For years, the online denizens of Kilroy’s Delaware have been subjected to the very pro corporate education reform rants of Publius, aka Henry Clampitt. Clampitt served on the Board of Directors for the Charter School of Wilmington for many years until he “resigned” with no explanation given to the public whatsoever. The CSW Board is usually very tight and tends to have many of the same folks on the board for years at a time.
Clampitt also serves on the Legislative Advisory Committee for the Delaware Charter Schools Network. Clampitt has been in this role since some point last year. Clampitt is very “pro-choice” when it comes to a parent’s ability to choose what school their child attends. I believe this to be admirable, however, given his inability to fully understand how certain charter schools enrollment preferences have adversely affected segregation and discrimination in the Wilmington, DE area, it is an advocacy based on wrong intentions. Having served on the Delaware Enrollment Preferences Task Force, Clampitt firmly believed in placement tests prior to admission at schools like CSW.
Clampitt and I have gone toe to toe on Kilroy’s Delaware going on two years now. He is vicious in his attack methods, going so far as to make fun of people’s physical features while hiding behind his online moniker.
A few months ago, someone opened a Twitter account under the name of Henry Clampitt with a twitter handle of @publiusedecere, which is also his name on Kilroy’s Delaware. Nobody knows who posted this Twitter account, but it disappeared within 24 hours. For many, it is no secret who Publius really is.
When this Twitter account opened, it was in the middle of a major battle between two bills pending in the Delaware General Assembly concerning charter school audits. On one side was State Rep. Kim Williams and the other was Senator David Sokola. Williams’ bill passed the House last year. Sokola introduced his bill in January. Many felt (which I agree with) that Sokola’s bill weakened Williams’ bill. At the Senate Education Committee meeting on Sokola’s bill, Williams and Kathleen Davies from the State Auditor’s office faced off against Sokola, Clampitt, and Kendall Massett from the Delaware Charter Schools Network. Neither bill has gone up for a vote in the Senate since that meeting.
Clampitt attacked Rep. Williams in his “anonymous” blog comments on Kilroy’s Delaware. If I were a guessing man, I would say Clampitt finally pushed someone over the edge which resulted in this fake Twitter account days later. Many people sent me the link to this Twitter account. I was shocked that someone went to that level of creativity to out Clampitt, but I wasn’t surprised.
As our little war has progressed over on Kilroy’s, Clampitt has recently started an online campaign to attack me whenever he gets a chance. If nothing is even discussed in one of Kilroy’s article, as seen recently with some of his posts about Donald Trump, Clampitt will come out of nowhere in his vain attempts to demean me. This is why I feel some perspective is needed for those reading Kilroy’s Delaware. Clampitt has made this personal because he seems to be out to “get me”. I don’t mind anonymous commenters unless you cross that line too many times. I’ve written about Publius and Clampitt on here, but never together. Kilroy has done the same.
Many have felt Clampitt, based on his comments, did himself in with the board at CSW. Others, including myself, feel he can be very racist or discriminatory in his attempts to win an argument. Many are just plain disgusted with his online antics. Words such as “cocky” and “arrogant” are the labels I hear the most when others speak about Publius/Clampitt.
It has been highly rumored that he will attempt a run for the Red Clay Consolidated School Board next year, and will run against President Kenny Rivera. This is something many in the Wilmington community seem to be dead against. I’ve seen Clampitt a couple times. Once at an Enrollment Preference Task Force meeting, and the other at a Red Clay board meeting. When surrounded by his buddies in the charter community, Clampitt can tend to be very vocal. But at Red Clay, he is very quiet and reserved.
Clampitt seems to be offended by anyone who disagrees with him. He seems to have a particular hate for myself and Christina board member John Young. He is also a fierce believer in standardized testing. When asked about this, he states the same mantra all who support high-stakes testing: “We need to close the achievement gap.” The very same achievement gap that has widened even further as a result of tests like the Smarter Balanced Assessment. He believes opt out is wrong and opposes it on every single level. He takes cheap shot at concerned parents who don’t believe a standardized test is a good measure of academic ability.
Together with his online supporters on Kilroy’s, he has turned what used to be a good place to have earnest discussions about education into a place where many are so offended they don’t come back anymore. I refuse to leave Kilroy’s “kitchen table” because of a cyber bully. But I will not continue to be mocked by a man who has so many inherent conflicts of interest. If this means I am no longer invited to Kilroy’s, so be it. But I am a firm believer in defending myself when attacked as voraciously as Publius has done. Last summer, he went way over the line when he attacked my son’s disability. I wanted to write this then, but I held back. But as the attacks intensified the past couple months, I felt it was time to take a stand. If he wants to continue to be a coward thinking he is protected by hiding behind his oh-so-original blog commenter handle over on Kilroy’s, that is his prerogative. But in the real world, we all know who you are.
It is time to put a face to the name of Publius…