No Formal Review For DE Academy Of Public Safety & Security Or Delaware Design-Lab? What’s Up With That?

Two Delaware charter schools are in violation of Delaware state law.  The Delaware Department of Education is not putting them under formal review as they did two years ago when a few charter schools did not have 80% of their student enrollment for the next school year by April 1st of that calendar year.  Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security and Delaware Design-Lab High School are under the 80% enrollment.  Why no formal review?  The Delaware State Code, under Title 14, is very clear about this type of situation:

(c)(1) On or before April 1 of each school year, a charter school shall have enrolled, at a minimum, 80% of its total authorized number of students, and the administrator of each charter school shall, pursuant to the requirements below, provide a written certification of that enrollment to the Department of Education and to the superintendent of each public school district in which 1 or more of the charter school’s students reside.

So what gives?  The answer can be found in the State Board of Education agenda for their meeting today.  The Charter School Office gives a monthly presentation to the State Board on all matters surrounding charter schools.

The law is the law.  If they did the same to other charter schools, why are these two not going under the same scrutiny with their enrollment numbers?  Is that fair to the charters that had to go through the formal review process two years ago?  DAPSS numbers have been down for years.  Had they not submitted a modification last year to decrease their enrollment numbers (which passed), they would have gone under formal review last year.  Delaware Design-Lab was one of the schools under formal review two years ago for low enrollment numbers.  Fair is fair, no matter what.  While these numbers are not a train-wreck, they are in violation of what our legislators passed and was written into the state code.

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5 thoughts on “No Formal Review For DE Academy Of Public Safety & Security Or Delaware Design-Lab? What’s Up With That?

  1. Design Lab Conspiracy Theory – DL won 10 million this year in the XQ competition. Even below 80%, they will be able to operate without a problem for a while.

    DAPSS – is harder to explain. If I had to make a guess of it, DOE is going to let DAPSS fail by attrition. I foresee a new approach to charters with the new leadership in Dover. I remember attending a charter event several years ago where in one segment of the evening the opening of new charters was celebrated along with the closure of those that failed. The reasoning behind the clear joy was that this charter movement accepted that their concept of charter schooling and choice were not the only or best answers to closing the achievement gap. Each school, magnet, charter, traditional, independently has a statistical likelihood to fail. These folks wanted failing charters closed and replaced with schools that would succeed. However, as far as I could see in most cases, their logic would repetitiously fail because they couldn’t control the control group – children living in poverty. I imagine it would make for a quite scatter graph on the national level.

    It’s April, yet. Bunting is already flaunting the law. Maybe it’s the learning curve and it will come up again next month. We shall see.

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  2. Design-Lab wins multiple grants every year and have many extra-funds students, and DAPSS gets paid to host other schools’ dances.

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    1. What was their enrollment before losing these 25 students? If they are at 300 and they lost 1/12th of their enrollment, I would say that is very significant. Charters don’t typically shed students this fast at the beginning of the year. When you say they “win” multiple grants every year, can you be more specific? Aside from the XQ Super School grant, what other grants did they “win”? What does DAPSS hosting school dances have to do with any of this?

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      1. Idk about that second bit, but The students who left were all from a single friend group. They only left because one kid got paranoid after Mock left and dragged his buddies along. I don’t know anyone who left who wasn’t part of their friend circle.

        Btw, what brings you to report about Design-Lab so much? Kid there? Grudge? It’s not that big a school, and bigger news stories have flown you by.

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        1. I write about all public schools in Delaware. Doesn’t matter if they are big or small. Charters tend to have interesting things happen there by their very nature. I don’t have a kid there nor do I hold a grudge against them. I didn’t realize Mock was the principal the whole time they were open. I thought that was Alvarez, but I was wrong. Regardless of the XQ award and the ten million dollars coming their way, this charter was approved with a certain enrollment. They modified it and it was approved. They can’t even meet that enrollment, even with the press for their award. They are now in violation of state law. That is my issue.

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