Last night, the Delaware State Board of Education unanimously put Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security on formal review for academic and financial reasons. The 6-0 vote puts the New Castle charter school through a two-month review period where they have to meet with the Charter School Accountability Committee and go through public hearings. The placement of a charter school to formal review status does not mean they are being shut down. Putting a school under formal review is the process. Any decision to leave a school open or shut it down takes place after a formal review and the findings that come out of that.
I knew their enrollment was low but that isn’t the only reason they went under the formal review knife. Academics played a big part. This is always tough for me to support because I loathe the use of standardized testing in punishing any school. With DAPSS, they went from Smarter Balanced to the SAT in a two-year period. In 2015, the SAT was remade to include Common Core.
Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting will make her recommendation to the State Board of Education at their March 15th meeting and then the State Board votes on that recommendation. The letter from Secretary Bunting notifying the school of their formal review status, the timeline, and their performance matrices for each category are included below.
Either the Charter School Office was ready for the State Board to vote for the formal review or they are able to predict the future, because the below PDF was created at 1pm yesterday, four hours before the State Board of Education began their meeting! I would have to say the school’s founder, Charlie Copeland, is not happy about this!
This is very big. The United States Department of Education ruled on a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) complaint in favor of a parent about opting their child out of education technology in the classroom. They went a step further and told the school they had to provide an alternative to the ed-tech as well.
The letter, sent to Agora Cyber Charter School in King of Prussia, PA, came out on November 2nd, 2017 (see below). It ruled the school violated FERPA by denying the parent’s request for their child not to use the ed-tech from K12 Inc. due to their terms of service. K12 could not make sure the information in their application would not go out to third parties. The parent filed a complaint five years ago. The US DOE letter said the charter school could not make this a condition of enrollment for the cyber charter school.
I would caution every single school in America that utilizes ed-tech in the classroom to make sure they are in compliance with this ruling!
If you thought the arrow Delaware Governor John Carney shot through Christina School District’s heart was bad, you haven’t seen anything yet! Plans are afoot. And what will be left standing after Carney does his coup d’état will shock everyone!