The Recipe Behind the “Pixie Dust” at Eastside Charter: Very High Attrition Rates, Part 1

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

Delaware House Education Committee: Wilmington Education Advisory Committee Presentation, Read Before You Go To Imagine Delaware

From the 1/28/15 House Education Committee meeting.  Tony Allen, the chair of the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee, gave a presentation to the Senate and the House on the recommendations from WEAC.  This has some really good information, and consider it a primer before the big event tomorrow night at the Chase Waterfront Center.  That’s right, tomorrow is the huge Imagine Delaware forum.  You should really go, it will affect education in all of Delaware!

Are You Going To The Imagine Delaware Education Forum?

The News Journal is sponsoring an education forum at the Chase Center on the Waterfront in Wilmington on March 9th.  Led by David Ledford, the Executive Editor of The News Journal, the purpose of the forum is to engage in an open discussion about how best to serve Wilmington schools.  Originally the date was on February 24th which drew controversy since that was the date for the referendum on the Christina and Red Clay Consolidated School Districts.

Panelists include the following:

Mike Matthews: Warner Elementary School Teacher and President of the Red Clay Educators Association

Tony Allen: Chair of the Wilmington Education Committee and a Bank of America executive

Mark Holodick: Superintendent of the Brandywine School District

Senator David Sokola: Chair of the Delaware Senate Education Committee

Lamont Browne: Head of School for East Side Charter and Family Foundations Academy

Tizzy Lockman: University of Delaware Public Policy Graduate Student and Mother

The forum kicks off at 6:30pm, but there will be an Education Expo at the location from 4:00-6:00pm where district and charter representatives will be on hand to talk to citizens about their schools.

Governor Jack Markell will give opening remarks at the Education Forum.

If you plan on going, it is free, but you would need to register here: http://newsjournal.upickem.net/engine/YourSubmission.aspx?contestid=164189