Come To The Congressional Education Debate On August 18th!

On August 18th, the candidates for the Delaware U.S. Representative for Congress will meet at the Christina Cultural Arts Center for a debate on education.  From 6pm to 8pm, the candidates will field questions about their stance on education in Delaware and the USA.  Admission is free, but you do need to register through Eventbrite at this link.  As well, you can submit questions for the candidates at this link.  You can even submit a specific question for a specific candidate!

Confirmed to attend at this point are Democrat candidates Sean Barney, Lisa Blunt-Rochester, Mike Miller, Bryan Townsend and Scott Walker.  A tentative yes has been provided by Libertarian candidate Scott Gesty.  As of this writing, Republican candidate Hans Reigle has not responded.

I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen.  We need this for all candidates running for office: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the House and Senate candidates.  I put up a hail Mary thing last week about getting an “Education Forum on the Green” debate going, but to be honest, I don’t have the pull to make that happen on the fly.  I know my limitations!

The event will be sponsored by DelaCORE Leaders, with the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, League Young Professionals, and the PACE Network.  The event will be moderated by WHYY reporter Avi Wolfman-Arent and Nate Durant from Thomas Edison Charter School.

WHYY’s Avi Wolfman-Arent Has Become THE Education Reporter In Delaware

WHYY/Newsworks has the best education reporter in Delaware, bar none!  Avi Wolfman-Arent has written many articles in the past few months that do not have the media bias we see in another Delaware newspaper (I’m talking to you News Journal).  While Avi was writing many articles about Family Foundations Academy, Matthew Albright from the News Journal didn’t even pick it up until a month after everyone else knew what was going on.  Avi has written many excellent stories about the priority schools without the usual Markell-DOE bias seeping through.  It is very refreshing to see someone write articles about education in a major media outlet in Delaware that remembers the basic tenets of journalism.

Take Avi’s article that came out today as an example.  He wrote about Stubbs Elementary School in Wilmington. Stubbs is one of the six labeled priority schools.  But Avi went to see a steel drum concert.  When I read this, it just made me realize even more that none of these schools should become priority schools and all that goes with that.  Please read Avi’s article entitled “Day In The Sun, For Delaware School Caught In The Crosshairs”: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/77946-day-in-the-sun-for-school-in-the-crosshairs?l=df

Elizabeth Paige, a member of the Christina School District Board of Education wrote the following about Avi: “As a member of the CSD school board and a member of the community, I appreciate Avi’s work to report on education in Delaware.  This new kid on the block is proactive, approachable, and has shown his willingness to tell a story from many angles.”

Last week, Avi sat down with Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy to get his take on the current hot spots in Delaware education: Common Core, Race To The Top, Priority Schools, and more.  It was an excellent article and video, even though I didn’t agree with a lot of things Murphy said.

Avi has even made an impression all the way down in Sussex County.  Resident Nelia Dolan said “I am grateful there is a reporter in Delaware who is giving voice to all sides of the education debate.”

I see Avi everywhere these days, at House Education Committee meetings, at Board Meetings, and State Board of Education meetings.  I see others there, but Avi’s articles are the ones I will always read first.

 

Mark Murphy’s WHYY Interview…God, I Can’t Stand This Guy!

WDEL conducted an interview Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy recently.  My new favorite education report, Avi Wolfman-Arant, conducted the interview.  It covers Race To The Top, Priority Schools, Common Core, Smarter Balanced Assessment (and not a word about Parent Opt Out), Teacher Pay, and more.

You can view the video, or if you have a weak stomach, you can just read the article here: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local//item/77771-delaware-education-secretary-talks-common-core-teacher-pay-and-learning-video/

Murphy needs to be fired.  He needs to go back to being a gym teacher somewhere at some lovey-dovey charter school.

Family Foundations Academy Still Has Some Big Unanswered Questions

Yay! The school has been saved by the graciousness of the Delaware Charter Schools Network!  We can all go back to our regular business.  Except for this one little item:

ONLINE CHECKBOOK DETAIL TRANSACTIONS

Department: FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY – Vendor: FOX ROTHSCHILD LLP
for
Period: FY 2015 Period 1 thru 6

No. of Payments: Amount:
5 $214,730.93
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 11/5/2014 $8,367.50 374930
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 9/24/2014 $155,000.00 362670
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 12/8/2014 $18,107.93 385007
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 11/5/2014 $13,255.50 374930
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 8/28/2014 $20,000.00 354800

Department: FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY – Vendor: FOX ROTHSCHILD LLP
for
Period: FY 2014

No. of Payments: Amount:
12 $140,000.00
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 5/2/2014 $10,000.00 321286
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 9/9/2013 $10,000.00 255886
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 4/8/2014 $20,000.00 313887
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 2/11/2014 $20,000.00 297503
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 1/9/2014 $10,000.00 288236
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 8/8/2013 $10,000.00 248818
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 6/19/2014 $10,000.00 337991
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 12/5/2013 $10,000.00 280331
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 10/15/2013 $10,000.00 265941
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 4/11/2014 $10,000.00 315273
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 11/14/2013 $10,000.00 274705
FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY LEGAL SERVICES 6/13/2014 $10,000.00 335458

We know this isn’t for Auphsite.  They already got paid:

Department: FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY – Vendor: AUPHSITE HOLDING COMPANY
for
Period: FY 2015 Period 1 thru 6

No. of Payments: Amount:
22 $85,081.96

So how does a charter school of 800 students manage to accumulate $354,000 in attorney fees?  With one check alone being $155,000, this had to be something big.  Does this have anything to do with it?  From Avi Wolfman Arant’s Newsworks article last week:

The school’s lawyers recommended Family Foundations conceal that audit from the state, which did not become aware of the document until December.

Sorry, this school can pin everything on Moore and Brewington all they want, but there is something deeper at play here….