State Board of Education Approves 7 Charter Schools For Renewal, Newark Charter School Gets 10 Year Renewal

Tonight, in a half hour part of their monthly meeting, the Delaware State Board of Education approved seven Delaware charter schools to be renewed. Continue reading

State Board Of Education To Double-Up At Next Meeting With 7 Charter School Renewals & Many Presentations

When freaky weather occurred on the date of their last State Board of Education meeting, Executive Director Jenna Ahner canceled the meeting which was to take place in Milford.  As a result, all the agenda items from that meeting will be added to the already crowded December agenda.  If you plan on attending the thing, this is going to be a long night!  The mammoth agenda has a lot going on! Continue reading

Clueless DOE Can’t Even Support The Charter School Community Now!

Typically after a blogger posts something about the Delaware Department of Education they act pretty fast in trying to get something website related fixed.  Not the case with their Charter School Renewal section of their website.  I had to hunt last month’s State Board of Education agenda to find a document showing when the Charter School Accountability Committee meetings and public hearing will be held.

Last night I put up a screenshot of their charter renewal web page.  It was blank.  It looks like they did go into it today to modify the already blank page.  How does a blank page get modified?

Uhm, okay…

So like I said, I did find a timeline somewhere else.

Let’s see…today is October 15th.  Looks like there are two public hearings tonight.  There are three tomorrow night.  Two last week.  But what the heck is the public supposed to comment on when there are no renewal documents available?  Are they supposed to say “I’m drawing a blank on why I love/hate this charter school?”  This is an insult to the charter school crowd.  I believe this is also a violation of State Code, Title 14.  But what do I know? (more than the DOE these days)

Get  with the program DOE!  You are growing more incompetent by the day!  If you are having technical issues, put a note on the page.  We know you went on that page today!  Did DelawareCAN/Atnre Alleyne hack into the DOE’s website last week too?  And why are they having public hearings before the first CSAC meetings?  Typically it is the other way around.  Secretary Bunting, it is time to wake up now!  This shouldn’t be THIS easy for me!

I will update this if the DOE gets around to updating their non-transparent website or they modify the blank page again.

Charter School Office At Delaware DOE Throws Transparency Out The Window

Good luck finding out any information on the many Delaware charter schools that are up for renewal this December.  Turns out the Charter School Office scrubbed that part of their website on Thursday.  This same office has also gone without a leader since July 1st, three and a half months after Denise Stouffer left the role for Providence Creek Academy.

While I’m sure the DOE will call this a simple technical error, that is one big error!  How do you empty a whole webpage?

I checked this page today because I knew the Charter School Accountability Committee would be holding their first meetings with the many charter schools under renewal this month.  The last thing I wanted to see was a blank page.

So which charter schools are up for renewal? Delaware Design-Lab Design Thinking Academy, First State Military Academy, Freire, Greak Oaks, Kuumba, Newark Charter School, and Positive Outcomes.  Maybe when the Charter School Office gets the email tomorrow morning about me writing this blog post they will restore the page.

The Charter School Office leader position has been posted twice for recruitment.  Does nobody want this job or is the DOE looking for someone in particular?  My bet would go to the former.  I’m sure any applicant would know that just having the role would put them in my crosshairs.  Which is fine as long as you are transparent and aren’t doing the shady charter school cover-up stuff that would cause me to write something bad about you.

We saw a charter school collapse this fall while the Charter School Office remained without a leader.  And now we should expect that office to deal with seven charter renewals?  Sounds like Secretary of Education Susan Bunting’s idea of the DOE as a support organization is a bit of a misnomer.  I see it as not-so-organized chaos.

Big Year For Charter Renewals Coming: Academia Antonia Alonso, Early College High School, First State Montessori, Sussex Academy & Thomas Edison

Five Delaware charter schools will go through their charter renewal process next Fall.  The Delaware Department of Education’s Charter School Office had what I am sure was a huge task of sending out reports to the schools.  Academia Antonia Alonso, Early College High School, First State Montessori Academy, Sussex Academy, and Thomas Edison Charter School are all up for renewal.  With any charter school renewal, the DOE goes through everything: Academics, Financial, and Organizational.  No stone is left unturned.  With five charters and all three Delaware counties represented in these renewals, the public hearings will be everywhere.  But it looks like the Charter School Office has planned ahead and scheduled different public hearings on different days.  Last year, there was only one charter school (Academy of Dover) that went through the renewal process.  There would have been two but Prestige Academy opted to close their doors at the end of this school year.

In reviewing the below renewal reports and the charter schools responses to those reports, I didn’t have any alarm bells going off.  I do have concerns about the demographics of two of these schools, First State Montessori Academy and Sussex Academy.  At least one of these schools has some financial issues that seem to have flown under the radar for a long time now.  Hopefully more will come out during this process.  And one of them, I strongly suspect but can’t prove…yet, has a secret going all the way back to the origin of their school…

Here are all the schools renewal reports from the Charter School Office, their responses, and the timeline issued by the Charter School Office for this mammoth process:

Academia Antonia Alonso:

Early College High School

First State Montessori Academy

Sussex Academy

Thomas Edison Charter School

Charter School Renewal Timeline: