The magic of East Side Charter School is not magic, but merely a carefully crafted bit of smoke and mirrors. It’s an illusion, not what the citizens of Delaware think it is, but the oldest trick in the book.
Last night at the Imagination Delaware forum, held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware, a crowd of over 700 people listened to a panel on not only Wilmington’s education, but all of Delaware. The forum turned into a debate about charter and traditional schools in the state with the two main members of the panel. Mike Matthews, the President of the Red Clay Educators Association and a special education teacher at Warner Elementary School on the side of the traditional schools and Dr. Lamont Browne, the head of school of both Eastside Charter School and Family Foundations Academy.
Governor Jack Markell gave the keynote speech, and left immediately afterwards for another engagement. He spoke about Eastside Charter School’s great job with closing proficiency gaps, and stated “they have gone from only having 15% of their 5th graders scoring proficient in reading to 66% in just three years.” If only this were true…
I will definitely say Eastside Charter does not perform in “cherry-picking” their students. They seem to enroll anyone who applies. I have never heard of a lottery for this school. They have a very high population of minorities and their special education populations are in line with the traditional school districts around them. So what is the issue? Continue reading The Recipe Behind the “Pixie Dust” at Eastside Charter: Very High Attrition Rates, Part 1