Final Delaware 2017 School Board Candidate Filings

Delaware School Board Elections 2017

It is now after 4:30pm on March 3rd, 2017.  The filing deadline passed so all candidates are known for the 2017 School Board election.  We have a big list and quite a few races! A 5-way race in Milford, 4-way in Red Clay, and 3-ways in Appo, Caesar Rodney, Christina, and Lake Forest.  2-ways in Brandywine, Capital and Smyrna.  NO filings in Cape Henlopen as of this writing.

Appoquinimink: Charlisa Edelin, Trevor Tucker, Keinna McKnight

Brandywine: Alma Gillis, John Skrobot

Caesar Rodney: Alan Claycomb, Tawanna Prophet-Brinkley, David Failing

Cape Henlopen: No filings as of 4:46pm

Capital: Andres Ortiz, Joan Loewenstein-Engel

Christina: Jeffrey Day, Kimara Smith, Meredith Griffin Jr., *Shirley Saffer withdrew

Colonial: Leo Magee

Delmar: Thomas Elliott

Lake Forest: Austin Auen, Phillip Thomas, Stephanie Justiniano-Johnson

Laurel: Linda Wintjen

Milford (Area D): Judith Purcell

Milford (At-Large): Ronald Evans, Michael Firch, Jason Miller, Michael McKain, Michael Wells

Red Clay: Ashley Sabo, Henry Clampitt, Thomas Pappenhagen, James Startzman Jr.

Seaford: Michael Kraft

Smyrna: Vetra Evans-Gunter, Karin Sweeney

Woodbridge: Paul Breeding

*Indian River has no open board seats this election year



Key Audio Recording Links From State Board of Education Meeting Yesterday

Delaware State Board of Education

Statewide Review of Educational Opportunities.  Wilmington Education Improvement Commission Redistricting Plan.  Christina Priority Schools.  Delaware Met.  All are here.  Please listen.  Please pay attention.  Listen to the words that are said by our unelected Governor appointed State Board of Education.  This meeting touched on most of the hot education issues of our state in one form or another.  Then email your state legislator politely requesting legislation for our State Board of Education to be elected officials.

WEIC Public Comment: Part 2

Statewide Review of Educational Opportunities: Part 3

WEIC Presentation to State Board: Part 5

Christina Priority Schools (about 1/3rd of the way in), Update on Opt-Out Penalties via ESEA Waiver Request with US DOE: Part 6

Delaware Met (starts about 1/3rd of the way in for Del Met) and Charter Renewals: Part 7


Students In Red Clay Are More Likely To Be Bullied As Those In Christina…Why Are We Redistricting?

School Bullying

The Delaware DOE released their annual bullying report for the 2014-2015 school year, and reported and substantiated bullying did go down compared to the previous year.  I would like to empathize the words “reported” and “substantiated” because I don’t always believe the reporting and substantiations actually occur as much as they should.  Schools and districts in Delaware run the risk of being labeled a “dangerous school” if they have too much bullying and school crimes.  This actually incentivizes schools NOT to report things, something Attorney General Matt Denn warned schools about last winter.

With the whole Wilmington Education Improvement Commission/Redistricting of Wilmington schools thing going on, I thought this would be an ideal time to look at both Red Clay and Christina.  For 2014-2015, Red Clay had 106 substantiated bullying incidents where Christina had 65.  Out of those, multiple students aren’t counted in those figures if it is the same incident.  When you put in those numbers, Red Clay had 127 compared to Christina’s 74.  When you take the charters in Red Clay out of their numbers for academic performance (which I don’t agree on based on standardized testing), Christina out-performs Red Clay.  So why do we have this huge push to take Wilmington students out of Christina and into Red Clay?  Culture and academics are better in Christina.

Once again, many charters and one district reported NO bullying incidents and some didn’t even have any reported incidents.  Charter School of Wilmington, Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security, Delaware Military Academy, First State Montessori Academy, Odyssey Charter School and Sussex Tech reported no bullying incidents to the DOE.  All told, 16 different charters and districts reported 5 or less bullying incidents.  Reporting incidents to the DOE needs a lot of work.  The DOE audited 11 different traditional district schools and one charter, and they found many instances of schools not reporting things to them within the required 5 business days of the incident.

The very loose “peer attention” was cited as the number one reason for bullying with 238 incidents with this as the cause.  The even more loose “other” had 118.  When it gets down to specific reasons, physical appearance had 76, age had 57, disability had 20, and race/color had 13.  With 356 vague and unknown reasons serving 65% of the reasons for bullying, that really doesn’t help Delaware get to the heart of the reasons for bullying.  I strongly suspect there are other reasons that could have been checked off but the school chose not to so they wouldn’t look bad.

I will be going into great detail like I did last winter on individual districts, schools and charters on these issues.  And once again, I implore any parents who know of substantiated bullying incidents that occurred in schools where NONE were reported to let me know.

Christina School District’s Mysterious Agenda For Board Meeting Next Week

Christina School District

The Christina School District Board of Education released the agenda for their board meeting a week from today, December 9th.  Included in the agenda is this rather mysterious item, under legal matters:

Authorization for the Superintendent to Act on Legal Matter on PS090414. 

It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that item number also has the date of Governor Markell’s Priority Schools announcement at Warner Elementary School.  But the key words in this agenda announcement are “Act” and “Legal Matter”.   Most board meetings keep legal matters in executive session.  Will the board go against the grain and make this part of the public session?  I would doubt it, but this is also a board that allowed three hours of public comment at their first board meeting after the Priority announcement, so anything can happen.

I have some guesses what this could be about, but I won’t say what they are because it would ruin the surprise.  I would have to doubt a board as wise as Christina would just let Markell take schools away from them without a fight.  That’s all I’m saying!


Sneak Peak: Return to the Kingdom of Del, A Tale Of Christina #netde #eduDE @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de


While Jon was dealing with his issues in the county of Kent, far away in the Kingdom of Del, up north and past the canal, lived a very special child in the county of Novus Castrum.  Within the walls of Novus Castrum, there were several districts, and the largest of them was Christina.  Many schools were housed within these borders, and many citizens of the Kingdom of Del lived in this area.  There were many schools for parents to choose, so the area became known for it’s many public schools and charter schools.  For the little girl named Maria, the choice was not so simple for her parents.  Maria’s loving mother and father knew she was very different from many of the other children her age.  You see, Maria was diagnosed as autistic.

This is the story of Maria’s journey, which isn’t over yet.  While Maria didn’t attend a charter school like Jon did, she did attend many different schools.  This is a story of impossible choices for Maria’s parents, Maria’s struggles, neglect, communication, and tragedy.  Maria and Jon have some things in common.  They were both children of the kingdom who lived their life with disabilities.   The tales are very similar, yet vastly different.  Words like inspection, fape, dap, special education, feeder, and communication all are very important to Maria’s story.  It’s a story of two parents attempts to get the best services for their daughter who had a very difficult disability and needed extra care and support.  Did she receive that?

To Be Continued….