No Charter Renewal For Delaware College Prep

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Last night, the Red Clay Consolidated Board of Education voted unanimously not to renew the charter for Delaware College Preparatory Academy.  The Delaware charter school serves students from Kindergarten through 5th grade.  But they will be closing at the end of the year.  Will they go quietly into the night?  Or should we expect some pushback like Moyer and Reach attempted to do last year?  My guess is on the latter.  At the meeting, Delaware College Prep Head of School Angela Dennis gave public comment asking the board to keep the school open.  Another teacher gave a public comment as well.  The Board had no discussion before the vote.  Many folks in the audience came just for the Delaware College Prep decision, and they were not happy about the decision.

Rumors had been swirling over on Kilroy’s about this type of action as far back as last March.  I wrote about the Red Clay charter committee’s recommendation for non-renewal last month.  In October, the Delaware Auditor of Accounts found Delaware College Prep had some suspicious financial abuses regarding Board President Yardise Jones but nowhere near the level of abuse at Family Foundations Academy and Academy of Dover.

It looks like another Delaware charter is one for the books.  Tomorrow, we find out about Delaware Met.  Will any other charters get yanked this year?  With the Smarter Balanced Assessment scores not counting for last year, I would tend to doubt it unless something goes terribly awry at one of them in the next six months.

Red Clay’s board did renew the charter for Delaware Military Academy as well as approving their modification request to increase their enrollment.  But only after they made the head of school promise that this was contingent on funding to build additions to the school.  Commandant Anthony Pullella said yes.

Governor Markell To Attend Freire’s Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Later Today

At 5pm, Delaware Governor Jack Markell will give the opening remarks at Freire Charter School of Wilmington’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.  Freire, who last year submitted a modification request to take away their specific interest clause in their enrollment preferences, was known for their “zero tolerance” policy.  Of course, zero tolerance didn’t seem to matter to the former Head of School named Bill Porter who was arrested after assaulting a female protester last March.  Members of the Midtown Brandywine Neighborhoods Association protested the school moving in the middle of their neighborhood due to changes in traffic patterns.

It is widely rumored that Markell was instrumental in bringing Freire to town.  Freire has a few charter schools in Philadelphia, but they are known for counseling out students.  At Freire’s formal review last Spring, due to low enrollment, special education was a main concern of the Delaware Department of Education.  Freire had a plan for getting out of state services for its students with disabilities.  The DOE said nope.  As well, Freire never hired a new head of school.  Instead the school is run by their academic heads, Paul Ramirez and Felecia Wennell.

Out of all the education events going on this week, Markell picks a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a charter school.  Lame-duck indeed…