Caesar Rodney’s Christine Alois Is The New Deputy Secretary Of Education In Delaware

The Deputy Secretary of Education job posting was up for a long time, going back to last Winter.  After a long search, the Delaware Department of Education announced Dr. Christine Alois, the Director of Instruction for the Caesar Rodney School District, will be the new Deputy Secretary of Education.  Caesar Rodney put the following on their district Facebook page today:

DR. CHRISTINE ALOIS NAMED DELAWARE DEPUTY SECRETARY OF EDUCATION

Caesar Rodney School District Director of Instruction Dr. Christine Alois has been named Delaware Deputy Secretary of Education by Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting.

Dr. Alois has worn many hats in her 24 years in the Caesar Rodney School District. Starting in 1994 as the district’s first latch key teacher, she quickly rose up the ranks becoming a 5th grade teacher, a 7th grade teacher, a district resource teacher, an assistant principal, principal, supervisor and ultimately a director.

Dr. Alois has been nothing but an asset to the district championing and spearheading key CR initiatives such as language immersion, instructional technology and environmental education.

Karen Field-Rogers was the former Deputy Secretary of Education and has been filling double duties down at the Townsend Building in Dover so this hiring will be welcome news for her!

Letter From Newark Charter School Board Chairman May Turn District/Charter/Delaware DOE Funding War On Its Ear

No sooner do I receive the official word that no changes to the local cost per pupil formula will be changed than I get multiple emails with a letter from Newark Charter School Board Chairman Stephen Dressel sent to Newark Charter School parents.  This letter shows a very different take on the whole issue and alleges that Christina has been hiding funds in a certain bucket in their local funding.  The letter further states that the Delaware Department of Education approved this every single year.  That it wasn’t until this year that this funding bucket was found and corrected.  At this point in time, I truly don’t know what to believe.  While I have serious concerns with Newark Charter School’s enrollment practices and other financial issues at the school, if (and this is a very large if) what they are saying is true, I have serious questions about that as well.

I will be very clear with a few things before you read this letter.  The information presented to me from sources last week was a change in this formula, not a correction.  At no point in time until now did anyone from Newark Charter School or anyone from the charter school community present this information to me.  This is crispy fresh information that I just received.

So if there is no change, as the letter alleges, does that mean Christina will still have to pay these funds?  And who are the other districts alluded to in the letter?  Who was responsible for signing off on this at the Delaware DOE?  How does the Office of Management and Budget fit in with this?  Why did the local cost per pupil go up three times the original amount from 2013-2016 when the amount of students Christina sent to Newark Charter School only went from 1,200 to 2,000?  Those are still big mysteries in my book.  So while NCS may claim they are owed these funds, the fact remains the DOE put their stamp on it every year.  Were there earlier funding inequities going on with this formula which accounts for the huge change in funding between 2013-2016?  If this “hidden” budget was so hidden, how did Newark Charter School come to find out about this if the DOE was oblivious to what was going on as the letter alleges?  How much did Governor Markell or Ann Visalli, the former chief of the Office of Management and Budget know about what was going on with this if OMB were the ones determining the actual formula?  And is there any connection whatsoever to Kathleen Davies at the State Auditor’s Office being put on leave in May?  I do not have these answers, but my door is open for anyone to contact me on these questions.

In terms of this letter, it is written by a sole member of the Board of Directors of Newark Charter School and signed by one individual.  This letter is not from the entire board, or even on behalf of the board.

I have no doubt the NCS supporters will see this as justification for the actions Greg Meece, Joanne Schlossberg, and Dressel took last Spring.  The Deputy Secretary of Education, who the Associate Deputy Secretary of Education answers to, would be responsible for financial oversight of the Delaware DOE.  They did not meet with the Deputy Secretary of Education in the Spring.  They met with the former Deputy Secretary of Education, David Blowman, who now serves as the Associate Secretary of Education.  Blowman would have been the head finance guy at the Delaware DOE for the past few years when anyone would have signed off on what Dressel alleges to in this letter.  This is going to blow up this entire conversation all over again.  If what NCS is saying is true, then I would owe them an apology for allegations surrounding this particular issue.  I went based on information presented to me and I publicly wrote about this.  NCS or the charter school supporters could have responded in an official capacity at any time but chose not to.  But this is one letter written from one board member of the NCS board without full board approval. This letter was sent to the parents of a local education agency as defined by federal law so this document is in the public domain.

Oh, and just one more little itty bitty thing.  The creator of the PDF file was not Stephen Dressel.

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Chris Ruszkwoski Is The New Deputy Secretary of Education For New Mexico

Today is Delaware DOE Chief of the Teacher/Leader Effectiveness Unit Chris Ruszkwoski’s last day.  It was just announced at the State Board of Education he will be the new Deputy Secretary of Education for New Mexico.  That’s all…

16 To Watch In 2016: Karen Field Rogers

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After last week’s stunning news about Deputy Secretary of Education David Blowman moving out of his position, I’m sure many of you are wondering who will take his place.  Look no further than the name in the title.  A long-time stalwart of the Delaware Department of Education, Field-Rogers served under Blowman as his Associate Secretary of Educational Supports and Innovative Practices.  From her bio on the DOE website:

Karen Field Rogers is the Delaware Department of Education’s Associate Secretary of Adult Education & School Supports. Ms. Rogers received her Master of Business Administration from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Delaware.  Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Rogers has nearly 22 years of state service working for the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Finance. Additionally, Karen worked for Perdue Farms, Inc. Salisbury, Maryland, and Arthur Young & Company, Washington, D.C.

The only times I’ve really seen Field Rogers has been at Charter School Accountability Committee meetings (as she is a member) and State Board of Education meetings.  In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever actually talked to her.  Maybe a hello here and there.  She has always struck me as a “take no prisoners type” of personality.  For someone to work for the State of Delaware in the positions she has been in, I guess you would have to be!

In terms of Blowman, he has not been fired from the DOE!  He is taking on a different position, but that has not been named as of yet.  I know some folks have strong opinions of David Blowman, but I always thought he was a nice guy.  From the times I saw him in action, mostly surrounding charter school formal reviews and renewals, he asked a lot of the right questions to different schools.  He has always been very pleasant to me.  I wish him luck in his new position, as well as Field Rogers.  I’m sure both of them will be seeing me around.  I wonder what other changes Delaware Secretary of Education will make to Jack Markell’s his house…

Another Ouster At Delaware DOE Leaves Godowsky Without Deputy Dave!

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The Delaware Deputy Secretary of Education is out!  Some very strong rumors coming my way surrounding David Blowman are all navigating towards the same place: He is no longer the Deputy Secretary of Education.  Nothing is official yet, but look for news surrounding this very soon.

While the Deputy Secretary really doesn’t get mentioned a lot, the position oversees many offices at the Delaware DOE: Adult Education & School Supports, Adult & Prison Education, Finance, Human Resources, and the Charter School Office.  With issues surrounding Delaware charters the past couple years, as well as the very controversial Race To The Top positions that were supposed to be eliminated after the federal program ended, is this what resulted in this change?

It is not known if there will be a new Deputy Secretary named or if the position will be eliminated altogether.  Prior to his Deputy position, Blowman was the Chief Financial Officer for the Brandywine School District for ten years.  Will there be more changes at the Delaware DOE?  In the past month, we have seen big resignations in the form of Penny Schwinn, Ryan Reyna and Shana Young.  I know many Delaware teachers are praying for one particular change…