Las Americas ASPIRA Submits Modification Request To Add High School & Increase Enrollment

Rumors began circulating in the fall that Las Americas ASPIRA Academy would be submitting a major modification request to add high school grades.  What I didn’t count on were the huge amount of fallacies and grandiose boasting within the application itself.

The most horrid part of the application is a “letter of support” from Newark Charter Head of School Greg Meece:

But I support approval of its application, also, because of the need in the Greater Newark Community for strong public high schools, as well as great choice options. Newark Charter School and Las Américas ASPIRA Academy share many things in common, but its academic program with its focus on biliteracy is distinct.

In any charter school modification timeline, there is a time for members of the public to give public comment.  If Meece wants to do that, it should be in that kind of forum.  Not in the application itself!

Margie Lopez-Waite wasted no time in the application to use Smarter Balanced and SAT scores to justify why Las Americas ASPIRA is sooooo much better than the Christina and Colonial school districts.  And, of course, the application uses the Christina Wilmington schools to show how “bad” the district is compared to her beloved charter.

If approved, this will have a huge impact on Christina and Colonial.  Currently, due to the huge amount of charter schools in their district, Christina has been suffering from lower student enrollment for well over a decade.  This will only compound that issue.  Margie wastes no time throwing Colonial School District under the bus in the application as well over standardized test scores.  Was it only a year ago she was kissing Dusty Blakey’s ass in her (failed) attempt to have Colonial become the authorizer for Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security?  I guess it is contingent on what her agenda is.

According to the below application this could impact the enrollments at New Castle County Vo-Tech as well as many students from LAAA end of enrolling in vo-tech schools.

If approved, LAAA wouldn’t begin their high school until the 2020-2021 school year.  But there is no location for the proposed high school.  Only that it would be within 15 miles of the school.  That would have to be a major real estate lease or sale so it will be interesting to see what Margie’s agenda is here.  A couple of potential red flags here involve the Christina School District.  We have potential legislation from Earl Jaques to have the State Board of Education vote for state takeover a “failing” school district.  I would imagine if that legislation passed and the State Board ever did vote for a district, Christina would be the first.  I have no doubt the DOE led “takeover district” would consolidate their high schools.  Would one of Christina’s high schools become a prime location for an LAAA High School?

Adding to this, there is a huge push now to increase charter school enrollment.  While there were no new charter school applications submitted this year, the movement among existing charter schools to expand could shake up the student feeder patterns even more.

While this may seem like it could be a straight shot to creating a high school, I would seriously challenge the Charter School Accountability Committee and the State Board of Education to question this application.  Under Margie’s nose, a Delaware charter school closed within weeks of the beginning of the school year this year.  Her fumbling of the Herb Sheldon football directly led to this happening.  There has to be questions and accountability surrounding that.

I don’t trust Margie, and with very good reason.  I think she uses whatever and whoever she can to her advantage.  She is not afraid to throw ethics to the side in her quest for power.  That’s one thing in the MBNA world, but in public education it is somewhat scummy.

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