Margie Lopez Waite Wants To Raid Other Charter School’s Data To Get More Kids At DAPSS

I had to listen to that part of their board audio recording five times to make sure what I heard was right.  Newly crowned Head of School for Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security, Margie Lopez-Waite, at their July 18th board meeting, openly and publicly talked about getting private student information from other Delaware charter schools.  How is she going to do this?

She wants to get other charter schools’ wait list information so DAPSS can send out invitations for those kids to apply at DAPSS.

For just a minute, while I ignore student privacy laws, I want to tackle the sheer brazenness and arrogance of Margie even attempting this stunt.  When a parent utilizes school choice to apply their child to a school, it is not a telemarketing stunt where that school can send that information to other schools.  There is nothing on school choice applications that says “This information could be used by other schools to aggressively market your child for consideration at their school in the event we don’t have room.”

Okay, the minute is up.  Choice applications contain personal student data.  What right would any school or district have to give that private student information to another school for recruiting purposes?  It is illegal under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  Margie couldn’t even do this between Las Americas ASPIRA Academy (of which she is also the Head of School) and DAPSS because there is no named partnership between the two schools or an umbrella organization over them.  She can give out flyers or talk to parents, but she can not share data between the two schools like that.  If this is currently a practice in the Delaware charter school world I’m telling all of you right now to cut it out.  It is ILLEGAL!

Nothing against DAPSS, but not every parent wants to send their child to a first responder themed charter school.  I suppose since Margie likes to rewrite federal laws for her own benefit, that is okay.  Why bother enforcing the law.  If Margie wants it, Margie gets it.  NO MARGIE!

In another interesting tidbit from their audio recording, Margie told the board (of which she is not a board member) that the board had to meet this July.  But they should consider not meeting in July in coming years since they are not required to have a board meeting every month.  Sorry Margie, but isn’t that something for the Board to consider?  YOU AREN’T A BOARD MEMBER ANYMORE!!!!

The school will also be giving all students Google Chromebooks this coming school year.  They will also be charging parents a $25 fee if students want to take their Chromebooks home as an insurance premium.  Margie said other districts do this as well.  Hmmm.  Not a big fan of that!  I would love to know how DAPSS is getting their money to hire all these administrators, Chromebooks for every student, turning their board room into a teacher’s lounge as well, and having a contract with the Delaware Charter Schools Network for their curriculum leader.  Did they win the Powerball?

With that being said, I did like some of the conversation surrounding the very nature of the school and how to continue the first responder theme.  I will give credit where credit is due.  I didn’t hear any talk about dual-language programs.  It sounds like (I hope) Margie has backed away from that given how much flack she got back in May at their board meeting.  I did hear a lot of discussion about increasing parent engagement and getting a PTO going for the school.  I will never say no to that!

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