The Battle In Red Clay Over Charter School of Wilmington

On Wednesday evening, the Red Clay Consolidated Board of Education will decide on Wilmington Charter School’s charter renewal.  While it is a certainty their charter will be renewed, an even bigger question is on the table.

Based on Delaware charter school law that passed in 2013, charter schools that perform well have the option of a five-year or ten-year renewal.  To date, only one school has received a ten-year renewal: Sussex Academy.  It is a given Newark Charter School will receive it on Thursday at the State Board of Education meeting.  But Charter School of Wilmington might not when the Red Clay board makes their decision Wednesday.

Why?  Because some members of Red Clay’s board feel the school has not done enough to increase diversity among their student population.  The district gave the school certain conditions to meet in that aspect when their charter was renewed back in 2013.  Many on the board feel they did not meet those conditions.  For charter schools in Delaware, the school has the lowest populations of special education students and has always been very low with African-American and Hispanic students.  Ironically, they have the highest Asian-American student population.

At their November board meeting, this was a big topic during the CSW renewal discussion.  Red Clay board member grilled CSW President Sam Paoli about their recruitment efforts.

Meanwhile, parents at Charter School of Wilmington have been calling board members left and right.  They feel their school should get the 10-year nod.  The Delaware Charter Schools Network jumped into the game and is actively pushing for parents to continue to hound the district about the issue.

What say you?  Should CSW get 10 years or 5 years?

Meanwhile in Red Clay, their board is also going to decide if they should go back out in their search for a Superintendent.  Some feel the candidates should be internal to Red Clay while others feel the net should be cast wider.  Red Clay Superintendent Mervin Daugherty resigned from the district early last month when he took a similar job in Virginia.  The acting Superintendent for the district is Jill Floore.

7 thoughts on “The Battle In Red Clay Over Charter School of Wilmington

  1. No charter school should get a 10 year clearance to avoid scrutiny and taxpayers should be concerned hat they are even asking for it. They should submit their charter for renewal and submit to oversight scrutiny every 3 years if you ask me. They are not protectorates, they are commonwealths, no?

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  2. It absolutely should! It’s not a regular school, it’s for super smart kids. Why shouldn’t kids who are far more advanced than other kids in the district be afforded a challenging education? And it’s pretty diverse. I don’t hear anyone complaining that other HS in the area don’t have enough Asian kids. Forcing diversity and abandoning merit based entrance is not equal opportunity. You should have to earn your spot there. Some kid who has straight A’s shouldn’t be denied because his skin isn’t a certain color. That is discrimination. I can’t for the life of me understand why discrimination is okay when it goes one way. It’s not right. You want your kids to go there. Make them buckle down and earn it!

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    • You are so wrong about it being a super smart school. Yes, there are exceptional kids in the school Why wouldn’t there be. The kids are hand picked. But, there are plenty of just plain average kids that go there. I’ve tutored some kids that are in the less challenging math classes. The text book they use is not very exceptional. What you have a Charter is an environment of exclusion. The minority count is less than 7%, sorry, can’t count Asians, There are very few free and reduced lunch kids which indicate poverty and I think kids with special needs, not so much. What you have is a school filled with suburban white kids that have been able to beat the system because the system was fixed. Every legislator has had their kids go through there so there was never any response to those that saw an unfair system that was allowed to exist. Personally as a Red Clay tax payer, I wish that we were rid of Charter. Better yet I would make Charter the anchor high school of the new Wilmington School District, That would be a perfect way to give the kids in Wilmington a great start to their future.

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      • After students meet the specific interest criteria, they are entered into a lottery for seats at Charter School of Wilmington. Could you describe where in this process the “hand-picking” takes place?

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  3. If the school abandons academic entrance standards in favor of just letting anyone in, what makes that school special? Why have a charter achool if it’s just going to be the same as every other HS? Kids there all of them, are serious about education and getting into a good college. They shouldnt have to be stuck in classes with kids who aren’t. As a parent, why would you want your kid to be put into a school that he isn’t qualified to be in? Are they supposed to dumb down their standards? That defeats the purpose of having a challenging school. They currently are one of the top schools in the country. Dumbing down standards will destroy the credibility of the school. Period.

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  4. Take a look into where their students are coming from, I know for a fact that there are students attending who live in PA, MD, and outside of NCC. I’ve had parents brag about how they rented an apartment inside the district during the application period. This school needs a full audit of their student population, a lot of lying.

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