This school is a piece of work! Remember last winter when I wrote about how a six-year old girl with disabilities was denied admission in Newark Charter School’s lottery? In less than 24 hours, parents, legislators, and other citizens swarmed their Head of School, Greg Meece, with emails and phone calls and we got the school to bend and let her in the lottery. Ultimately, she didn’t make it into the school, but it was still a victory for the parents because she got the right to participate in it. The reason she wasn’t let in was because the board had changed their admissions policy last fall. They wouldn’t let anyone who would be above the age of five by a certain date even apply. For this girl, who has developmental disabilities, she just wasn’t quite ready the year before to enter Kindergarten. The board got rid of their policy at their May board meeting, but they did introduce a new one: students applying for Kindergarten can only apply once.
Here is the issue with that. For students like the girl who had to get people to rally to get her into the lottery, parents of pre-schoolers with a disability don’t always know if their child will be ready for Kindergarten until the spring, when they have a conference with the pre-school. This is common practice. If a parent of a child with disabilities may not be aware of this or thinks their child is ready, and they apply to Newark Charter School, they can’t apply again the next year based on this latest discrimination stunt by the wunderbars at Newark Charter School. This way they can keep those developmental disability kids out of their school.
The board also changed their admissions policy where it relates to “students of employees” at their June 21st board meeting. Any newly hired employee’s kid gets preference over the rest of the general public kids in the lottery. I have to wonder what this school’s definition of an employee. I wonder how much cafeteria staff they hire so they can get certain kids into the school!
Of course, the Delaware Dept. of Education will say this is legal and their board can pick those kind of enrollment preferences (without any needed recommendations or training on discrimination from the DOE). Our state legislators, most of them, won’t bat an eye. Especially the guy who might as well be a paid employee of the school for all the cheerleading he does for them! I’m talking to you Mr. Former Member of the NCS Board now a Senator! A few of them will complain about it, but in the end, our charter friendly state will rally behind Kendall Massett and her merry band of lobbyists. And our brilliant Governor Jack would say “I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you. I was too busy salivating over Newark Charter School’s Smarter Balanced scores.” Social engineering got those scores Jack, nothing else! Discrimination is alive and well in Delaware! Can you imagine what would happen if a school district tried these kind of tricks? They would have the Office of Civil Rights all over them. But charter schools… just look the other way. They have autonomy!
I hope you are all enjoying your summer. Cherries are really yummy. I would pick them, but it appears Newark Charter School has the monopoly on that! Lobster bucket my buttocks! To get the full scoop on Greg Meece and Newark Charter School’s history, take a look at this! In the meantime, if you want to develop a new charter school and get the exact mix of students so you can do great on crappy high-stakes standardized tests, just follow the special recipe below: