Red Clay Board of Education Votes Unanimously For Equity Plan

Last night, the Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education voted unanimously for the district to develop an Equity Plan through their long-standing Diversity Committee.  The resolution, written by board member Adriana Bohm, would charge the committee to develop the Equity Plan, which will be presented to the board by April of 2018.  Many community members came out to give public comment in support of plan.

Where this gets a bit sticky is the two charter schools Red Clay authorizes, Charter School of Wilmington and Delaware Military Academy.  As their authorizing agent, Red Clay can conduct their charter renewal process along with formal reviews, modifications, and other such matters.  But they cannot dictate district policy to those schools and make them follow it.  Both schools have substantially lower populations of racial groups the Diversity Committee would talk about.  Failure to address this huge gap between the districts and those charters would ignore the inherent and not-to-be ignored problems of race in the district.  Based on enrollment preferences, those schools have the tendency to pick and choose who they want based on “specific interest”.

I definitely think Bohm’s resolution is a good one.  Red Clay had mixed results with their Inclusion Plan over the past few years which has prompted significant changes in the way the district handles special education.  Based on 2016-2017 data, Red Clay has more minorities than white students, with the largest of those minorities being Hispanic students at around 30%.  But what I don’t want to see this committee doing is basing student success on Smarter Balanced Assessment scores.  I do not believe these are a valid measurement of student success in any possible way.  Many in the African-American community feel these are a valid measurement since they include all students, but when the test is flawed it is not a good measurement.

To read the entire plan, please see below.

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8 thoughts on “Red Clay Board of Education Votes Unanimously For Equity Plan

  1. The assumption being presented is that the district(s), schools, & teachers are not addressing a racial achievement gap and ‘equity’ issues. The assumption is the beginning of the flawed argument. Schools DO and HAVE BEEN attempting to address the achievement gap and equity. There have been numerous studies, numerous programs, numerous attempts at diversification and yet there are achievement gaps. In the case of Hispanic students or foreign students, there are understandable hindrances with language. For minority students who have economic challenges, the issue is not of language comprehension but of environment. In both of these circumstances, the government, state, and schools have allocated substantial resources attempting to balance some of the obstacles preventing achievement and present ‘equity’. The government has directed agencies, districts and teachers to focus on these groups with special teachers, special before and after care, special programs, food subsidies, special transportation, and revision of grading schemes, all to reduce the gap and create equity. Their efforts have provided marginal results. Their efforts have also resulted in lowered expectations and lowered performance for students not afflicted by some of these social hurdles. Those seeking ‘equity’ point to opportunities such as special interest charters or private schools as elitist or discriminatory.

    Is it the assumption that equity efforts can only be presented to specifically disadvantaged groups and that those who are NOT a disadvantaged group, are NOT entitled to equity of educational resources?

    Surely there is recognition that a ‘special needs’ child who requires a teacher, and an IEP, or a 504 plan, and paraprofessional, AND a counselor, consumes as much or more resources than the non-special needs student. Is that equity of educational resources?

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    1. Respectfully, the real point of the matter is that there will never be enough resources for a school or teacher to combat issues created outside the school. Short of completely remove children from inappropriate or irresponsible parents, the effort to allocate more and more resources, to offset said parents, is an effort without bottom. If the idea is for the state to raise, feed, cloth and house the children of irresponsible parents, why are the children left in the custody of the so called adults who brought them into the world?

      If resources were boundless what would that look like? Children fed every meal, before and after care, clothing provided, evening care, counseling, small classes (<15), computers for every student, IEP's for every student. While this all sounds supportive and beneficial to students in crisis, where is the responsibility of the parent(s) who created these children? If the child only sleeps at home, under a subsidized roof, in possibly a bad environment,why are the children sent home at all? Where is the will to say, these parents are not parents. Where is the will to prevent these non-parents from bringing more children into the world? When we can answer some of these questions and definitively say the allocated resources will eliminate the problems, that's when there is a discussion to be had. The next discussion is if these efforts and expenses are acceptable, wouldn't equivalent or improved allocated resources to higher achieving students be equitable? It is a very slippery slope of trying to decide who is entitled to equitable resources.

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      1. Are you genuinely advocating for enforced sterilization? That’s one I haven’t heard in a while.

        The equity in resources is not about straight-up allocations, and it isn’t about what the kids are coming in to school with. There are lots of ways to look at allocating funding that don’t require any kind of home interventions, just awareness. For instance, compare Linden Hill, my feeder pattern elementary school that my personal children attend, to Warner, where they were slated to attend prior to the grade reconfiguration years ago. At Linden Hill there is a primarily affluent demographic, and the school book fairs are very successful. For every so much spent or so many books purchased, the school gets free books. Therefore, Linden Hill’s library is bound to be more stocked than Warner’s, where the families cannot afford the same amount of buy-in to the book fair. Why couldn’t some of the district resources be reallocated to better stock Warner’s library? (This is just a for-instance. Warner has an amazing library and I am not literally able to compare the two, and I think you get my point regardless.)

        Perhaps the kids at Dickinson have more access to higher-level courses due to the implementation of the International Baccalaureate program than the kids at McKean. Maybe that’s an area for looking at equity. Again, just a for-instance, since I don’t actually know. My hope is that the work of this committee allows for these types of resources to be determined and equitably distributed across all ethnic groups.

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        1. JAX, Can you drive a car without a license?
          Can you own a gun without a license?
          Can you be a teacher without a certificate?
          Can you take upon a responsibility more serious and comprehensive than any of those (become a parent) without a license or qualifying system? Yup.
          Is that logical? I am not advocating sterilization. I am advocating responsibility. IT IS NOT the state’s (taxpayers) responsibility to raise, feed, cloth, entertain, and teach ethical behavior to others’ children. It is parents’ responsibility. If they are incapable, unwilling, or unprepared of providing parental responsibility for children, then they need to be responsible enough to NOT have children. If they will not exercise that simple responsibility then the question is; what should society do to prevent that behavior? If I crash into someone’s car, am I not held accountable? If someone else causes me or my neighbor to lose the ability to provide for our families (via taxation or confiscation of income), is that not a just cause for the state to go after those losses?

          Your assessment is this translates to forced sterilization. My assessment is that as long as an individual is on public assistance, they should not be allowed to continue to add to society’s burden. One child accidentally conceived is one thing, 2 or more children is theft. If they want more children then refuse public assistance. Offer methods of birth control for free. (not abortion because that is NOT birth control, it is child murder) If the mere act of preventing pregnancy is still too much for the irresponsible person, then the state has a responsibility to de-incentivize irresponsible behavior. Do we give an addict more drugs when they run out? Currently we operate a like a gambling dealer continuing to give more money to the gambler who keeps losing all their money. Unlike loan sharks though, the state never collects on the loans. Instead the state keeps skimming the winnings from those who know how to be responsible and keeps giving it to the gamblers who keep going all in with a ‘pair’ of deuces.

          JAX: “My hope is that the work of this committee allows for these types of resources to be determined and equitably distributed across all ethnic groups.”

          -Which from my assessment is another way of saying redistribution/ transfer payments. Take from one group and give to another ‘ethnic group’. I am not putting words in your mouth, I am merely pointing out, redistribution of limited resources requires picking who ‘deserves’ those resources. That is socialism. And why is it associated with ethnic groups instead to all students? As previously detailed, there have been many efforts and programs of redistribution. When and how much will it take to gain ‘equity’. What will that look like when some children are taught to fight in the street vs. other children who are taught their abc’s, before entering school?
          https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6d4_1413922046

          How do schools or the state create equity in these situations? Will the fighting 5 year old care about reading OR care more about learning to fight off a bully?

          JAX “Perhaps the kids at Dickinson have more access to higher-level courses due to the implementation of the International Baccalaureate program than the kids at McKean.”

          -Perhaps ‘exposure’ to higher level education isn’t the issue. Sitting in Ferrari does not make someone a race-car driver. Perhaps we need to focus on demanding basic competencies instead of social equity. Stop encouraging and enabling irresponsible behavior instead of redistributing over its affects. You are not attempting to satisfy equity. You are attempting to redistribute resources while enabling those receiving redistributed resources, to increase the need for MORE redistributed resources.

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