Sussex Montessori School Approved To Open In 2019

The Delaware State Board of Education unanimously approved the charter school application for the Sussex Montessori School this evening with a 6-0 vote.  The second charter school in Sussex County will open at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.  However, there were some conditions for the approval and should the charter school not meet those conditions, their charter would be revoked.

The two big conditions dealt with student enrollment and an actual facility.  Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting said the charter school must have 80% of their enrollment by May 1st, 2019.  As well, they must have an actual facility in place.  Currently, the school has not made a firm decision on a building or even an actual location in Sussex County.

The enrollment decision could be tricky.  In the past, as was seen in the case of Delaware Design-Lab High School and Freire Charter School in 2015, they were not at their 80% enrollment numbers by May 1st of 2015, a mere four months before they opened.  This caused both to go under formal review.  While they met those numbers and escaped charter revocation, they did go through the formal review process first.  Bunting’s decision to revoke the charter if that 80% is not met caused Delaware Charter School Network Executive Director Kendall Massett to immediately question the decision.  I will have to check Delaware state code on this one!

This will be the second Montessori charter school in Delaware.  First State Montessori Academy, located in downtown Wilmington, opened in 2014.

Mark Murphy Tries To Come Off Like Markell, But Sounds More Like Little Bo Peep

In the Dover Post today, four people gave their opinion on opt-out.  Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and Alissa Schubert, a parent and Media Relations for the Delaware Charter School Network were the anti-opt-out folks, while Delaware Senator Dave Lawson and Vice-President for Advocacy for the Delaware PTA, Yvonne Johnson were on the pro-side.

Murphy shied away from saying “Parents aren’t allowed to opt-out, but he did have some of his usual Murphyisms.

“Measuring the progress our children make in school is essential for providing teachers, parents, taxpayers, and leaders throughout the state with honest, objective information about whether they are learning the skills and gaining the knowledge they need to be successful now and in the future…”

“The “smarter” assessments have been designed, tested, and validated according to the highest standards…”

Nice try Mark.  We’ve heard it all before.  And once again, don’t try telling this parent what is best for my special needs son.  That’s my job, not yours!

And how about this…the reporter, David Paulk, contacted me over a week ago.  He wanted to know if I knew any parents who were opposed to opt-out.  I told him about some educators who spoke at the House Education Committee meeting on House Bill 50, but I really couldn’t think of any normal parents.  So he found someone from the Delaware Charter School Network.  Of course they are opposed to it!

But the best line in the whole story is from Lawson:

“Smarter Balance is a test created by a for-profit company that makes money every test that is given.”

Lawson hit the nail right on the head.  Yvonne Johnson rocked it as well, with her never-ending support for House Bill 50.  Schubert just came off sounding like all the education reform folks who are opposed to HB50…. I’m getting bored with that.

The full link can be read here: http://www.doverpost.com/article/20150524/NEWS/305249990#305249990/?Start=4&_suid=143248401592807283983035871071