Charter School of Wilmington Gets Slammed Down By Red Clay Board With 5 Year Renewal Instead Of 10 Year

The Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education gave the Charter School of Wilmington their renewal but not the one CSW was hoping for. Continue reading

The Discussion About Racism Is Important But So Is The Tone. Tales From A Red Clay Board Meeting.

Last week, at the Red Clay Board of Education meeting, a huge and heated conversation took place about the lack of diversity at Cab Calloway School of the Arts.  It turned into something ugly and what I would not expect from a sitting board member. Continue reading

Red Clay Board of Education Votes Unanimously For Equity Plan

Last night, the Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education voted unanimously for the district to develop an Equity Plan through their long-standing Diversity Committee.  The resolution, written by board member Adriana Bohm, would charge the committee to develop the Equity Plan, which will be presented to the board by April of 2018.  Many community members came out to give public comment in support of plan.

Where this gets a bit sticky is the two charter schools Red Clay authorizes, Charter School of Wilmington and Delaware Military Academy.  As their authorizing agent, Red Clay can conduct their charter renewal process along with formal reviews, modifications, and other such matters.  But they cannot dictate district policy to those schools and make them follow it.  Both schools have substantially lower populations of racial groups the Diversity Committee would talk about.  Failure to address this huge gap between the districts and those charters would ignore the inherent and not-to-be ignored problems of race in the district.  Based on enrollment preferences, those schools have the tendency to pick and choose who they want based on “specific interest”.

I definitely think Bohm’s resolution is a good one.  Red Clay had mixed results with their Inclusion Plan over the past few years which has prompted significant changes in the way the district handles special education.  Based on 2016-2017 data, Red Clay has more minorities than white students, with the largest of those minorities being Hispanic students at around 30%.  But what I don’t want to see this committee doing is basing student success on Smarter Balanced Assessment scores.  I do not believe these are a valid measurement of student success in any possible way.  Many in the African-American community feel these are a valid measurement since they include all students, but when the test is flawed it is not a good measurement.

To read the entire plan, please see below.

Bourbon, Boone’s Farm, Tony Allen & The Chicken or The Egg: The Great Facebook WEIC Debate!

The true conversations about WEIC don’t happen at all those committee meetings, they happen on Facebook.  Tonight, we got the rare privilege of having the Chair of the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission join the fray!  I’m not sure where to start, but since I started the WEIC debates today with my Colonial School District article, I guess we can start there.

Kevin Ohlandt Why I refuse to support WEIC going forward…

Tony Allen Kevin,
As always, I am happy to talk with you directly. You make several claims in here that are not substantiated.
We did meet with Ted and Dusty. I don’t consider that a “back door” meeting. They were both clear in the board’s desire to maintain the current boundaries. And yes, I disagree with their decision as I (not Dr. Rich) noted in a letter to them. However, we do want them to continue to be engaged in the overall work of the Commission which, as you know, involves much more than redrawing lines and is consistent with the FIVE YEAR charge of the Commission’s work.
Continue reading

Red Clay Board Unanimously Passes Parent Opt Out Resolution

Tonight, the third school board in Delaware, Red Clay Consolidated, passed a parent opt out resolution, which you can read below. The vote was unanimous among the six board members present, with no discussion needed. This is after several individuals, myself included, gave public comment supporting the board.

This is a pivotal moment in the Delaware Parent Opt-Out movement. Three of the biggest school districts in the state now officially honor a parent’s right to opt their child out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Following Capital and Christina, Red Clay is now a part of this school district triumvirate.

Superintendent Merv Daugherty reported to the board that the letter the school district sent to parents who opted their kids out was based on Federal and State dictated guidelines, but the district approved all requests. Not that it was their decision, but I appreciate it. To date, Red Clay has between 50-60 opt outs (waiting on clarification), Christina has 113, Colonial had 62 as of last night, and Capital is lighting the way for all districts at 11% of their student body, which could be between 400-700 students if they are counting the entire student body or just those grades taking the assessment.

Delaware State Rep. Kim Williams was in the audience, and State Rep. Michael Ramone left early. Yvonne Johnson and Bill Doolittle with the Delaware PTA, RCEA President Mike Matthews, a parent, and myself all gave public comment supporting the board. Doolittle announced the latest ESEA reauthorization bill also has a parent opt out clause within the bill.

The next stop on the Parent Opt Out train stops at Legislative Hall on Wednesday April 22nd, at 2:30pm (waiting on the official agenda to come up to confirm that time, check http://www.legis.delaware.gov for clarification). Apparently, the entire House Education Committee meeting is designated for this one piece of legislation, House Bill 50, which is somewhat unusual. I would get there early for parking and to get a good seat. I will be there, as will several other parents. I will be very curious if Governor Markell or Mark Murphy would dare to show their face there.

In the meantime, I will celebrate Red Clay’s board resolution and encourage ALL the other boards to take this measure as well. For now, I’m calling it the CCR effect (not Creedence Clearwater Revival). Add in DSEA and Delaware PTA’s recent resolutions, and there is a very big coalition that will take aim at the DOE next Wednesday…

Red Clay Board Member Adriana Bohm’s Incredible Opt Out Speech At March Board Meeting

As the parent opt out movement continues in Delaware, some of the larger school districts have not taken an official stance on the matter.  At the Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education meeting on March 18th, board members Adrianna Bohm gave an excellent speech on the parent opt out movement.  This is a must-read!

I want to personally thank Adriana Bohm for delivering this speech.  I was unable to attend, but I did hear it through Red Clay’s digital recording, and it was stirring and powerful.  I heard Bohm speak at a Wilmington City Council meeting last fall in regards to the priority schools initiative, and she has a very powerful voice.  I expect we will hear much more from Adriana in Delaware’s future.

Both the Capital and Christina Boards of Education have passed resolutions supporting the right for parents to opt their child out of standardized testing with no penalty to the student.  Other districts have verbally stated they would support opt out, such as Colonial, but no official board decision was made.

In the meantime, if you live in Red Clay Consolidated School District, please attend their April 15th board meeting and give public comment supporting parent opt out.  And don’t forget about the Parent Press Conference, covering parent opt out and education in Delaware from the parent’s perspective.  This event will be outside of Legislative Hall in Dover on April 1st at 5pm.  For more details, please go here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/962893793730222/