Charter School Salaries Over $100,000: DAPSS, DE Military Academy, Early College High, First State Military, & First State Montessori

In the next round of Delaware charter schools that have salaries over $100,000, we have an eclectic mix that include two Kent County schools and three New Castle county.  Two are military schools, one has a pseudo-religious theme, one is a first responder school, and the other has a unique partnership with Delaware State University.  In my eyes, if you are going to have a charter school, make it different from the schools around you.  And these charters certainly fit the bill!  Two of them, as you can see by their demographics, are on my radar of what I view as skewed special populations in some areas.  One of them, however, could disappear by the end of June if they don’t get their student enrollment up very soon!  Delaware Military Academy is authorized by Red Clay Consolidated School District.  ECHS and the two FSMAs opened up after the News Journal came out with their salary article in 2014. Continue reading

State Board of Education ESSA Meeting: 60 Pictures & Flipping The Narrative

At Grotto’s Pizza in Dover, DE, the State Board of Education held a workshop on the Every Student Succeeds Act.  The Capitol Room at Grotto’s was jam-packed with administrators, teachers, advocates, Delaware DOE employees, State Board members, a Congressman, education company employees, and even a blogger or two.  Sadly, there were not that many parents there.  Yes, many of these people play that role as well as their other jobs, but for a meeting the Delaware DOE will say is a true “stakeholder” meeting, this key group was missing.  I recognized a lot of the faces, but there were some I didn’t.  Some I was able to put together based on conversations I overheard.  This was the State Board of Education Workshop on ESSA.  Notice some of the tables where certain people are sitting together.  Especially the one Secretary Godowsky was sitting at…

I did not take these 60 pictures.  They were taken by an employee of Secretary of Education Dr. Godowsky’s office and put on the Delaware DOE Facebook page this morning.  Which means they are part of a state agency which puts them in the public domain!  Thank you DOE Photographer!

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State Board of Education Executive Director Donna Johnson at the microphone, Deputy Secretary of Education Karen Field-Rogers in the pink jacket with striped shirt in the back, Susan Haberstroh with the DOE with the mid-length brown hair and glasses, Governor Markell’s Education Policy Advisor Meghan Wallace with the ponytail and glasses, Secretary of Education Dr. Steven Godowsky to the right near the screen. Continue reading

Former Dover High School Principal Dr. Edney Moving To Early College High School at DSU

Dr. Evelyn Edney, the Dover High School principal, is finishing up her last days at Dover High School and has taken on the position of Principal at Early College High School at Delaware State University.  Last winter, supporters of Edney were very upset her contract wasn’t renewed with the Capital School District.  They came to board meetings demanding transparency on the issue.

It sounds like Edney has secured a new position, albeit in a much smaller charter school.  Please read the press release from Early College High School on Edney’s new role:

Capital Board of Education Meeting Tonight Draws A Huge Crowd To Support High School Principal

The Capital School District Board of Education meeting tonight was a packed house, in spite of very icy roads in Dover, DE.  Most of the crowd was there to support the Dover High School Principal, Dr. Evelyn Edney.  Edney’s contract was not renewed by the board in the November executive session of their board meeting, despite a recommendation to renew by Capital Superintendent Dr. Michael Thomas.

There were about fifty public comments submitted, but Board President Kay Dietz-Sass limited the comments to a maximum of three minutes each for two blocks of fifteen minutes each.  Edney’s supporters claimed her non-renewal would set back race relations 50 years in the capital of Delaware.  Some gave exact details of how much a potential lawsuit would cost the district.  Edney, an African-American, was supported by several members of the Dover community.  The board did add another fifteen minutes at the end of the evening, allowing an additional half hour of public comment.

In an article in the Dover Post from December 17th, 2014, a teacher at the high school said in the 12/10 Capital Board meeting “Under her leadership, she has gotten Dover High School out of the state’s partnership zone program, met average yearly progress (AYP) goals and increased graduation and attendance rates,” he told the board. “She is a leader that puts the students first and I am asking that the DHS contract be put back on the agenda for February 2015 and revisit the decision, giving more time for community input.”

Many of the commenters at tonight’s board meeting demanded to know why Edney’s contract was not being renewed.  Dietz-Sass told the commenters they could not discuss personnel issues based on laws protecting employees.  One commenter asked which law this was, to which Dr. Thomas told the commenter he would check with the Board attorney and would get back in touch with him.  Another commenter actually said he was going to start a petition to disband the school board and would give it to Governor Markell.  I don’t think the Governor has that kind of power over a local education agency school board, but they are welcome to try.

In terms of allegations of Edney’s race playing a factor into the decision, that would be tough to prove given that Capital has many African-American principals.  I do think the board should give a valid reason to Edney why her contract wasn’t renewed, but I don’t think members of the community should make it into a bigger issue.  There could be a multitude of issues beyond a track record of improvements for the high school.  That should be between Edney and the Board.  Just my two cents…

For more information on the Dover Post article from 12/17/14, please go here: http://www.doverpost.com/article/20141217/NEWS/141219820?template=printart