Atnre Alleyne, the Executive Director of DelawareCAN, sent out an email blast to Delaware educators today. The email was unsolicited and left Delaware teachers wondering how Alleyne even got their email address in the first place. This pattern of abuse on Alleyne’s part ends a week filled with his mischief.
In the shot heard round the Delaware education world, Mike Matthews resigned as President of the Delaware State Education Association following an article from WHYY on Matthew’s blog posts from 2004-2009. Who “leaked” the already known blog posts to WHYY and had the motivation to make a big stink about it?
Atnre Alleyne. Did he have help? Bet your bottom dollar on that one! I’m going to start this off by saying I 100% disagree with the comments Mike Matthews made on his blog long ago. There are no excuses for it and I realize how those words hurt others, even now. I am not defending Mike’s actions. But I have been around Delaware education politics long enough to know a hit job when I see one.
Some have asked me what I would do if this was anyone other than Mike Matthews. In this situation, context matters. I believe people can change. I believe we all make mistakes. I’m a bit more concerned about what you are doing in the present day. Unless what you did in the past comes out in the present. Like Susan Bunting knowing Patrick Miller stole money from Indian River School District ten years ago while she was their Superintendent. There is a difference. If Mike Matthews wrote what he did back then now I would beat the blogger crap out of him. No holds barred.
Atnre Alleyne did it. There is no question in my mind. I knew it the second I saw the title of the WHYY article without reading it. It was a kill-shot and it worked. Matthews resigned as President of DSEA that evening. There is no word on whether he will become a teacher in Red Clay again. There have been a few camps on the WHYY kill-shot. Some have said they do not support Mike and never did, some have said they once supported him but now this means they won’t, and there are those who see his old blog posts as a mistaken and troubled young man but his deeds since outweigh the harm his comments did. I tend to belong to the third but I recognize the opinions of the first and second. I have no problem with that. What I do take issue with is how Atnre Alleyne of DelawareCAN is milking this for his own benefit. Especially when he provided the cow that generated the milk to begin with!
The fact Cris Barrish with WHYY would even contact Atnre Alleyne for a quote about the blog posts tells me Alleyne provided them to Barrish. And, oh so miraculously, there is a quote from Meghan Wallace. She was Governor Markell’s former Education Policy Advisor. I like Meghan but her alliances leave me scratching my head. Such as the one with Alleyne. There have always been corporate education reformers in Delaware ever since the Budingers sold their company and created the Rodel Foundation in 1998. But I digress.
The rest of Delaware media caught on to the WHYY article and there was Alleyne, standing at the ready for more quotes. But that wasn’t enough for him. He had to come out with his own blog post about it today. To make sure everyone understood what he did. To feed the monstrous ego in his head. But even that wasn’t satisfactory. He had to make sure every single teacher in the state saw it. So he did just that- he sent his self-serving blog post to every teacher in the state. He may claim it was done in error and he tried to stop it but don’t believe that for one second.
Even worse, his email said it was being sent because the recipients were “Friends of DelawareCAN”. The last thing any teacher in this state should want is to be a friend of DelawareCAN. Say what you will about Matthews’ blog posts and tweets from before. What sickens me is the actions of folks like Alleyne right now, in the present.
First off, why does DelawareCAN have every single teacher’s email address in their system? How did they get all those emails? And should spam email’s like that be going out to state email addresses? Because that is exactly what it is- spam. Alleyne would have you believe it is relevant. That just in case you didn’t hear about it the first time, he would make sure you did. And what better way to make sure than to spam the state e-mail system and then later say “oops, didn’t mean to include that MASSIVE teacher email list in what was meant to go to my regular subscribers”. Teachers around the state voiced many complaints about Alleyne’s unsolicited email drop. As well, several teachers got the Alleyne blast in their personal email.
Where would Alleyne get such an exhaustive list? Was it a leak from the Delaware DOE? Did Rodel sell him a list? Or did they happily give it to him knowing it would further expose Matthews? Rodel hasn’t always been a fan of Matthews either. I’ll bet Paul Herdman was salivating when he saw the WHYY article.
DelawareCAN is a right-wing offshoot of the very right-wing 50CAN. What CAN they do? Who the heck knows. But they love to beat up on teacher unions in different states. They got their money’s worth with Alleyne for Delaware. Who better to run an outfit like that than the guy who helped develop Component V in DPAS-II, the Delaware public school teacher evaluation system? Ushered into the Delaware Department of Education with all those Race To The Top dollars, Alleyne and his buddy Chris Ruszkowski made damn sure the Smarter Balanced Assessment would count big in teacher evaluations. Did they care if it was the crappiest test ever made? Nope, as long as they could get those “ineffective teachers”.
The not-so great relationship between Alleyne and DSEA goes back to those formative Race To The Top years. DSEA fought Alleyne’s monstrous creation tooth and nail. When DSEA along with many other education organizations drove former Secretary of Education Mark Murphy out of town, his replacement allowed another look at DPAS-II and Component V. But Alleyne and Ruszkowski, once again, fought it tooth and nail. The original bill was good but Alleyne used the PACE Network of Wilmington as his driving force to fight the bill. Together with his good buddy Senator David Sokola, Alleyne made sure the bill was ground into dust. It passed, but not without a ton of amendments placed on it.
Alleyne quit the DOE while all this was going on back in the Winter of 2016 and by the end of the year he was the head of the newly-created DelawareCAN. While tax returns for DelawareCAN are not yet available, they are for 50CAN. What is the mission of 50CAN?
50CAN, Inc is a not-for-profit organization committed to closing America’s achievement gap by building public support for proven models of effective public education.
And what are those “proven models“? Crap like Component V that Alleyne helped create. What does it mean by “building public support“? It means fooling well-meaning people into believing teachers are ineffective and teachers should be the driving force for every single aspect of a student’s life. It means things like poverty and trauma should never be a barrier to high test scores and if a kid scores low it must be the teacher’s fault. The sad part is they go after minority advocacy groups to help promote their ed reform drivel.
What is Alleyne’s salary as Executive Director of DelawareCAN? Chances are high it is more than he made at the Delaware DOE. 50CAN’s 2016 tax form shows similar roles in Maryland and New Jersey making total compensation around $185,000. While that is no Paul Herdman of Rodel numbers, it is more than the average Superintendent of a Delaware school district and more than anyone at the Delaware DOE. Funny how those who claim to be in it for the kids the most always make those kind of salaries! I also love how non-profits never seem to make a profit but people make a mint working for them. But I digress.
With a board that includes the former DSEA President/Race To The Top water carrier for Jack Markell, Diane Donohue, DelawareCAN is not the friend to public education Alleyne would have you believe. At heart, they are lobbyists who seem to exist solely to tear down traditional school districts (especially Christina), make life harder for Delaware teachers, and destroy DSEA. You will NEVER hear them utter a negative word about charter schools. Never. You will never hear Alleyne publicly go after the DOE about fraud and theft of school funds. What you will hear is Alleyne whining about things like equity and getting the vote out. Alleyne likes putting people on school boards. He loves it!
While I will never disparage the good work the other organization he runs, TeenSHARP, does for Delaware students of color, I have to wonder what the purpose of DelawareCAN even is. It hasn’t moved the needle at all in Delaware education. Like the other evil corporate education reform outfit in Delaware, the Rodel Foundation, they are just there, pushing their agendas and fighting the “status quo” they seem to make a ton of money off of. They bring people in to join their little clubs and make people seem “important”. Alleyne talks a good game and it is obvious he is a go-to guy on Delaware education stories for the News Journal and now Cris Barrish with WHYY. But behind the scenes, he is a cutthroat. Just another Paul Herdman snake-oil salesman who knows how to talk the talk and walk the walk. How anyone gets suckered into his banter is beyond me.
Which brings us back to his assassination of Mike Matthews. What does silencing Mike Matthews do for Alleyne? First off, it gives him bragging status. He will never admit he was Barrish’s anonymous source but he knows. This is his coup d’état. Matthews was one of the chief voices that went after Component V and the priority schools initiative. Then he became President of DSEA. To Alleyne, this was unacceptable. His most out-spoken critic was now the leader of the largest teacher organization in Delaware.
At some point in time between the time Matthews was elected and now, Alleyne got the dirt on Matthews. He bided his time. Fortune smiled on Alleyne with the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination. As Matthews posted on Facebook constantly about not supporting Kavanaugh, Alleyne sat back and smiled.. He realized this was his golden opportunity. He had the means at his disposal to bring his arch enemy down.
This wasn’t just a takedown of Mike Matthews. It was a targeted shot at DSEA. Get them when they are weak. Take down the head and hope the rest of the body crumbles. But with stunts like what he pulled today, it will only further embolden DSEA against Alleyne and his smear campaign tactics.
A hashtag is making the rounds today called #DelawareCANTheirAss. I like it.