The National Title I Association recently selected 57 schools in the USA to be “Distinguished Title I Schools”. That’s awesome, helping out the poor kids. In Delaware, Newark Charter School got the honor. And what an honor it is! But there is just one little catch… Newark Charter School is NOT a Title I school. To be a Title I school you have to have a certain percentage of low-income students. Newark Charter School has 7%. But the catch is because they are located in the Christina School District. The feds go by the geographic area. So while Christina has 35% low-income in that geographic area because Newark Charter is “on the map”, they qualify for this award. The feds use some ridiculous census data to determine this, with our Delaware Department of Education providing the data to them. To receive the award you have to be really good at closing those achievement gaps based on standardized testing. And guess who Delaware’s Title I State Leader is? The recently departed from the Delaware DOE diva of destruction: Penny Schwinn.
Funny how the Smarter Balanced Assessment scores don’t count for anything negative but they sure have been a boon to certain DOE ass-kissers when it comes to “Reward” and “Recognition” schools. And no one takes the ass-kissing award more than NCS! And leading that pack is their school leader: Gregory Meece. This is the guy who went insane when the Smarter Balanced scores came out and “his” school’s scores weren’t included in the article. He was ticked cause he wanted bragging rights over their great scores.
Newark Charter School has a 5 mile radius for applicants. Within that 5 mile radius is the 35% low-income student population. How the hell do you have a “random” lottery, year after year, with a huge wait list, and only wind up with 1/5th of that population? “Random” indeed… This award means about as much as the stupid “Blue Ribbon Award” as well (which NCS has also received back in 2010). Another Delaware school, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, also in the Christina School District, was given the “Distinguished Title I” school as well. They have 20% low-income. It’s one thing for Newark Charter School to cherry-pick their way to the top, but quite another to get an award for convoluted data that makes absolutely no sense. But of course the praise will be thrown at them in this never-ending saga of charter love in Delaware.