The Delaware exodus continues. Next up: Dr. Lamont Browne, the Executive Director of EastSide Charter School and Family Foundations Academy. Browne will leave his mini charter empire on June 30th. This hasn’t been officially announced, but it will be tomorrow night at their board meeting. The word on the street has him going to Relay Graduate School’s Colorado program in Denver.
Browne joined EastSide Charter School in 2011 after a couple of years as a Principal in Philadelphia. His goal was to turnaround the struggling charter school. After a few years under Browne’s leadership, EastSide showed major gains on the former Delaware state assessment, DCAS. As honors and kudos came to him from Governor Markell and the State Board of Education, the board of EastSide took over Family Foundations Academy after major financial fraud by the two school leaders. Browne became the Executive Director of Delaware Charter Schools: EastSide & Family Foundations Academy. For all the growth the students at EastSide had on DCAS, the school did horrible on the Smarter Balanced Assessment last year. While this was consistent throughout the state, it was surprising to see EastSide near the bottom of the list for Delaware charter schools.
Many viewed Browne as a miracle worker with the growth students experienced at EastSide. As a former member of the Teach For America Corps, Browne used many TFAers at EastSide. But the school also experienced a lot of turnover with students so it was hard to pinpoint the exact growth at a consistent level. For the Common Core standardized testing cheerleaders in Delaware, Browne became the poster leader for school growth in Delaware. In March 2015, Browne was one of the five participants in the Imagine Delaware Forum. He also served on the leadership council of the Vision Coalition, the offshoot of the Rodel Foundation.
The timing of Browne’s departure for the Colorado relay program matches with the timetable for Relay going into full operation mode in Denver this summer. Relay Graduate School, similar to Teach For America, has what many view as very controversial teacher and leader preparation programs. The corporate education reform movement loves them both. Browne is a huge believer in teacher leaders elevating to principal roles in Delaware schools.
Obviously, there is no word on who will take over Browne’s title. Many of the principals at the two charter schools he oversees are new principals with very little experience. The next few months will be interesting to watch. Especially when something happens on Moore and Brewington, the former Family Foundations leaders…