The Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security Board of Directors chose their new board President last evening. This board member was not on their board before last evening and he serves on another charter school board.
Donald Patton, a Supervisor for Student Support Services in the Christina School District, who also serves as a board member for Las Americas ASPIRA, was selected as the new Board President for DAPSS last night. He took the place of the former Board President, Margie Lopez-Waite. She resigned as Board President at their June 25th board meeting only to become the Head of School within minutes of that resignation.
While all of this is completely legal under Delaware State Code, I have some severe issues with this. The conflicts of interest and backdoor communication going on between ASPIRA and DAPSS all point to one person, Margie Lopez-Waite. She is running the show and hand selecting the Board of Directors and staff at DAPSS.
Meanwhile, at the State Board of Education meeting today, John Carwell from the Charter School Office at the Delaware Department of Education gave an update on DAPSS’ probation to the State Board. He said the charter school met all the conditions of their probation up until June 30th. He said they have to have more conditions met by August 20th, which is providing documentation that certified and licensed staff have been hired for all core content areas.
I was very glad State Board member Dr. Audrey Noble went over each of the conditions of their probation with Carwell instead of him just saying they met them. When she found out Lopez-Waite was the new Head of School, she said “Isn’t she the Board President” or something to that effect. That was when Carwell revealed Patton is their new Board President.
I am all for district-charter collaboration as long as it helps kids. In the end, that should be all that matters. But the back and forth here is exhausting. And why is Lopez-Waite getting so many administrators? And what is the price tag for all of them? With a current roster of 217 students, they don’t have an open wallet.
The fact that discussion from their last board meeting, about potentially trying to wing it without Colonial, was not even brought up at the State Board of Education meeting today shocked me. My guess, even though I’m sure they knew about it, nothing was formally said about it from the school to the Charter School Office. But the State Board of Education (if they don’t read this blog) should be made aware of this.
I would like to see some type of documentation released to the public about information they submit to the Charter School Office. Especially any collaboration with Colonial. They are on probation from a formal review and all of that information should be on the DOE’s charter school formal review page. That type of information appears for other charter schools that have been on probation in times past. It isn’t that I don’t believe them, but until I see it with my own eyes, given how SO much has happened with this school and their board behind closed doors, my ability to trust without verification is very low.
I can think of better choices to lead DAPSS’ board besides Patton, but in the end, it is Margie’s show. Everyone else is just along for the ride. I heard it on the car radio!