Tony Allen, the chair of the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee wrote a letter in response to the letter from Secretary of Education Mark Murphy to the Christina School District about the three priority schools. Many people were confused about the DOE letter since it gave the options to close, revert to charter, or give the schools to a management company. But embedded in the letter was also a recommendation to work with the DOE based on the recommendations of WEAC to redistrict Wilmington and take the Christina schools in the city and give them to Red Clay Consolidated. Please read the letter from Tony Allen:
On February 11th, Delaware Governor Jack Markell wrote a letter praising the efforts put forth by the members of the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee.
There is one thing that scares the living hell out of the Delaware Department of Education. Two words will make or break their education agendas for students of Delaware. Opt Out.
I’ve been going to the Facebook group “Solutions For Wilmington Schools” quite a bit lately and reading all the comments there is one thing nobody is talking about: how student achievement is measured. This is the flaw in education these days, and parents need to wise up to this fact. One test to measure all students, schools, and even communities the way things are going.
Nothing against the moderator of this group, but I am beginning to question the true motives of this group. When I see the title of a discussion post called “Pursuing a New Vision for Wilmington Charter Schools” I see Rodel written all over it. She’s a very nice person and I have met her before, but I have to remember she is also on the newly named “Schools That Lead” board, which was formerly called the Vision Network of Delaware. This organization lists Rodel CEO Paul Herdman as a founding member of Vision 2015. I posted the below information today in response to another individual’s question about the role of the Wilmington Education Committee. This committee is led by Tony Allen, who also sits on the board of Rodel.
When did the citizens of Delaware allow a non-profit company, that has its hands in so many corporate education reform organizations, to completely change the education of our children? We have all been fooled Delaware. We need to wake up, and to do this we need to be brave and decide our children’s education, not companies that seed and feed hedge fund managers and investors.
For the Delaware DOE, Rodel and Governor Markell, “strengthening education” means having students use “rigor” to perform well on a once a year assessment based on the Common Core curriculum. It is my opinion, and many others, this test is not designed to make students more proficient, but to make them less so. For years, the teachers unions have held back certain elements from privatizing education. With the standardized test scores, the Federal Government, through the US DOE and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, have allowed the State of Delaware to judge teachers and schools based on how students do on these tests. Thus we now have “priority” schools where the low-income, minority and special needs populations are among the most concentrated in the state. This situation is playing out across our country as “low-performing” schools are converted to charter schools. We have allowed this to happen by not speaking up.
It is far past time parents spoke up and demanded accountability from our state DOE and Governor Markell. They received $119 million from Race To The Top and entered into contract after contract with organizations designed to perpetuate this agenda. The entire DOE is filled with individuals that either a) adhere to Common Core or b) are former TFA associates or c) worked at other corporate education reform companies.
No discussion of TRUE education reform can occur in Wilmington or anywhere until the construct of the measurement for “strengthening education” is eliminated. This is why it is vital parents opt out now and stop the madness. The Delaware DOE is terrified of parent opt out. So much so that they crafted a letter for the districts to give to parents if they choose to opt their child out of standardized testing. It scared a lot of parents, but the letter states parents are breaking the law if they do this. This is a complete and utter lie fabricated by a very nervous DOE. Without the high-stakes test scores, they would be rendered powerless in Delaware and they know this. They fear a parent uprising against the Smarter Balanced Assessment. This test starts in 36 days. It’s time for parents to stop worrying about the next education reform and how to strengthen schools when this is taking place. ALL DELAWARE PARENTS, CHARTER, PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT, VOCATIONAL and MAGNET: OPT YOUR CHILD OUT OF THE SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENT.
Six shootings on the same block in Wilmington. What is up with this block? If the cops know it is so bad, why don’t they do something? I don’t get it. A teenager was killed Friday. A freshman at A.I. DuPont High School. What’s it going to take? How many more young lives have to be destroyed? Governor Markell, your legacy will be a horrible education system and a city that has no vision except for the fake one at that non-profit building on 100 W. 10th St. All under your watch.
Were these the dreams you had for Delaware? You just don’t get it. If you spent as much time on crime on Wilmington as you utilized the vast amount of resources for education, then I highly doubt you would see what we are all viewing in the news lately. You have the top job. It’s your job to oversee this state. And all I see are tears and anguish.
You have two years. Spend more time fixing this city than trying to fix the schools. Stop with your allegiance to Rodel and Arne Duncan and Bill Gates. Start fixing this city. It’s not about the corporations you see from 95. It’s about the people. They are not human capital, commodities that can be bought and sold. You are not going to be the next US Secretary of Education. That ship has sailed. I’ve heard where your next destination may be, and I’m okay with that. But you are here now, and you need to set up the future for Delaware, not yourself.
Ex Blogger Current Special Education and RCEA President Mike Matthews appeared on the WDEL Morning Show with Al Mascitti today to talk about the priority schools, the Delaware Department of Education, Race To The Top, and the 148th General Assembly. This is a must-hear podcast!
*Thanks to blogger extraordinaire Teachezwell for updating me on the link!
According to an article released within the past 15 minutes by Delaware News Journal, the City of Wilmington is suing the Delaware DOE over the closure of Moyer Charter School.
The announcement to close Moyer came at a special Delaware State Board of Education meeting on October 9th, when Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy told the board he recommended closing the school. At the end of this school year, Moyer will be no more.
Matthew Albright, the News Journal reporter, wrote “Department of Education officials would not comment because they had not been served the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon, spokeswoman Alison May said.”
This recommendation came over a month after the Priority Schools initiative was announced. Where is the City of Wilmington with that? They will sue to keep a charter school open that had over 60 incorrect Individualized Education Plans for students with disabilities and that had been out of compliance on several issues for many years, but they won’t sue the DOE over the priority schools and Gateway? Be consistent City Of Wilmington!
Other highlights from the article:
“Moyer had been out of compliance with its charter for more than a year before the state’s decision. Before that, a previous incarnation of the school was closed in 2010 for poor performance, but state and Wilmington officials backed the opening of a new school on the same site with a similar name.”