After years of controversy, Dr. Sam Paoli is out at Charter School of Wilmington. Effective June 30th this year, Dr. Paoli will no longer lead Delaware’s first charter school. In an email sent out from their board, parents were notified of the news.
Following several years of disenchantment from educators at CSW, the board finally decided enough is enough. Last year, CSW educators joined the Delaware State Education Association. Despite complaints to the board about him, Paoli was allowed to stay on. Finally some sanity from this board!
In the below letter sent to parents, it mentions nothing of a “resignation” or “retirement”. Just that he is gone the end of this year.
Who will take Paoli’s place? Will they search from within and have former Delaware Department of Education employee Angeline Rivello lead the school? Rivello is Paoli’s second-in-command at the school. Or will they take someone from the outside and find a way to bring CSW into the 21st Century (or make that the second half of the 20th) and increase their diversity?
Charter School of Wilmington is up for their charter school renewal with Red Clay Consolidated School District. The Red Clay board discussed this charter renewal with Dr. Sam Paoli, the President of CSW, at their meeting tonight. It came out that CSW is breaking state law in a very major way. Continue reading →
Last night, Charter School of Wilmington teachers made a huge vote. They became the only current charter school in Delaware to join the Delaware State Education Association. As such, they will be a part of the National Education Association as well. This opens the door for other charter schools to unionize in the future. Often, when one domino falls…
The vote was not won by an overwhelming majority but enough for it to pass. I’ve been hard on DSEA and NEA recently but that was because of very unique and limited circumstances. That was a case of bad apples in the bunch and perception. Even with that, I do support the unions and see them as a last defense against education reform that is bad for schools. This CSW vote changes the landscape in Delaware.
I’ve heard rumblings about severe dissatisfaction with CSW leader Sam Paoli for months now. Nobody wanted to go on the record though. A teacher was terminated in the Winter over a minor disagreement with Paoli. Many claim he rules the school with an iron fist and teachers, parents, and students are against this dictatorship. By unionizing, these teachers regain some sense of control over their job security. The CSW board is not elected so it allowed Paoli to run around unchecked.
There have been other charter schools in Delaware that have looked into unionizing but this is the first to actually do it. Last summer, teachers at Providence Creek Academy wanted to but you must have at least 50% of the vote in favor of it.
More information as it becomes available.
Updated, 10:50am: This is not the first time a Delaware charter school joined DSEA. Positive Outcomes did many years ago but it only lasted a year.
I did not forget charter schools in my mammoth Freedom of Information Act request! With the above charter schools, the amount of employees making over $100,000 varies, usually based on student count. Two of them have NO employees making over $100,000. For Charter School of Newcastle and East Side Charter School, they are grouped together because they fall under the umbrella called Vision Academies. For five of these charter schools, comparing their demographics to Charter School of Wilmington is crazy. It has never been a secret that I have extreme issues with CSW’s demographics. Two of these schools are in Dover, one is in New Castle, and the other three are in Wilmington. Continue reading →
Just announced by the individual running the Change.org petition: Dr. Thomas Fleetwood of the Charter School of Wilmington was given a new contract as of 1pm today. After allegations surfaced that school leader Sam Paoli would not renew Fleetwood’s contract because the teacher called Paoli out on his bullying and intimidation, it appears Paoli doesn’t have total control after all.
This has probably been a rough couple weeks for Paoli getting called out on all this stuff. But the results of this probably aren’t leaving the best impression with the Board of Directors. Will they make a change?
The ongoing story about Charter School of Wilmington’s leader, Dr. Sam Paoli, continues. Last week, stories emerged about the leader and his bullying and intimidation towards students. This caused a great deal of controversy. Now it is revealed his attitudes are not just isolated to students. A Change.org petition to renew a very beloved teacher’s contract is currently under way. Dr. Thomas Fleetwood has been at the school since the beginning, and students are extremely offended his contract was not renewed.
Some students feel Paoli did not renew his contract because Fleetwood challenged Paoli on the bullying and intimidation we are now learning is directed towards anyone who disagrees with him. I would have to ask this: why is Paoli the sole deciding factor on faculty? Wouldn’t this be a board decision? In most schools, it is the boards who make these types of decisions. A school leader can make a recommendation, but it should be the board. I don’t have an answer to this, and if anyone from the Charter School of Wilmington board wants to advise on this, please let me know.
In 2013, Dr. Fleetwood won an award from the Delaware Charter School Network called a “Dedication Award” for his achievements in teaching high school students. The article on this quoted a parent as saying “he sets a high bar for all of his students, and provides real-world experience that inspires his students to pursue careers in the medical profession.”
The convergence of student and faculty issues with Paoli is something the CSW board should take an immediate look at. Schools need leaders, not dictators. In the comments on my articles last week about a discipline incident, as well as other exchanges outside my blog, it was overwhelmingly clear there are major issues with Paoli as the leader of CSW. Most said he is not a fit leader and bullying and intimidation is common practice with him. All eyes are on the board at CSW to see what happens next.