Newark Charter School Doesn’t Want Wilmington Black Kids Or Wilmington Special Needs Kids Going To Their Private School

Earlier this afternoon, State Rep. Rich Collins led the Delaware House of Representatives in prayer and asked them, no matter what, to put children first in their mind when they are voting on legislation.  Two and a half hours later, Collins along with 26 other state reps both Republican and Democrat, voted to keep Newark Charter School first.

House Substitute 1 for House Bill 85 passed the House today with 27 yes, 13 no, and 1 absent.  The bill removes the 5 mile radius enrollment preference for Delaware charter schools with one exception.  Since Christina School District has a portion of their district in Wilmington, that is not landlocked with the rest of the district, those Wilmington children will not be allowed to choice to Newark Charter School.  Even though the Wilmington students from Red Clay and Colonial can choice to other charter schools, those Christina Wilmington students can’t choice to that one school.  They can still choice to other charters within the district or even outside of the district, but not NCS.

The bill still has to go through the Senate.  By primary sponsor State Rep. Kim Williams’ own admission, if the bill did not have that provision it wouldn’t have moved forward in the Senate.  The Chair of the Senate Education Committee, Senator David Sokola, used to be on the board of Newark Charter School.  It isn’t really a state secret that State Rep. Melanie Smith bought a house in that area so her child can go to Newark Charter School.  Why does it always come back to Newark Charter School?

State Rep. John Kowalko put an amendment on the bill that would have removed that provision, but it failed to pass the House.  25 state reps voted no on the amendment.

I know State Rep. Kim Williams very well.  I know her intent with this bill was to get a start on changing this process.  It is better than what we had before.  But it really isn’t.  Yes, there will be a greater number of Christina School District students who will have the option of choicing into Newark Charter School.  That is true, provided the bill passes and gets signed by Governor Carney.  But it also sends a clear statement about Delaware as a state: we will allow de facto segregation.  Any time we are disallowing students from having a free and appropriate public education, we are not moving forward as a state, we are moving horribly backwards.

State Reps Charles Potter, Stephanie Bolden, and J.J. Johnson, all African-American, voiced strong opposition to the bill for the same things I am writing.  Bolden said it best.  What does it say about Delaware as a state when legislation like this comes up?  She couldn’t say this, so I will.  It shows what a discriminatory state we are to the rest of the country.  It says city kids aren’t good enough for a charter in the suburbs.  It says we vote in legislators who would rather keep one charter school from opening up to ALL students than making Delaware, the first state to sign the U.S. Constitution, a fair and equitable state for all children.

Let’s be honest here, the only reason for this legislation in the first place is because of Newark Charter School.  Taking what could be a good portion of their student population out of the picture in the coming years defeats the whole intent of the bill in the first place.

Which State Reps voted to keep de facto segregation going in Delaware today?

Bryon Short (D)

Paul Baumbach (D)

David Bentz (D)

Gerald Brady (D)

William Carson (D)

Rich Collins (R)

Danny Short (R)

Tim Dukes (R)

Ronald Gray (R)

Kevin Hensley (R)

Deb Hudson (R)

Earl Jaques (D)

Quinton Johnson (D)

Harvey Kenton (R)

Ed Osienski (D)

William Outten (R)

Trey Paradee (D)

Charles Postles (R)

Melanie Smith (D)

Joe Miro (R)

Mike Ramone (R)

Steven Smyk (R)

Jeff Spiegelman (R)

John Viola (D)

Kim Williams (D)

David Wilson (R)

Lyndon Yearick (R)

Only one Republican voted no on the bill, State Rep. Ruth Briggs-King.  I find it ironic that many of the Dems who have part of their district in the 5 mile radius for Newark Charter School voted yes.  A couple of the no votes surprised me, but I will take it.  For those who aren’t familiar with what our state legislators look like, there are no black Republicans in the Delaware House or Senate.  All of the above legislators are white.

No offense to Kim Williams, and I get her intent behind this bill, but I can’t support this bill.  I vehemently oppose it.  Any legislation that restricts a child from doing anything will never be a bill I can get behind.  Any bill that gives Delaware an ugly stain on our perception is one I can not support.  This is not progress.  This is very sad.

We need elected officials in our state who won’t follow the whims of Newark Charter School.  We need legislators who will look out for ALL students.  We need lawmakers who won’t bow to the Delaware Charter Schools Network and do what is right.  We need legislators who realize collaboration when it comes to education is NOT always a good thing.  Today was no victory by any means.  It was a horrible step backwards in Delaware.  We might as well paint a sign on Newark Charter School that says Wilmington students not allowed.  The original five mile radius for NCS was bad enough, but this… this is blatant discrimination by a public school that gets funding from taxpayers around the state.

Newark Charter School is one of the best schools in Delaware.  It is because of laws like this that have allowed them to cherry-pick their students and take advantage of the law so they give a façade of excellence.  If they truly let in any student, they would be no better or worse than the schools around them.  But they would be equal.  I would never let my child go to a school like that.  What kind of lesson would that teach him?  If he were picked in their lottery, I would tell him he won because so many kids could not.  If I lived in Wilmington, would I really want my child going to a school that practiced discrimination and segregation for over 15 years?

I would tell you to voice your opposition to the Delaware Senate on this bill.  But it really doesn’t matter.  If it passes as is, it is the same story.  If it fails, Newark Charter School still has their 5 mile radius and still keeps kids from the Christina School District out of their prestigious public school.  Any attempt at amending the bill will fail.  But the truest failure is how Delaware looks to the entire country with this one bill.

Updated, 6:52pm: I want to add one thing.  My thoughts on this bill are not a knock on all Delaware charter schools.  There are many charter schools in Wilmington who would be more than happy to take the students Newark Charter School doesn’t want.  And they do.  My main issues with charter schools in Delaware have been the very inequity I am writing about here.

 

 

 

Advertisements

71 thoughts on “Newark Charter School Doesn’t Want Wilmington Black Kids Or Wilmington Special Needs Kids Going To Their Private School

  1. I applaud John Kowalko for his courageous attempt to allow all Christina students access to a school in their district and funded by district residents.
    And I would add that it’s not so much how Delaware looks, but how Delaware is.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Last time I checked there were black children in Newark Charter and Special Needs ?? Where are you and these people getting your info from Kevin !! I have friends who kids are black and they go to Newark Charter !! Also a kid in my Sunday School class who has Asperger’s and he goes to Charter !! This just a political assignation from the DEMORATS in this state to get ALL the kids to go to regular public school so they get their quota’s up and get more MONEY in their pockets !!! Seriously Kevin ?? 😦 ❤

    Like

    1. It is not a political assassination. This was Newark Charter School’s chance to get this right for the first time. Had they actively supported the original bill, I would be praising them left and right. Yes, they do have some African-Americans and special needs students there. But their demographics are woefully insufficient to the populations around them. But this… this sends a very clear message to Wilmington students, most of which ARE African-American.

      Like

  3. NRV
    Rather than hypothesize that you are a bigot or simply ignorant I will respectfully submit these actual statistics from the Department of Education and maybe you will stop making stupid, unfounded, and ridiculous conclusions about quotas and similar idiotic guesses as to other thinking peoples agendas and motives.

    1) Special Education Students in the Christina School District comprise 18.6% of the student population compared to Newark Charter’s 5.6% Special ed population
    2) White Students comprise 28.7% of the Christina School District student population compared to Newark Charter’s 64.9% White Sudent population
    3) Low Income Students comprise 43.8% of the CSD student population compared to Newark Charter’s 7.9% Low Income Student population
    So congratulations to your “black” friend and that Special Education Student from your Sunday School class. They should feel very special or perhaps very isolated in the next Greg Meece publicity piece.
    Representative John Kowalko

    Like

    1. How does comparing one school to a whole district’s population make your statistics accurate? It doesn’t. In fact if you broke it out per school you would have a more accurate read. One school vs a district doesn’t portray accuracy.

      Like

        1. Newark High School = 33.5% white, 16.8% special ed, and 30.5% low income. Comparing those two high schools serving basically the same geographical location of the Newark area is pretty much apples to apples. However, it’s completely appropriate to compare Newark Charter Schools to the Christina School District because NCS IS its own school district right in the heart of another school district, thereby making it a comparison of two districts. Furthermore, the headline says that the black students in question are Wilmington black students, not all black students. Don’t know if that qualification makes a difference in the argument overall, but it IS a qualification that is supported by the evidence. Finally, the research is pretty conclusive that students of low socio-economic backgrounds, ethnic and racial minority groups, and special educational needs are underserved in general school populations (due to a lot of reasons which Kevin has posted about before and I won’t repeat here), and as such one might expect the standardized test scores (which seem to be the only metric worth valuing to many) to be higher in a school with lower populations of those groups of students.

          NCS is a great school, absolutely. Let’s raise everyone up, recognize the hard work being done in ALL schools, and share the successes so all kids can benefit, not just “mine” or “yours”. They are ALL ours, in the end, when they become the world leaders, scientists, mechanics, teachers, doctors, plumbers, thinkers, and doers of our future.

          Liked by 3 people

    2. OMG John Kowalko ?? You are politician and you talk yo woman like this ?? Please you DEMORATS care about ONLY money and quotas !! Our public school system is a atrocious thanks to UGLY , money hungry politicians like yourself who want to blame everyone for you corrupt behavior !! I have to homeschool my special needs son because of people like you who don’t give a damn !! You are completely WRONG on those special need figures in public school that is part of the problem is that politicians like yourself say they are helping those with special needs but, it is a CROCK of crap !! My son was a GREAT kid in public who was loved by his teachers and staff , he was thrown up against locker and called names and NOTHING was done !! Even by you JERK politicians !! My was in public school from the time he was 3 to 12 !! SO I am quite aware how available the services are !! And you are FULL of it !! You are putting down Charter School because you can’t screw those up and OVER load them to serve your quota’s !! Why are you thinking about the kids in charter and in public !! That is what a caring politician does !! Obviously that is part of the problem !! Maybe I should publish your nasty response on Facebook !! Instead of attacking me and charters school you be doing something to help our student!! Calling me a BIGOT !! REAL class for a politician!! You don’t know me and to call me ignorant bigot is crossing the line !! I am actually a long time volunteer of family promise and Urban Promise !! When do leave office !! 😦 ❤

      Like

        1. At least I am NOT calling people BIGOTS and ignorant Kevin!! Give a damn break !! You are spreading lies about a school where children go !! I know for 100% fact that have MANY black kids in Newark Charter as well as special needs!! You and JOHN the Jerk need to get your facts straight !! What you are doing is VERY ignorant !! 😦

          Like

          1. That’s great you are not calling people that. Glad I’m not either. Not once in my article did I call anyone the word bigot or ignorant. I’m glad you brought up some facts and figures. I have never said they have NONE of the sub-group populations as defined by Delaware state code.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. NRV
        “Rather than hypothesize that you are a bigot or simply ignorant I will respectfully submit these actual statistics from the Department of Education”
        is the sentence you refer to, correct?
        Not one word or sentence in that response calls you a “bigot” or “ignorant”. In fact anyone with basic reading comprehension skills should understand that “rather than Hypothesize” means rather than “suggest” which means I am not suggesting either applies to you and you personally as opposed to your rather blunt and crudely expressed disdain for “Democrats” via what you obviously think is a clever juxtaposition of letters that is humorous. I don’t think it was spell-checks fault. You certainly spelled “jerks” correctly. I owe you no apology for any slight you may have imagined and I’d respectfully suggest that if the shoe fits wear it and if it doesn’t throw it in the trash.
        Representative John Kowalko

        Like

  4. Before you can fix a problem, you must define it. The problem is not that every child in the state cannot go to Newark Charter. One thing everyone seems to agree on is that Newark Charter is a great school. So then learn from them and use their model or the parts of it that make sense in other areas of the county or state. Everyone in New Castle County cannot attend one school and hopping on a bus for an hour and a half to get to a school across the county is a terrible idea for many reasons. People love to complain and throw stones at success. That’s because it is easier than working hard to be successful. If your mission is to help the students in Wilmington get a better education then start problem solving why that is not available to them now and work towards a solution. Don’t throw racist headlines supported by nonsensical logic at a tremendous success story.

    Like

      1. You lost the ability to call your disagreement “respectful” when you chose a headline that implies the school has an intentional discrimination against black and special needs children from Wilmington. They have a great school for many reasons but discrimination is not one. Again I would say define the problem you are trying to solve and work towards a solution. You are just complaining about something here with no logic or facts to support it. I see no solutions offered.

        Like

        1. Let’s be VERY CLEAR about something Jason. NCS is a PUBLIC school. Their enrollment preferences, whether they choose to accept it or not, create de facto segregation. Delaware Senator David Sokola flat-out said he would not let the bill through the Delaware Senate if there was a provision that Christina’s Wilmington students could choice to Newark Charter School. These kids are a PART OF THE DISTRICT. The US Dept. of Education issued guidance two years ago stating ANY charter enrollment preferences should be designed to help the most disadvantaged students first. Which is basically any child that would be considered a part of federal Title I funding. This bill as it currently stands is in direct opposition to that federal guidance. It is against what any true choice should stand for. It is NOT choice if it is not opened up to ALL in the school district the charter resides in. What else do you call it when ONE school in Delaware in the ONLY school district that has a portion of its district in Wilmington that is not landlocked to the rest of its district? The ONLY school this would apply to in the entire state of Delaware IS Newark Charter School. Since the vast majority of students in Christina’s portion of Wilmington ARE African-American and many of those students have disabilities, it says “We don’t want those students”. That IS intentional. That IS discrimination. Sokola wouldn’t have fought against this unless this was something that was brought to him. The discrimination and segregation of these Wilmington students IS the problem. My solution: remove ANY barriers to ANY Christina School District student from being able to choice into NCS. I can accept the whole sibling and children of employee enrollment preferences. That is logical in many aspects. But intentionally saying a portion of a school district can’t apply to a school? That is discrimination.

          Like

          1. Again I ask what problem you are trying to solve. Wilmington kids not being able to go to NCS is not the problem. Even if they could, a handful of them get in through the lottery. Does that solve the education issues in Wilmington? Not even close. And it creates a terrible situation for the student. Talk to some now adults that lived in Wilmington and and were bused to Glasgow high school. They woke up at 5am to catch a bus then got home at 6:30 PM. They often couldn’t participate in after school activities. The parents cant easily get to the school to participate. Its a terrible idea. Your fight should be to remove Wilmington from the Christiana school district and then lets find a solution to help Wilmington develop community schools that work for them.

            NCS is not the only school that has limits. If I live in red clay, I cant just decide my kid should go to North Star because they have great test scores and my local school doesn’t. Is that discrimination? We were trying to get our kids choiced into a different school because we did not like our feeder school but unfortunately the desired schools were not open to choice. Were we discriminated against?

            As a kid I grew up with Conrad as my middle school. It was like a war zone. My parents couldn’t just send me to PS Dupont instead. Was I discriminated against?

            I don’t think you are interested in solving any problems. I think you are someone who needs things to complain about. We have plenty of educational problems in this state. NCS is not the cause of any of them.

            Like

      2. The only reason NCS is successful is because they’re less diverse? That sounds pretty damn rascist. Your saying the only reason the other schools in CSD suck is because of the black and special-needs Wilmington kids.

        Like

    1. I don’t throw stones at success. I throw stones at not allowing all children a chance to partake in that success. You are correct that not all children can go to one school, however all children should have the chance to try to go to a school of their choice. When you disallow a specific group of children even a *chance* at getting in for an nonsensical arbitrary reason (aka- 5 mile radii, or living in the only non-contiguous part of the only non-contiguous school district in the state), you are being discriminatory.

      Since 1995, we have been waiting for a report from our successful charter schools detailing what’s working for them and how it might be beneficial to expand their practices to the larger public school districts.

      22 years. And we’re waiting for that report. Or any report.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. De Mommy
    Newark Charter is located in the Christina District and is funded by Christina District taxpayers and the legislation passed yesterday continues an exclusion of access to Christina taxpaying families and their children who reside in Christina, pay the same taxes as those in the Newark and Bear areas and live in Wilmington. But I will play your silly little game. Also please understand that I am not accusing you of hiding any subliminal racism in your query.
    Here goes:
    1) Spec. Ed. -NCS 5.6% Spec. Ed. STATEWIDE (Delaware) -14.4%
    2) White Students -NCS 64.9% White Students STATE – 45%
    3) Low Income -NCS 7.9% Low Income STATE (still Delaware) -36%
    Department of Education Statistics
    Representative John Kowalko

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jason
    Everyone can also agree that Tower Hill, Tatnall, Friends and many other private schools are GREAT schools and learning institutions and produce successful students. They DO NOT RECEIVE PUBLIC TAXPAYER MONEY. They charge a hefty tuition. They screen out students that they wish to. They have also suffered dwindling student populations due to flight of wealthier families to some of the mirror image, taxpayer funded Charter Schools. A recent example would be ex-governor Markell’s children leaving the $25,000 per year tuition of Tower Hill for the friendlier/cheaper environment of Wilmington Charter. One important thing that is not replicable or transferable to the average traditional public school is admissions exclusion and tactics (such as 5 mile or contiguous boundaries) that would allow them to achieve an unamerican lack of public diversity in a public (traditional) school. And that ability and willingness to offer a non-diverse student population as evidence of success (while it may not be overt racism) still equates to discriminatory practices that are UNCONSTITUTIONAL when taxpayer/publicly funded.
    Representative John Kowalko

    Like

    1. John,
      Private schools are a separate issue. I think everyone agrees with that. I have not referenced private schools. Your response does not adress any of my valid points. Every school has some boundaries. I cant send my kid to any school in Christina that I choose or any school in Red Clay if I lived there. There is the choice program, but the schools with the best test scores are not open to choice. We toured North Star, Linden Hill, and schools in that area but unfortunately we did not live in there feeder area. What is the difference between that and a 5 mile radius? Coincidentally, you may have the statistics but I did not see too many black kids in those schools. No one is writing articles about that. It sounds like your argument is for more desegregation. That is a debate that has gone on for years and I wont pretend to know the right answer but here are some thoughts…

      1. Having inner city kids wake up at 5am to catch a bus to Newark to go to school and then return home at 6:30PM is not a schedule that increases the likelihood for success.
      2. In my opinion, parent involvement is critical to a schools success. Having the children attend a school 45 minutes away makes it very difficult to be involved. I would guess that the number of single parent households is larger in the city, increasing the difficulty. A big reason to have local schools.
      3. The challenges that inner city kids face is different than what a Newark or Hockessin kid may face. Schools should be funded and tailored to meet those challenges. What makes a Newark school succeed may not make a Wilmington kid succeed. That is not a racist comment either, it is acknowledging our children face different challenges and there are likely subsets of these differences within the city itself (and outside the city for that matter), that may require different educational needs.
      4. I agree with you that mixing children from all backgrounds helps diversify there thinking and there is value to that. I’m not sure how you accomplish that in a school while also dealing with some of the problems listed above. I’m sure there are many others as well, I’m just a parent and someone who lived through Delaware public schools.
      5. I keep seeing the argument that every child should have a chance to attend a good school. I think everyone will agree with that.

      This brings me back to my original point. What is the problem? NCS being successful is not the problem its part of a solution. So do we need more good schools? Or is the problem not the schools and the lack of good parenting. Maybe a combination of the two? Are there other factors? Im sure there are… Start that discussion, don’t just pick on the success because you know it is a hot button that will get you votes. If you truly want to help than start problem solving.

      Like

      1. John,
        You CAN send your kid to any school in any district in the entire state. School choice in Delaware means if you can get them there, they can apply to go there. Of course, every school has a maximum number of students it can take, and the school HAS to take the students already in its existing feeder. The difference is that a 5 mile radius is an artificial construct designed to alleviate certain problems, like increased transportation costs. My kids DO go to Linden Hill, because when we bought our house that was the feeder school. They would have gone to Warner, but between when we bought the house and when we had school-aged kids the feeder patterns were changed. It’s unfortunate that we don’t have a comprehensive neighborhood school system, but choice is a competing law. In a straight neighborhood school system, you would move to a neighborhood near the school you wanted your students to attend. If you can’t do that, then you will choice to wherever you can, knowing that where you chose to live outweighs where you want your kids to go to school. OR, as in the scenario Kevin (and some of the rest of us) are trying to illuminate, you CAN’T live in that area due to cost (or similar factor), which is where the concern specific to Wilmington students arises. And yes, Wilmington city students CAN choice and ARE limited by lots of things kids in many suburban areas are not limited by. And yes, Wilmington kids tend to be from low socio-economic backgrounds and ethnic and racial minority groups. Furthermore, with the nation’s emphasis on closing “poorly performing schools” rather than comprehensively evaluate them and provide meaningful supports, city schools nationwide are fluid and fleeting, whether public or charter. And on THOSE topics, people write LOTS of posts.

        “1. Having inner city kids wake up at 5am to catch a bus to Newark to go to school and then return home at 6:30PM is not a schedule that increases the likelihood for success.”
        -While probably true, that is a factor of court ruling, not district preference. Pressure needs to be placed on the legislature to fund recommendations from the WEIC work and do what’s right for kids.

        “2. In my opinion, parent involvement is critical to a schools success. Having the children attend a school 45 minutes away makes it very difficult to be involved. I would guess that the number of single parent households is larger in the city, increasing the difficulty. A big reason to have local schools.”
        -To further complicate this, even if we DID have neighborhood schools in the city, many of these parents are working multiple jobs to keep their families afloat and won’t be attending traditional school events regardless. Additionally, in many cultures, coming to school isn’t how support for education is expressed. It’s important to know the people and their actual needs.

        “3. The challenges that inner city kids face is different than what a Newark or Hockessin kid may face. Schools should be funded and tailored to meet those challenges. What makes a Newark school succeed may not make a Wilmington kid succeed. That is not a racist comment either, it is acknowledging our children face different challenges and there are likely subsets of these differences within the city itself (and outside the city for that matter), that may require different educational needs.”
        -There is a huge movement, including with the much-maligned teacher’s unions, to address the needs of students who face adverse childhood experiences ACEs). To name the major ones, we are trained in trauma-informed, compassionate, and restorative school practices, but there is rarely the funding given or support provided for these things to truly take root and flourish. Not to mention that if the test scores don’t immediately (and I mean IMMEDIATELY) increase, the funding is pulled, the school is targeted for closure, and the rug is pulled out from under the kids yet again, making things even less stable and more difficult for them. It’s dangerous, however, to assume that certain kids will need certain supports. I’m a white female from a middle class family in Smyrna who has 6 ACEs, which puts me at HIGH risk for not being successful in life, despite my race and soci-economic background. You can find the ACE test online if you’re interested in seeing your score, incidentally.

        “4. I agree with you that mixing children from all backgrounds helps diversify there thinking and there is value to that. I’m not sure how you accomplish that in a school while also dealing with some of the problems listed above. I’m sure there are many others as well, I’m just a parent and someone who lived through Delaware public schools.”
        -Having diverse schools is integral to providing the social interactions and facilitating compassion and understanding among people that are necessary for humanity to progress. I’m right there with you on this, but it isn’t about accomplishing that and dealing with other problems, it’s about flipping the system so the needs of kids are met, and we are currently hideously under-resourced for that initiative.

        “5. I keep seeing the argument that every child should have a chance to attend a good school. I think everyone will agree with that.”
        -I don’t agree, actually. I think the metric for evaluating what it means to be a “good school” is crap, and we hide behind it because it’s easier than actually digging in and seeing that this is a complex issue without a simple solution. I think every child should have a chance to attend a school where there is a basic level of services that provide the opportunity for the students to be well-rounded and appropriately developed, which includes (at a minimum) arts, music, humanities, physical education, health, world languages, career and technical education opportunities, librarians, nurses, mental health professionals, guidance counselors, educational diagnosticians, psychologists, support professionals of every kind, and a robust extra-curricular program that includes athletics and academic support. And guess what are the VERY first things that are cut in EVERY school targeted under the crap metric of standardized testing for “improvement”? What does it say about the priorities of our society that we can’t get all those things in our publicly-funded public schools???? Furthermore, and this is where my personal pet peeve is, why is it ok, even recommended, in our society to remove our kids from the “failing” system rather than stay and make it better???????? Where’s the care and love for the children of the people who aren’t as privileged as “us”?

        Lots of us HAVE been problem solving. Thank you for affording people like me the opportunity to hear and address your concerns. The points I’ve made in response to you are all points I’ve raised (or that have been raised by others) with legislators and policy makers. It isn’t easy and it takes time, money, and perseverance, and in my opinion that’s why we aren’t seeing it happen. Thank you for coming to the table with your thoughts. Sincerely. It is not my intention to come across as mean or snarky in my comments, by the way, and I would love to talk more with you about this topic off-line if you were ever so inclined. I am often accused of being angry and off-putting when I get passionate about something, a trait I’m working to bring under control, but writing is often tougher to communicate without the benefit of the nonverbal aspects.

        Jackie
        JAX2816@yahoo.com

        Like

        1. Jackie,

          You responded to me not John. That was my response to him. I liked your response and agree with most of your points. I don’t think John would… I’m just a normal dude with kids, not a politician or a teacher. 🙂

          Jason

          Like

  7. You are just a loud mouth liberal. Have you ever stepped into that school and even looked around over half the school is multicultural. And not every student there is A student’s. I know quite a fee that struggle on a day to day, but the school parts hard work into those students to help them. And they wanted to stay a neighbourhood school hence newark. Making sure families can be close to each other, as that’s a big part of the school. Being close helps the kids be able to help each other. Your just a bunch of whiny people that kids probably didn’t get in, with the lottery system they use. My child was 200+ on the kindergarten wait list and you didn’t see me bashing the school. Just get to try again. It’s also a money issue bc charter schools don’t get as much as public schools do, sad that there graders are higher then public school and they get less money. I don’t act like I know the whole ends and outs, but it’s simple to see. It’s not like they cherry pick kids, I have been to the lottery. I know some charters in delaware you have to pass an interview to get in.

    Like

  8. Actually Charter schools get as much money as traditional schools (they are both public) per student and in addition, charters have access to additional funding not available to traditional schools.
    Representative John Kowalko

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Rep. Kowalko,

    It astonishe me that your primary concern seems to be people not living in your district. Rather than focusing your energy on dismantling NCS, why don’t I hear you demanding higher standards from the Christina schools that serve your actual constituents?

    Rather than forcing your constituents out of the charter and back into the unacceptable Christina schools, why don’t you draw them back into the CSD with better schools?

    For those of us in Newark, NCS is our only alternative option, created by Newark families. Spoken as someone with a daughter who can’t get in.

    Shame on you. Represent your constituents. Not your ego’s agenda.

    Like

  10. Kelly,
    I will not try to judge your attitude or intentions toward the poorer and less fortunate (mostly black) Wilmington students and their families. I will, however, be quite willing to read some of your groups past postings (when Nagorski announced to run against me) on a certain exclusive facebook site titled “NCS parent”s regarding “THOSE PEOPLE” in Wilmington.
    1) K.S.G. wrote: Kowalko always says he is the voice of his constituents…he doesn’t seem to realize that those inner city kids are not his constituents” or
    2) L.D.B. wrote: “You are so right. When we reached out to him several years ago to support NCS he told us he needed to look out for the students in Wilmington”…”we told him his priorities should be his constituents…he needs to go”
    Well to Kelly and your fellow facebook posters, please know one thing for sure. I am elected to the office of Representative of the State of Delaware and I will represent all of the people, families and children of all of Delaware. That includes Newark, Dover, Wilmington, Georgetown, Milford and every town and family in between. And I will not and never will favor one group’s or school’s interests over another if it causes harm to the other or denies them an equal right to services and access to all publicly funded entities. If that doesn’t satisfy your selfishness than I suggest you run for office and let the public be fully aware that you intend to pick and choose who you will represent and to hell with fairness, justice equal rights, equal services etc. I certainly would be ashamed to feel the way so many of you feel toward others. Have a good nights sleep. I know damn well I will.
    State Representative John A. Kowalko Jr.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. John Kowalko …. You need to be thrown out of office !! You are one NASTY verbally abusive , ignorant , classless , scummy creep !! I can’t believe you district rep the way you act !! I am going to make sure I make it known to be I know in your district you are !! And I will be calling Carney’s office and alerting of your behavior calling people who disagree with you bigots , ignorant and insensitive to the poor should NOT be tolerated !! You are a state rep and you should be setting a good example for our kids , families , and people of your district !! As a rep you should be patient with people and respect their opinions especially !! You are supposed to be serving ALL people in your district !! Bad mouthing schools , lying, and attacking people should NOT be the behavior of a State Rep !! I have talked to a few of your democrat constituents and they say they feel the same way about your behavior !! You should be working for ALL people NOT just the ones you agree with !! That is your job !!! If you can’t act like a adult but, ONLY a child , you should NOT hold this office !! EVER !! Grow up !! 😦

      Like

      1. NRV
        Please avail yourself of a modicum of self-respect. Take a reading comprehension course, a spelling course and maybe sign up for some treatment program that can cure hypocrisy. And when you call the Governor’s office please do not forget to include your own quotes such as: “You are one NASTY verbally abusive , ignorant , classless , scummy creep” or “these fowl mouth , socialist , communist liberal demoRATS you are friends with” !! to show the Governor how you are setting that “good example for our kids, families and people” and how your opinion should be valued.
        In addition don’t even suggest that “as a rep… I should be patient with all people and respect their opinions” when those people express a seething disregard and disrespect for the truth and other people or their opinion is to deny equal access and equal rights to other people who deserve to be treated equally and fairly. “Bad mouthing schools , lying, and attacking people” seems to be your modus-operandi as evidenced by your attitude, words and obvious hatred toward others. I can not and will not be patient with any people such as you nor will I respect such opinions as you have expressed in these posts. I do work for all of the people and will not be drawn into any more dialogues with any small minded individuals or groups of individuals who would presume that their self-serving agendas and motives (which restrain the rights of others and harm the interests of others) should be respected. Make sure you send all of the comments and name-calling allegations along to the Governor so he can accurately evaluate the seriousness of your charges. Please include this comment also to which I am proudly attaching my name and “elected” position.
        STATE Representative John Kowalko 25th District (Newark South)

        Like

        1. I will John Kowalko !!Also I have seen your comments bashing Governor Carney !!! They are public knowledge !! I will make sure I show them those too!! I have talked with John many times !! We don’t always agree but, he is classy enough to respect my opinions and concerns unlike you who attacks people myself and others when we don’t agree with you !! Like I said GROW up !!

          Like

    2. John,
      That is shameful to twist a parents disappointment in there representative into a racist remark.

      Do you have an educational solution for the state? Surely every child in the state can not attend NCS so even if the school was open to the entire state we still have the same problem. So instead of picking on Newark Charter please point me to your comprehensive plan that will give every student in the state an excellent education and blue ribbon results in the inner city. We are hyper focused on NCS. What is your total solution for our educational issues. Please just send me the hyperlink to your comprehensive plan for education reform that will maintain the high standards some have achieved will rising up those areas that have not had the same success. Maybe if I can review your big picture plan I can understand some of your points. Right now everything you say sounds like a politician feeding off of a hot topic, with real solution to offer.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Why does every school have to match the demographics perfectly or at least somewhat close. IMO what makes this great is the diversity of schools we have in New Castle County. Each school offers something different than the others and allows parents to choose which school fits their children the best. If you would not send your kids there then that is fine; that is your opinion. Yet, if every school was the same and offered the same academics and programs than students and adults would not have much of a choice of where to attend. These statistics just tell me that Newark Charter, like Wilmington Charter, is priding itself on academics and have high standards for who is let in. Therefore, let the “statistics” fall in place. The statistics that should be shown for such school should be the grades and referral rates of the students they are letting in. Now, if you have white students getting into this school whom have lower grades and more referrals than a black student, then you may make a case. Yet, I believe the numbers are what they are based upon academic performance. So, is Newark Charter a great school for special needs students? It seems like it is not. But that is okay as there are a plethora of other schools in NCC that are where these students can attend and receive the aid that is needed. The point is diversity academically and socially within our schools is a good thing as it allows students and parents to choose what school fits them the most.

    Like

    1. This would all be great if it were, I don’t know, 1957 Nick! It is statements like this that are great for a private school, where parents pay tuition. They don’t have to follow the same laws public schools do. I’m proud to say I support public education and I value choice, but not THAT kind of choice.

      Like

  12. My daughter is in private school, at the time she started attending school she 4, there were less charter schools then than now…! I was unable to send my daughter to Newark Charter because I live outside the 5 mile radius…I live in Bear in a neighborhood that serves both colonial school district and christina school district( depends on which side of the street you live on). Maybe the 5 mile radius should be removed to allow all students not just Wilmington students to apply. Newark Charter still has a lottery…the only thing I see happening if this were to be removed is a longer waitlist of children waiting to get accepted! And as a former student of the Christina School District myself I fully support neighborhood schools! I lived on Cleveland Avenue in Newark, and sat on a bus for an hour and a half both ways to attend Bayard for 4th and 5th and Pulaski for 6th….to me that is precious time I could have been home doing homework…but that is something public school children get very little of these days..homework! Another point is there are 3 high schools in Christina School District…now 4 if you include NCS…but if this were about equality then why do all the kids from Wilmington get bussed to Christiana, and a few to Glasgow? Why are they not more evenly distributed? Better yet why is there not a high school located in Wilmington? There is so much wrong with our education system on a national level as well as a state level…that a five mile radius seems like a mute point! The five mile radius was not a way to discriminate but a way to bring back the neighborhood school, to stop bussing kids an hour a way(with traffic) to get an education! I see both sides of this story…and this is just my opinion but instead of trying to get rid of a radius that keeps a school a neighborhood school shouldn’t we fight to bring back the neighborhood schools in all areas? Why not build a school in Wilmington with a five mile radius…that is just as prestigious if not better then Newark Charter?

    Like

  13. Very closed minded Kevin Ohlandt … You never used to be like this !! I think you have tasted too much of the liberal politics kool-aide !! Also I think the people your surround yourself with are manipulative ignorant people !! They are manipulating your vulnerability !! There was time when you stood up for Charter Schools !! Now you have just become a little robot who agree with these fowl mouth , socialist , communist liberal demoRATS you are friends with !! Also I am friend with MANY decent Democrats !! But, their is a clique of people in DE who are corrupt Socialist DemoRATS !! 😦

    Like

    1. I’m pretty sure since I started this blog I have always promoted equity in our schools. I stand up for ALL public schools. What many people don’t realize is the ripple effect charters can create on a district as students choice out of the district and to area charters. I don’t see those I align with as fowl mouth, socialist, communist liberal demoCrats. I see them as advocates for public education. I will align with anyone who sees beyond the privatization of public schools and votes with their conscience. I had tremendous respect for Rep. Ruth Briggs-King the other day. She was the sole Republican who voted against HS1 for HB85. I find it funny that you judge me by my associations. I went against friendships and stood for what I believed in with my article. I basically said many legislators are inadvertently contributing to segregation by voting yes on this bill. I didn’t make many friends by writing this article. But it is what I believe and what many others believe as well. A long, long time ago, my son went to a charter school. If that is what you mean by standing up for charters, that’s fine. That was over 3.5 years ago, before I even started this blog. I think I have actually gone easier on many charters in the past year or so. NCS is the exception to that rule. There is far too much there that doesn’t ring true with me. And when ONE school seems to have a handle on education legislation and dictates how public education ought to be, I take exception with that. I think there is a HUGE conflict of interest with the Chair of the Senate Education Committee making sure legislation and budgets go through that are sure to benefit NCS. Especially since he used to be on their board. It is not illegal since he is still there, but I find it to be immoral and wrong. I’ve extended olive branches to Greg Meece many times but he has never taken me up on it. So don’t say I haven’t tried. If you don’t want legislation a certain way, at least have the guts to say why and explain it publicly. Don’t let a bill go through the House with your manipulation and cunning all over it. Talking about Dave Sokola saying he would only let the bill through if it had language that clearly benefits NCS. That is who I blame the most for this. Sure, many legislators voted yes, but that could turn out to be a golden moment for Delaware if communities play their cards right.

      Like

      1. Kevin …. you are misinformed my friend with all the facts !! Quit while you are ahead !! I know the principal of Newark Charter !! And you KRAZY Kowalko have must have gotten your facts , stat’s , and percentages from TMZ !! The MOST ridiculous BLOG I have EVER seen in my life !! Seriously Kevin , you have become ROBOT boy for the socialist communist , government running , liberal DEOMRATS in this state !!! These are the people who want EVERY thing RUN and capitalized by the government in DE so they can get revenue !! This why Common Core exists and Smart Balance testing !! Now they want the Charters to be run like this !! It has nothing to do with helping the discriminated or the less fortunate !! Look how bad off they are now !! We had the DEMORATS running this state for decades and the poor and blacks are worse off than EVER !! They manipulate people into thinking they are helping but, it is the opposite !! It is ONLY about quotas , revenue and unions !!! If you have NOT figured that out by now then you are NOT as smart as I thought Kevin !! ???

        Like

        1. NRV, you keep calling me “friend” while insulting me. I was puzzled by that, but then I remembered who you are. Didn’t I block you on Facebook a few months ago for doing the same type of thing? I don’t do that to “friends”. Which makes everything you are saying make complete sense. I’m glad you know Greg Meece. That is great. However, that doesn’t take away the fact that you are making this a Republican vs. Democrat thing. It’s a student thing. You of ALL people should get that, but you are so wrapped in the whole political thing you can’t see the forest through the trees. I will pray for you tonight.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Be quiet Kevin !! I BLOCKED you because you attacked me like this !! And played dirty !! Like you and your friends always do !! I would NOT call you friend either considering you attack and berate people that disagree with you !! Another reason I blocked you !! I have no respect for someone that puts people and schools down just to agree with their political friends without getting all the facts straight!! I don’t know Greg Meece but, I have talked with him because he was willing to have my special needs kid at his school if he got in !! Don’t pray for me Kevin because I am not the kind of person who puts down people and schools to get political gain !! Both and John frankly make sick with your deviance and manipulations !! People like you are why the school system is so screwed up !! Also as far a making it a democrat – republican thing , you are FULL of it !! I have several democrat friends who are more worried about ALL schools and students in this state and NOT about quotas and money !! Also they are NOT part of the DEMORAT group of socialist liberals who attack people and don’t care what the people they represent think or want !! Go ahead Kevin find another schoool , person , or place to attack in this state and screw up !! Give a damn break !! Don’t even go there with me ! I am mother who is dedicated to my kid ! I used to think about you, but, obviously this is NOT the case !! 😦

            Like

          2. Actually NRV, your memory of history is about as distorted as your perception of this situation with Newark Charter School. I distinctly remember the date, January 31st. You were on some bizarre “I love Betsy DeVos” kick that day and you tagged me in posts. Something I had asked you to stop doing SEVERAL times. I also told you I had something going on that day and I didn’t have time to debate DeVos with you. You kept ranting against me, so I blocked you. And that was the 2nd time I had done so. If only 13 legislators said no to this bill and I oppose it, could you please tell me what points I was trying to win with political friends? Everyone loves Greg Meece when they want their kid to get into his not-so-much-of-a-Holy-Grail school. My question for you is this: Are you working for Rodel or the Longwood Foundation? Cause it sounds like you drank a ton of Kool-Aid lately. And we both know, as sure as the day turns into night, if YOUR child was excluded from being able to apply to Newark Charter School, you would be the FIRST in line to complain about it. So please stop with your Greg Meece ass-kissing Donald Trump is God rants. It was tiresome on Facebook, and it is even more boring here. And please, go ahead and tell on me to Governor Carney…

            Like

          3. Oh I see Kevin NRV is a Trump acolyte. Nothing further ever needs to be said. The shoe, sock, boots and tin-foil hat all must fit so I imagine they should be worn. Damn you couldn’t write this stuff for TV or movies. Nobody would accept these characters as real. In fact it’s quite amazing that the presidency and current president haven’t been officially declared as a fictional cartoon comic book tale. Oops!! Hope nobody tells Donald what I wrote.
            Representative John Kowalko

            Like

          4. “I’ll pray for you tonight”. Seriously.. I knew you weren’t nice, but I’m wondering now, has anyone ever spit in your face? Because if you ever said that to me in person, I would spit in your face.

            Like

  14. So I’m confused at this statement ” If it fails, Newark Charter School still has their 5 mile radius and still keeps kids from the Christina School District out of their prestigious public school.” We live across the street from Glassgow High (IN the Christina District) and are within the 5 mile radius. While my kid didn’t make it into to that school (and it wasn’t for lack of trying… we were in that lottery for 5 years!), there are PLENTY of NCS kids in our neighborhood hopping on the buses in the morning. They are, as are we, predominantly African Americans. While I was never fond of that 5 mile radius requirement OR the lottery system (heck… I vehemently detest both), how is that discrimination because the kids in Wilmington are NOT in that radius? Help me understand.

    Like

    1. I think the 5 mile radius is discriminatory. NCS sits near the border of MD so it isn’t even a true radius. But to intentionally say we don’t want a portion of a district we reside in? That is heavy.

      Like

      1. Just to focus on that simple point. Do you think it is discriminatory that a kid that lives in Newport cant go to North Star or Linden Hill Elementary? They live in the same school district but are forced to attend there local school. Choice is closed for those “really good” schools (or at least it was a few years ago, I’m not in the area anymore but the point stands). I just don’t see the difference. If anything NCS is less discriminatory, at least there is a lottery that gives kids a chance.

        Like

  15. Kowalko,

    I’m not sure who you are trying to intimidate by sharing quotes from a private group. But it’s a group of which I have no knowledge. Did you not read where I said I was NOT able to get my child in to NCS? My point is simply that your time and effort would be much more appropriately used trying to build CSD in to a district that families are flocking to, rather than running from.

    And, the reason representatives are elected from different geographical areas is so that the interests of those different groups of individuals can be heard. So yes, you do, or should, be representing the interests of those who live in your district, primarily.

    Interesting, as well, that I did not name call or insult you in any way, just stated the facts and that I disagree with your actions, and yet your first move is to resort to both. I highly doubt that your passionate quest against NCS is the true result of your love of these mythical children (who do not live in your district), but caused by some perceived slight to you by the Charter community. If I can convince Greg Meece to kiss your ring, will you finally start representing your own constituents?

    Also, tell me more about how you were not elected to represent our interests. I’m sure your comments will make excellent fodder for campaign posters later.

    Like

  16. Kelly
    Time for you to stop taking things out of context and fabricating statementrs that are deliberately intended by you to cast false aspersions. You did not state all the facts and certainly not correctly. When you are small-minded enough to dismiss the taxpaying families and children (mostly minority and poor) of Wilmington as “mythical” you are in fact name calling and insulting me. Your baseless and false interpretation of what I have consistently said equating it to “refusing” to represent you or anyone is baseless and vulgar. For the last time, I do not know you or where you live. I do not know who your friends are but if you and they live in Delaware I will represent you fully and happily unless you expect me to represent a person or group whose intentions and agenda will harm the interests of other Delawareans or deny others there equal rights and opportunities and access to public facilities and assets. If you don’t like the idea of fairness and justice for all as the mantra of a state public servant then shame on you. And if I represent you or anyone else whose agenda will harm other families and taxpayers without representing those (wherever they live) interests then shame on me
    Representative John Kowalko

    Like

    1. I think I might call WDEL and the News Journal and tell them we have a CRAZY mentally ill BULLY as a district rep in DE !! Wow !! Talk about unhinged !! This someone we have deciding what happens in our state !!! This is quite terrifying and frightening !! :O ❤

      Like

  17. NRV
    Very appropriate that you are familiar with the word “unhinged”. I’m glad you’re willing to describe someone/anyone as “unhinged”. Any reputable psychologist would tell you that acknowledgement is a good first step in seeking to cure someone’s problems. Good luck!
    Representative John Kowalko

    Like

  18. Give up Kevin and John K. NRV won’t quit. It wasn’t so many years ago that she raging against a certain special needs charter school and singing the praise of CSD elementary school. As the wind blows so does her psychosis. Stop wasting your NRG on NRV.

    Like

  19. Ellie
    You are absolutely correct but I often find it exasperating to hear words and attitudes that connote hatred and resentment for those in less fortunate circumstances than others. It is very difficult to not respond when certain people feel they have the right to demand that I ignore my sworn obligations to everyone’s best interests. But you’re correct. I’m done chasing the ghosts of resentment and the imaginary wrongs that have been foisted upon a few misguided dilettantes.
    Representative Kowalko

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s