John Fluharty Is An Arrogant And Petty Little Man

In a close race, Kathy McGuiness won the Democrat Primary for State Auditor this evening.  John Fluharty, State Auditor Tom Wagner’s Deputy, was behind the leaks about Kathleen Davies to the News Journal and other media outlets in Delaware.  The News Journal reporter, Jessica Bies, relished in writing about this sordid mess.  So much so she forgot what Journalism 101 even looks like and did the bidding of her masters to smear Davies no matter what it takes.  Because that is the true and ugly side of the Delaware Way.

Tonight, Fluharty gave the following statement about the McGuiness win to the News Journal:

John Fluharty, who works for Wagner and is the former executive director for the Delaware Republican Party, said: “Democratic voters sent a clear message to Kathleen Davies tonight.” 

“Don’t go away mad, just go away.” 

John Fluharty is the cockiest and most arrogant son of a bitch I’ve run across in Delaware.  Enjoy your moment in the sun Fluharty.  I can promise you it won’t last long.

What Fluharty seems to forget is Davies could return to that office as Tom Wagner’s second-in-command after the next Merit Employee Review Board hearing.

I am far from done with Mr. Fluharty.  Along with his co-conspirators, Andrena Burd and Tammy Smith, they attempted to destroy Kathleen Davies.  They didn’t succeed.  The results of the Primary have no bearing on the heart and soul of Kathleen Davies.  She is still an awesome woman and you didn’t break her.  Despite the best efforts of the Fluharty Gang along with the News Journal, Davies was not trounced.  It was a close win for McGuiness in a three-way race.

It is obvious, given Tammy Smith’s statement on Facebook five days ago, along with the same language conveyed from McGuiness supporter Mitch Crane to myself back in June, the office was talking with the McGuiness camp.  What Smith said was near verbatim to what Crane said he “heard” about that office.  I even have an email where Crane and Fluharty discussed getting together for lunch.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see you would tell anyone fantastical stories to keep your job.

As far as McGuiness v. Spadola… to be continued…

Fluharty is a state employee.  He said this about someone knowing full well there are still hearings going on about her unwarranted dismissal.  Together with Smith’s Facebook rant the other day, he is openly and publicly saying screw you to any state rules in talking about an office personnel matter.  He thinks he can get away with whatever he wants.  But let me ask you this Fluharty.  If McGuiness wins the General Election, do you really think you have any shot in Hell of remaining in that office?  Do you think the “life-long Democrat” will keep a slimy Republican like yourself?  If Spadola wins, by the time I have my fun with you between now and the General Election, would he want someone as toxic as you in that office?  Either way, you will be gone.  Toast.

You might be thinking you won some war and I have no doubt you and your cronies in the office will be celebrating tomorrow.  It will be a short-lived victory.  I can promise you that.  You are just as expendable as you made Davies.  Along with Burd and Smith.

I Know What You Did The Summer Before Last Summer… Winter Is Coming…

This article is just for you.  You don’t know who you are yet.  But you are about to.  Because I know.  I know what you did the summer before last summer.  I know how you did it, and I know why you did it.  I know the illusion you give is false.  I know you care about power.  And your name.  I know you have fooled everyone and you are counting on that.  But I am not fooled.  I never was.  I saw right through you the first time I saw you.  Enjoy the warm season now because it is about to get very cold.  A chilling and long winter is coming for you.  Enjoy your time on the pedestal because you won’t be on it long, that I can assure you.

I firmly believe you are arrogant enough to believe you could weather this.  I don’t think so.  Life doesn’t work like that.  I’m the wild card you never saw coming.  I will disrupt your hand.  When you lay down your full house that is when I will come back with a better hand.  I’m just giving you forewarning so you know it’s coming.  You wanted the spotlight and you will certainly get that, more than you have now.

What Is Wrong With So Many Delaware Charter Schools?

I’ve been racking my brain on this for a long time now.  If it isn’t financial abuse, it’s bad enrollment preferences.  If it isn’t the DOE praising certain charter schools, it is a lack of due process.

I think what it comes down to is arrogance.  We see that in traditional school districts as well, but what makes it so pronounced with the charters?  Charters are smaller.  When they make noise, everyone hears it or points it out.  Nothing gets some Delawareans pissed off more than seeing some charters blatantly flaunting their admissions process.  For others, it is the amount of money being wasted by school leaders and not making it to the classroom.  But when a charter has issues, hearing or seeing the leaders defend problems that are so inherently wrong makes them look rather foolish.

Just about every charter school in Delaware, since I started this blog, had one of the above issues I mentioned since I started this blog back in June of 2014.  Three charters have shut down, with another going down at the end of this year.  When things go down at a charter, we often see the bulk of the parents defending the school as if they can do no wrong.  Is it that they are blind to the facts or is the option of sending their child to a traditional school district so frightening for parents they are willing to overlook these infractions?

There are the true horror stories like Delaware Met and possibly Delaware Design-Lab High School.  Brand new charters that don’t seem to have a clue how to run a school.  And as we’ve seen time and time again, the DOE, with rare exceptions, doesn’t do anything until after that Wednesday in January when the choice window closes.  We find out what they knew all this time, and the DOE gets away with it every single time.

What are we teaching our children?  That it’s okay to send the more fortunate and the more knowledgeable to the “better” schools?  That it doesn’t matter if you go to a school that is 98% African-American?  That if you are “counseled out” of a charter it’s okay to be out of the system for over a month?  Behind all of this is the shadow of standardized test scores.  For all Delaware schools, including charters, this is the measurement over which the DOE’s judgment is severe.  Many think the DOE is too charter friendly, but when there are issues, the DOE comes down on them like white on rice.  Which is good, but had the DOE acted sooner in many of these situations things wouldn’t get as bad.

There are no easy answers or solutions to these issues.  What we need is a culture change when it comes to charters.  In the meantime, the war, yes, the war, continues.  It bubbles over into every aspect of education in our state in one form or another.

Say It Ain’t So! Academy of Dover Violating Probation Terms With DOE! **UPDATED**

In a shocking and unexpected announcement yesterday, the Academy of Dover is not meeting the terms of their probation!  Once again, it is all related to financial transparency!  Seems they can’t get their act together…

When will they ever learn?  And do I mean the DOE or Academy of Dover?  Both!  This school has been flaunting the rules for years now.  The DOE needs to shut them down.  If they aren’t following the terms of their probation (which I think they got off very easy with), they need to go back on formal review!

UPDATED, 8/21/15, 1:47PM: I reached out to DOE Public Information Officer Alison May to find out if the State Board of Education acted on the news Academy of Dover is in violation of their probation terms, and she indicated they did NOT take any formal decision on the violations.

They should have always had a Citizens Budget Oversight Committee.  The fact they can’t even get this group to meet regularly with the majority of members to actually show up is sending a clear message to citizens and parents of Delaware: we will do what we want and the DOE will let us.  Only the DOE can reverse this arrogant trend!

And the oddest part about this report? The last page entitled “Good News” with a blank page. This says it all!

Charter School of Wilmington Story Still Has Many Questions About Due Process And Discrimination Left Unanswered

CSWStudent just wrote a comment on the CSW story that really showed me a different picture of the school:

Some important things that this article ignores.

Firstly, the description of the distribution of ethnicity at Charter vs. the demographic of Wilmington, DE. The Charter School of Wilmington conducts its admittance based on an entrance exam. This exam is open to everyone, including the entire eight grade population of Wilmington. As a current student at CSW, it is to the best of my knowledge that there is a very slim number of the city of Wilmington residents that even apply to the school. This could likely be because students in the city may not feel like they have received an education that adequately prepares them for the rigor of CSW, which presents a new problem entirely. The education of Wilmington during the middle school years needs to be boosted and improved to a level where the students from that demographic can excel in the environment that CSW supports.

CSW is not a school for everyone. What makes it so special to me is the drive and motivation that every student there possesses. I am one of four kids from my middle school that was accepted at CSW. We applied, were accepted, and excel because we take the extra step, we attend seminars, we do extracurriculars. It has nothing to do with discrimination. If you meet the standards of the school, you have as good a chance as ANYONE else to get in.

Similar to the student in this article, I am not the general mold that you describe. I live out of the Red Clay School District, I don’t “comb my hair to the side”, and I take the bus every day as a senior (I would love a pick-up truck). I know the student who this article is mentioning, and I disagree in describing him as a minority who doesn’t fit in. I personally like him, and he has always been a popular, well known member of the community.

I love the Charter School of Wilmington. It has presented me with varying challenges that push my boundaries, and I have used the opportunities presented to me to push myself and learn all that I can. Articles like this slander the name and reputation of a school that provides an incredible environment for exceptional and unique students. I have never once seen any form of discrimination, and personally am upset by these accusations.

To which I responded:

Thank you for your comments CSW student. I think your comments do more to prove my point about selective student enrollment than anything I could have ever written. I never said the student didn’t fit in. CSW should be a school for everyone. I attended an Enrollment Preference Task Force meeting discussing the very idea of placement tests as a method of enrollment. It was overwhelmingly agreed by all but 2-3 people on this task force of about 20 members, that any placement test should be given AFTER a student was accepted. You wrote “this article slanders a school that provides an incredible environment for exceptional and unique students”. Would you like to know who else has exceptional and unique students? The rest of Delaware. In fact, the term “exceptional” in Delaware typically means students with disabilities, of which CSW has .2% of their students on an IEP. The discrimination happens before a student ever gets through the door there. By picking these “exceptional and unique students” the discrimination has already been committed.

Furthermore, your comments show exactly why CSW has the “reputation” it does as an outstanding school. Which is causing me to rethink some things. This article proves CSW may keep certain people out of the school but they can’t keep everyday problems out of the school. But they sure can do their best to cover it up to make everything look pretty on the outside. You have inspired me for my next article. Thank you.

I posted earlier today about a fact that was not given to me until after I posted my article on Sunday.  In examining this fact, it may not be the overall “smoking gun” it appears to be.  There are still several questions about due process on the school’s part that have not been answered to my satisfaction.  So I will challenge the Charter School of Wilmington to reach out to me to present those facts.  Because here’s the bottom line: no matter what evidence the school thinks they had, did they follow state code and law in determining guilt or innocence?  Was their coercion involved?  Why did they not notify the police right away?  Why did the police wait 23 days to make an arrest which just happened to be the student’s 18th birthday?  Where is the paperwork involved with this incident?  Can the school provide any of this paperwork?  Why did they wait so long to report it to the DOE when state law says they have to submit it within two business days?  Would they have reported it had the mother not already called the DOE and found out there was NO reporting of the incident?  Did the school make their “deal” of suspension with services and no walking at graduation or expulsion to all four of the students involved?  Can they legally make “deals” like that?  How many “deals” have they performed without public knowledge?  Are they aware this greatly affects public impressions of their school by skewing the data involved when parents seek out schools for their children?  Did they follow state law for search and seizure? Were they allowed to search through a student’s cell phone and open up apps?  Was there involvement by the Board of Directors during any of this process?

I’ve received many comments from folks who I believe to have strong ties with Charter School of Wilmington.  They are all anonymous.  They have asked me to prove one case of discrimination against the school.  Look at their demographics.  It may be legal in Delaware, but don’t think it doesn’t spit in the face of every single Title I, IDEA and civil rights law in the country.  This is a charter school pretending to be a private school, and Delaware has allowed this for seventeen years.  We can all sit here and pretend they are the best school in the state, but let’s not forget how they got there.

As for Bill and his mother, were mistakes made, yes.  I even made some mistakes with this story.  But when does one story become bigger than the individuals involved and the heart of it becomes a systemic issue within the school?  In my opinion, if the school is concealing information with regards to incidents happening there, then they are allowing these incidents to happen in the first place.  And then they want to complain when one mother wants to stand up and fight this system?  In my eyes, no matter what Bill did, concealing incidents at a school and giving students and parents a “Sophie’s Choice” with discipline is manipulative and deceitful.  Is it to protect the students or is it to cover their own ass?

**Updated**5/20/15, 10:13pm: I do not expect CSW to provide documentation to me concerning this incident.  What I do hope to see is this issue seeing the light of day in regards to due process, and as a result of that, this documentation would be seen by someone who would be able to render a legal decision on due process in this case.