I am proud that my work in developing this system solicited the largest representative population of state stakeholders in the Department’s recent history, further providing for a product that held local ownership, recognizes and highlights the performance of each subgroup within the state from an absolute as well as growth mindset, and empowers parents and schools to best address each student’s needs.
In Florida, it is state law that anyone who applies for a Superintendent position gets to have their cover letter and resume posted publicly so everyone can see it. None other than Penny Schwinn, the recently departed DOE darling of accountability and assessment, applied for the Superintendent Position at Osceola County Public Schools. She actually applied for the job on September 22nd, so her departure was in the planning stages for some time. Let’s do the math: Schwinn applies in September, new Delaware Secretary of Education Godowsky comes aboard in October, word gets out about Schwinn’s departure in November, and she is gone from the DOE in early January. She only worked at the Delaware DOE for a year and a half folks!
The first time I saw her in action was at a State Board of Education meeting in August, 2014. When asked by an African-American State Board member about the impact of violence and local murders in the classroom, she responded by saying she didn’t think that was a hurdle to overcome. By the time Schwinn really got rolling, she became public enemy number one when she ran the “Priority Schools” initiative, a turnaround effort to force two school districts to kiss the DOE’s ass over six schools in downtown Wilmington, DE. Her communication style, when you really need information from her, is not one of her strong points.
Let’s not even get into her “largest representative population of state stakeholders in the Department’s recent history” victory lap. The highlight of that was her screwing over every single person on the Accountability Framework Working Group by convincing the Governor and Secretary Godowsky that harsh opt-out penalties should be used as a multiplier against a school’s proficiency ratings. She obviously knew this would cement her unpopularity in Delaware into iconic status, so she left Delaware after her hurricane of a year and a half. She was a wrecking ball, hired specifically to put things in place that made the Delaware DOE more nefarious than they already are.
Schwinn didn’t get the job, so Osceola County Public Schools can breathe a sigh of relief. But I have no idea who Deborah Pace is. From her experience, it looks she is homegrown but has a touch of education reform in her. In the meantime, please look at Schwinn’s cover letter, resume, and her responses to questions. Does this match with the Schwinn Delaware experienced for 18 months?