So Which School Did Newark Charter Want To Join Their “Coalition”?

Academy of Dover, Newark Charter School

On Friday night, I put up a post about the Newark Charter School Coalition and how they met with an Assistant at a charter South of the Canal resulting in the firing of said employee.  As I wrote the other night, the principal was not privy to this conversation and was none too pleased when she found out about it.  Oh wait, I didn’t say she, did I?  So which charter was it?  There aren’t too many in Kent and Sussex.I’ll give you a few clues: They have battled with their local school district and rather publicly.  They had a hell of a time in the last academic year.  I know, I know, “but that could be a lot of charters!”  But this one is rather unique.  It has been around for a long, long time.  A member of the board used to be a Delaware State Representative.  And they were on formal review last Spring and are currently on probation.  Yup, you guessed it, Academy of Dover!

The part I didn’t reveal was who the assistant principal was.  And this is the part that makes it all very interesting.  I wrote about her joining Academy of Dover in July.  Chantel Janiszewski used to work for the Delaware Department of Education in the Charter School Office and in the Accountability area.  In fact, she help to run the Town Halls a year ago over the upcoming school report card.  After Academy of Dover dodged the bullet and got probation for their formal review, the school hired Janiszewski as their assistant principal.  Despite my misgivings about the DOE, I thought it was a good hire.  They needed fresh blood in that school.

When Academy of Dover Principal Cheri Marshall was on vacation, Janiszewski had a meeting with Newark Charter School to discuss joining their “coalition”.  When Marshall returned, she found about it.  And she was not happy at all.  Janiszewski lost her job.  It probably wasn’t the smartest idea to have a meeting of that sort while the boss is away.  It definitely wasn’t smart on Newark Charter School’s end to have that meeting without seeing what the potential consequences could be.  Now someone lost their job because of their boneheaded move.

There isn’t a lot of love between Academy of Dover and myself.  I attended their formal review meetings and gave public comment at their Public Hearing for their formal review.  Prior to that, I called them out for their “resigning” of ex-Principal Noel Rodriguez seven months earlier and they weren’t big fans of me then either.  During their formal review period, I heard from quite a few people that Academy of Dover actually blamed me for their formal review.  Yes, I had so much to do with Noel Rodriguez treating school funds like they were his own personal piggy bank.  And I caused your academic review cause the students were able to jump forward in time while taking DCAS.  It was all my fault…

As for Newark Charter School, my biggest question was why they would want to take over Academy of Dover?  It seemed a rather odd choice at first.  But God knows the school could build their reputation back up.  I have never met NCS’s head of school Greg Meece.  I have heard a lot about him. The big brouhaha between Newark Charter and the Christina School District has been going on for years, but the peak of it was before my time as a blogger.  I haven’t written too much about them on here.  It turns out this wasn’t their first attempt at building their “coalition”.  They “reached” out to another school when they were in danger of being shut down a few years ago.  Yes, Reach Academy could have been part of their awesome consortium.  I’m not sure what the point is with Meece wanting to build this charter dynasty in Delaware.  If it didn’t work out, couldn’t that bring down their awesome Smarter Balanced scores?  Is it even worth the risk?  If Meece pulled some of the same stunts in Dover, I think he would find the Capital School District Board of Education to be a formidable opponent.  Not that Christina isn’t, but Capital doesn’t have as many of the Wilmington issues Christina has.

I guess we will never see the Newark Academy of Dover.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.  I wonder if the DOE will take back Janiszewski?  Or was she one of the Race To The Top positions?  I can never keep track of all those people!

Oh wait, I wasn’t done yet.  If you look at Academy of Dover’s September Board minutes you can clearly see there was some type of discussion going on with Greg Meece up at Newark Charter…


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