Major Modification Meeting Today

When you submit a major modification to the Delaware DOE, you would think you would have the good sense to show up at your own Charter School Accountability Committee meeting to present your case.  This was not the case for Mapleton Charter School of Whitehall.  They sent an Innovative Schools representative to read a brief statement.  The rep asked for a continuance which the CSAC granted.

Last month, Mapleton submitted an application for a Major Modification to change their name to Discovery Charter School and move their school location to Dover.  They had a huge application for the modification, and over the summer they had a very large and extensive community survey they sent to numerous residents, churches and organizations in the area where they want to move.  Why in the world they would drop the ball and not show up to one of the most important meetings for their cause is beyond me.

It seems to me like charters are relying on Innovative Schools to run everything.  Innovative Schools is just a management organization.  They are NOT the actual school.  This school knew about this meeting for weeks.  I would have not granted a continuance to them.

Letter From John Kline To Arne Duncan Surfaces, Raises Serious Questions About National Student Database

The Department’s effort to shepherd states toward the creation of a de facto national student database raises serious legal and prudential questions.  Congress has never authorized the Department of Education to facilitate the creation of a national student database.  To the contrary, Congress explicitly prohibited the “development of a nationwide database of personally identifiable information under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (20 U.S.C. § 7911)

Back in 2010, as Race To The Top was introduced, part of the initiative included the creation of a Statewide Longitudinal Data System, or SLDS for short.  The idea, according to the below letter, was for states to share data with each other.  US Representative John Kline, of Minnesota, opposed this idea.  The letter stated the inherent dangers in birthing a database of this type.

Does anyone know if Arne actually responded to Kline’s letter?  I would love to see that response!

National Letter From State Coalitions To Halt ESEA Reauthorization Under Obama Administration Includes Delaware Representation

Today, a coalition of advocates from nearly every state in the USA joined together to write a letter asking the United States Congress to suspend committee meetings on the ESEA Reauthorization until a new President is elected.  Delaware is included in this, as Refuse The Test Delaware and Delaware Against Common Core.  Please read the document below to see why so many are opposed to this particular ESEA Reauthorization.

Delaware Senate To Hold Confirmation Hearing For Interim Secretary of Education Dr. Steven Godowsky

On October 28th, the Delaware Senate will have a rare out of legislative session to reconvene for a confirmation hearing for the Governor Markell appointed Secretary of Education, Dr. Steven Godowsky.  The meeting will be held at Legislative Hall in Dover in the Senate Chamber at 2:30pm.

It would be really great if the House could come in the day before and override Governor Markell’s veto of House Bill 50, that way the reconvened Senate could just vote on it the same day as Godowsky’s confirmation hearing.  But I can’t see this happening at this point in time.  I posted an article earlier today for questions to submit to the Delaware Senate to ask Dr. Godowsky.  This is a time when parents, teachers, and everyday citizens can make an impact.  Please let me know any questions you have and I will make certain the Delaware Senate gets them.

Governor Markell appointed Dr. Godowsky when Mark Murphy resigned from the Secretary position.  His last day was September 30th.  Dr. Godowsky has been visible of late.  He attended the first Wilmington Education Improvement Commission meeting, the final meeting of the Accountability Framework Working Group, and the last State Board of Education meeting in September.

Once again, I pray Godowsky is not just a Secretary who will do whatever Governor Markell says.  We need change in Delaware, and for those who have stood up for Dr. Godowsky, I really hope your words come true.

Parents Who Opted Out, No Need to Worry When Filling Out Red Clay Choice Applications Which Require Spring Smarter Balanced Scores

DelawareFirstState

Exceptional Delaware published a post about Conrad Schools of Science choice application which requires Spring Standardized Test Scores which would be Smarter Balanced for all public school children in Delaware. You can read Exceptional Delaware’s post by clicking here

I wanted to make sure students were not penalized because their parents opted them out of the state assessment. Red Clay’s Superintendent Dr. Daugherty has assured me that will not happen. Conrad Schools of Science staff is well aware of the concerns and the lack of a state assessment score will not hinder any student’s chances of getting into Conrad.

Thank you to Red Clay School District for respecting a parent’s choice to opt out and not penalizing the child.

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Ask Dr. Godowsky: Submit Your Questions Here

The Delaware Senate will be having a meeting on October 28th to consider the nomination of Dr. Steven Godowsky for the role of Secretary of Education in Delaware.  Since October 1st, the role is in an interim capacity.  What questions do you think the Delaware Senate should ask Dr. Godowsky when they meet with him?  Now is the time for the Senate to really dig in and find out not only what he plans to do, but what he won’t do.  We need to find out if Dr. Godowsky is simply there to fulfill Governor Markell’s agenda until the end of his gubernatorial term or if he is truly there for change.  Please place your questions for Dr. Godowsky in the comments section and I will make sure this information gets to the Delaware Senate.  We need Dr. Godowsky to be his own man and not a puppet for the Delaware DOE, the Delaware State Board of Education, and Governor Markell.

Capital School District To Rename Dover H.S. Football Stadium: What Are The Choices?

For the past couple months, a review committee met to discuss the naming of the Dover High School football stadium and the district administration building.  An idea was brought forth in the summer to name the stadium after former Superintendent Dr. Michael Thomas.  Some felt it was too soon as he just retired June 30th of this year.  The review committee has come up with the following four options.  The committee will have it’s final meeting on October 19th at 4pm in the Sentrum Room at Dover High School in Dover.  Capital has their board meeting on October 21st, and I am assuming this will be brought up for discussion.
Proposal submitted to name Dover High School Football Stadium: Michael D. Thomas Football Stadium
Proposal submitted to name Dover High School Football Stadium: Alumni Stadium
Proposal submitted to name Dover High School Football Stadium: Senator Stadium
Proposal submitted to name Capital School District Administration Building: Michael D. Thomas Administration Building

I applaud the Capital School Board of Education for doing the right thing and getting a committee to review this matter.

Campus Community School Lays Down The Law On Opt-Out & States All Kids Must Participate In Standardized Testing

It is the height of arrogance to come up with a board policy that strikes at the heart of parental rights.  Especially for a school that goes by “choice theory”.  Campus Community School, a charter school in Dover, wrote a policy which explicitly states all students must participate in the Delaware State Standardized Assessment.  Currently, this is the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  I know Campus Community had one opt-out.  What this policy does not explicitly state is what happens if a student does not participate.  To me, that is just bullying and intimidation if you are going to throw that out there like that.  I heard from people that it would be a bad time to opt their kid out because of their charter renewal.  I don’t have much sympathy for that statement.

When are these schools going to learn that if a parent does not want their child taking this test, and they have the courage and strength to opt their child out, no matter what, there is nothing they can do to stop them.  If people in Delaware thought opt-out was big last year, just wait and see what happens next Spring.  You can’t imagine…

In the meantime, take a look at the anti-opt-out measure this school has taken.  All I can say is good luck with that!  Later today, this school faces the Charter School Accountability Committee at the Delaware DOE for their charter renewal.  I’m sure they will get kudos from them for their strong stance against parent opt-out…