The Wolf of Delaware Part 1: From Newark to the Windy City to the Money

Governor Markell


The Wolf of Delaware comes across as a sheep to his most loyal followers.  They believe he is always right and they will do anything he wants.  Some of these followers can be found in the highest positions at Legislative Hall in Dover.  Many of them can be found at the Townshend Building, home to the Delaware Department of Education.  His people have been placed in important positions all over the state.

To understand the Wolf, you have to read the below document.  While reading it, keep in mind everything that has happened in Delaware education over the past ten years.  Please keep the Wolf in the forefront of your brain while reading and you can almost picture him reading it to you as so many of his speeches and actions have stemmed from this one body of work.

The Wolf of Delaware was born in the First State in 1960 as the son of William and Elaine Markell.  Jack spent his formative years growing up in Newark, Delaware.  As early as Kindergarten, young Jack met a girl who would have a profound effect on his life and would eventually become Delaware First Lady Carla  Markell.  During his youth, Jack Markell attended a summer camp called Camp Galil.

Graduating from Newark High School in the Class of ’78, he next week to college at Brown University in Rhode Island with degrees in economics and development studies.  But it was his time in Chicago that shaped Jack Markell into the man he is today.  The Wolf got his M.B.A. at University of Chicago, and he started working in 1982 at First Chicago Corporation as a banker.  It was his time as a consultant at McKinsey and Associates from 1986 to 1989 that most Delawareans know about during his stint in Chicago.  To this day, Markell brings McKinsey in as a consultant on a variety of Delaware issues and initiatives.

His biggest corporate position was from 1989 to 1995 at a company originally called Fleet Call.  As a Senior Vice-President at Nextel, Markell actually came up with the company name, Nextel.  Markell was in on the ground floor as wireless technology exploded across America in the early 1990s.  Markell left Nextel to become a senior manager at Comcast, but he had his eye on politics, and he ran for Delaware State Treasurer in 1998 and won on the Democrat ticket.

The Wolf’s story will continue as his election results in 1998 set up his future in Delaware all the way to the present.  Unfortunately, it set up our future, and more importantly, our children’s future…

*The above document was written by Marc Tucker with NCEE

**The above graphic was originally on

Delaware Design-Lab High School Moving Out of Wilmington. Will They Make Their 80% Enrollment?

DE Design-Lab High School

Another Delaware charter school scheduled to open in August 2015 could be in danger before they even open.  Delaware Design-Lab High School applied for a major modification request to change it’s location from the City of Wilmington to Newark, DE.  Housed in the same area as Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security, the charter school is struggling to reach it’s enrollment requirement.

As of April 2nd, the school has 119 students enrolled.  It’s charter requires 240 students, and the school had to meet that figure by April 1st.  Based on the above figures, the school is short 73 students.

Apparently, many of the prospective students come from the Bear-Newark area and parents were concerned about a city location.  From the major modification request submitted to the Delaware DOE Charter School Office:

Now since the request was only for a change in location, the request was approved by the Charter School Accountability Committee, as you can see here:

But the major problem appears to be the required enrollment which they did not make by April 1st.  Based on the report, it looks like the Charter School Accountability Committee was okay with the school getting a month extension until May 1st to “recruit another 75-100 students”.

At the State Board of Education meeting on April 16th, Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and the State Board will reach a decision on Design-Lab High School’s major modification request.  With that being said, I would also expect them to hold the school accountable for its enrollment as of that date.

I did have the pleasure of meeting the Chief Executive Officer of the school, Cristina Alvarez, at the Imagine Delaware forum at the beginning of last month, and I think this school has some great concepts, but I worry about the academic challenges and potential specific interest conflicts.

First Annual Tourette Syndrome Awareness Walk of Delaware

Tourette Syndrome

On Saturday May 16th, the Tourette Syndrome Association will be holding it’s first Tourette Syndrome Awareness Walk of Delaware.  The location is Glasgow Regional Park in Newark, Delaware.  You can either participate as an individual, join a team, or create a team.

Sponsored by the Tourette Syndrome Association, this walk will help spread awareness and understanding of the disability that is widely considered to be one of the most often misunderstood disabilities in the world.  Please come out and help spread awareness!  To register, please go to the following website:

As a father of a son with Tourette Syndrome, I can say this disability is extremely challenging at times.  It can manifest itself in many different ways, and is usually accompanied by several co-morbidities which can include ADHD, OCD, ODD, anxiety, depression and others.  While nobody knows the exact cause of Tourette’s, whether it is genetic or environmental, those involved know there needs to be more public awareness and tolerance of this disability.

Senator Townsend Deserves Another Term! Do The Right Thing Voters of the 11th! #netde #eduDE @delawareonline

Delaware Election 2014


Senator Bryan Townsend is running again for Senator of the 11th District in Delaware.  Primary day is tomorrow, and Senator Townsend deserves your vote.  What I am most impressed about him is that he took the Smarter Balanced Assessment and hated it!  As well, he voted no twice on House Bill 334, which was voted down, and then voted on again when Jack sent the team in to say too bad, so sad, it’s gonna happen anyways.  Townsend stuck to his guns, and voted no again!

When chartermania occurred in Delaware last April, Townsend, along with Kim Williams and others, stood up for public schools and wrote the DOE about what kind of impact this could have on public school districts.  Not that the DOE cared, but we need more Townsend’s willing to challenge the DOE and their love affair with all things charter and testing.  Townsend cares about students, and is willing to fight for what he believes in.  Because of redistricting, Townsend has to run again for his Senate seat, after only two years in office.  Give Senator Townsend four more years District 11!

Being a citizen of Dover, why should I care what goes on in the 11th District?  Because every vote in Legislative Hall counts, and I will support anyone who wants to be the voice of reason in an administration that is turning education into the laughing stock of the world.

From Kavips: Bryan Townsend is Delaware parent’s best defender in the Senate. He is the only Senator to have enough concern over this test to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment, was appalled (as were we). and who became one of only two Democrats to go against the threats of their Governor and his whips in the Senate and vote no on HB 334, both times…..  Against this giant, Dave Tackett is just another politician.  Bryan is the centerpiece of reason in Delaware right now.

From Alan Fox on I am writing to express my enthusiastic support for Bryan Townsend, a former student of mine at the University of Delaware, and a terrific young man who is seeking re-election to the 11th District State Senate seat. Though he has been an incredibly effec­tive and active legislator, who has quickly earned the respect and credibility of his peers, he faces a chal­lenger in the upcoming Democratic primary, and I urge all eligible voters to support this conscientious and hard-working senator at the polls in September.