Delaware Met Paid $380,000 To Innovative Schools Over Two Years…For What?

Now that the Delaware Met is closing down a month after it opened them, many in Delaware are asking “what the hell happened?”  Don’t worry, I’m in that same group.  In all my time doing this, I never got a lead that turned into something solid within hours, much less a lead that announced the closure of a charter school that no  one seemed to be any the wiser about their difficulties.  But my big question surrounds their management organization: Innovative Schools.  What did Innovative Schools actually do that warranted them receiving $380,000 since July of 2013?  And why were there employees being paid since July 2013 as well when the school didn’t even open until two years later?

From July 2013 until March 2014, we see salaries going out twice a month ranging from $3,245.19 to $4,110.59 (only once for this one, ironically, 12 days before Christmas).  Then in March, it bumps up to around $5,400 a month, but then back down to $2,700 in June.  Who was getting paid these funds?  And for what?  Meanwhile, Innovative Schools had over $380,000.00 in 26 months on their tab.  That’s some serious coin for a charter that hadn’t even opened yet for the bulk of these funds!  The Delaware Met website, which hasn’t had any board minutes posted (and their only one) since October of 2014, shows 15 board members.  And under the section entitled “School Leader’s Blog”, someone named Tricia talks about how she accepted the position of Head of School in May, 2015.  And good luck finding any staff, they don’t exist on the website.  Now the DOE website shows the Head of School to be Patricia Hunter Crafton, so I have to assume that would be “Tricia”.  But when I emailed the DOE and The Delaware Met for information yesterday, I received an out of office email for Crafton indicating she was out on maternity leave until November.  Nash Childs is listed as the President of their Board, but no relation to Great Oaks Charter School leader Kia Childs.

So who was the Innovative Schools lead for The Delaware Met?  Innovative Schools website lists Jemuel Anderson as the Operations Manager for The Delaware Met.  Now some bell is going off telling me I’ve heard this name before…where…where…where…and then the bell rings!  He was one of the plaintiffs when Moyer tried suing the State of Delaware over Moyer’s closure.  But Jemuel Anderson’s charter school history goes back beyond even Moyer.  He was the topic of many comments over on Kilroy’s a few years ago with the “is he” or “isn’t he” argument going back and forth over whether he was qualified to be a teacher rep on the board based on his lack of certified credentials on DEEDs (the place to look if teachers are certified or not in Delaware).  To go from either a one-on-one para (with the same student) for two years at Pencader to an Operations Manager of The Delaware Met for Innovative Schools seems like a pretty good career jump!  Astronomical I would say!

I’m just going to take a stab in the dark here and ask the obvious.  Could there maybe be some financial issues going on with this school as well?  In which case, the date of their official closure will be very interesting to watch.  If it is after September 30th, what guarantee does the State of Delaware have to ask for that money back?  If it’s already out there that the school is closing, what would happen if every single student left before September 30th?  Would they get no funding which would then force them into bankruptcy?  And it seems like it doesn’t matter if Innovative Schools cut ties with the school.  You know they have to be going “Ka-ching! We got $380,000.00 from a school that was only open a month!  Thank you Delaware taxpayers!”

Meanwhile, more Delaware students that are bounced around from Delaware charter to charter to charter are the true victims in all of this.  A generation of lost charter school students lost in the even greater sea of lost Wilmington children who are lost in the vast ocean called proficiency gaps.

Academy of Dover Won’t Reimburse Paraprofessionals When They Are Substitute Teachers

I remember when I worked at Campus Community School a few years ago, they were very good at paying me when I worked as a substitute teacher.  When I transitioned to a paraprofessional role for about five months, I was paid a little bit less.  If I was ever shifted to a substitute role, they would adjust my pay based on that.  Apparently another charter school in Dover doesn’t seem to want to follow that type of decency.  In their December board minutes, Academy of Dover wrote:

“Para’s are subbing for teachers – wanted to know if they will be reimbursed for subbing for teachers. Para’s will not be reimbursed for their time subbing.”

Not a good way to take care of your personnel!  I would have loved to hear a digital recording of that conversation!  Oh wait, charters don’t have to record their board meetings cause they are afraid of what we might find out!  Maybe if they actually hired a Head of School, instead of having an interim one for the past five months it would soothe things over.  Don’t believe me on this pay issue?  Read it here:

 

Happy Valentines Day DE DOE Authorized Charter Schools! From the Transparency Cupid!

You didn’t think I was just checking out the Red Clay charters, did you?  I wouldn’t do that to you guys!  I have enough love for all the charters today, since the Delaware Department of Education doesn’t want to monitor your transparency, or in the case of many of you, the lack thereof!

Academia Antonia Alonso-minutes-December, Agenda-December

Academy of Dover-minutes-December, Agenda-January

Campus Community-minutes-November, Agenda-January

Delaware Acad. of Public Safety & Security-minutes-Dec 2014, agenda- “standard” message, don’t list agendas separately

Early College High School-minutes-November 2014, agenda-Jan. 29th mtg.

East Side Charter-minutes-November 2014*** , agenda-January 28th mtg, Didn’t have board mtg in December

Family Foundations Academy-minutes-January 20th, Agenda-February 10th

First State Montessori-minutes-September 2014, agenda-October 2014

Gateway Lab School-minutes-December 2014, agenda-Feb. 17th mtg

Kuumba Academy-minutes-September 2014, agenda-November

Las Americas Aspira Academy-minutes-December 2014 , agenda-January 20th mtg

MOT –minutes-September 2014, agenda-January 28th mtg (states will post agenda 10 days before next meeting)

Moyer Academy-minutes-December 2014 , agenda-January 27th mtg

Newark Charter School-minutes-December 2014, agenda-February 17th mtg

Odyssey Charter School-minutes-December 2014 , agenda-February

Positive Outcomes-minutes-October 2014, agenda-February 18th

Prestige Academy-minutes-December 2014, agenda-February (I already covered their December minutes)

Providence Creek Academy-minutes-December 2014 , agenda-January 27th mtg

Reach Academy For Girls-minutes-January 2015, agenda-February 18th mtg

Sussex Academy-minutes-November 2014, agenda-January 20th mtg

Thomas Edison Charter-minutes-November 2014, agenda-December mtg

Some of you are right on it, but 9 out of 21 of you are behind on your minutes.  5 out of 21 of you are behind on your agendas.  If you have both, you need to get on it.  It’s not hard.  The public school districts do it, and they have A LOT more work than you folks do!  Some of them even record their board meetings!  You should try it sometime.  I have a feeling it may become the law of the land sooner or later!  Some of you are new charters this year and I don’t want to see you get into the habit of non-transparency like some of your contemporaries!  And you would think Prestige Academy would fix their damn website after I posted about their Rubiks Cube website trying to find their board minutes.  I guess they are still trying to figure out how to fix that little itty bitty problem with voting on board items without a quorum at their December tavern meeting!

As for the Delaware Charter School office, I’ve heard you talking about this topic a couple times at State Board of Education meetings.  Is it that the charters just don’t care?  It sounds to me like they just ignore you.  But unless you listen to the digital audio recordings of the State Board meetings, one would never know this information.  I can’t do your job for you!  Well, I can, but then you would have to pay me! 🙂

 

Happy Valentines Day Red Clay Charters: Charter School of Wilmington, Delaware College Prep & DE Military Academy

Happy Valentines Day you wonderful Red Clay Consolidated School District charters!  I just wanted to extend the love since no one at Red Clay seems to want to monitor you guys.  I was looking at your websites, and I noticed something:

YOU HAVE NO TRANSPARENCY OF YOUR BOARD MEETINGS!!!!!

Charter School of Wilmington, last board meeting minutes: September 2014, last agenda posted-January 27th meeting

Delaware College Prep, last board meeting minutes: July 2014, last agenda posted: No agendas posted, just states what the “standard” agenda” is for each meeting

Delaware Military Academy, last board meeting minutes: September 2014, last agenda posted-NONE

And the Wilmington Education Committee wants Red Clay to take over the Christina School District Wilmington schools?  Why?  They can’t even oversee the three charters in their district!  Given the timeframe on when these charters last updated their board meetings, it almost seems intentional.  I wonder who would have planned that…