Delaware Met Head Of School Quits

After last week’s recommendation by the Delaware Charter School Accountability Committee to revoke the Delaware Met’s charter effective January 22nd, 2016, the school’s leader has decided to resign.  Tricia Hunter Crafton submitted her resignation on December 3rd.  As well, the board appears to be in turmoil and an emergency board meeting was scheduled for 12/4/15.  Good luck finding this on their website though.  It doesn’t look like they have been doing much on there at all.  In fact, they didn’t even have a board meeting in November!  One of the board members reached out to me anonymously and explained how frustrated they are with everything going on.

This train is in motion, and barring a miracle, I don’t think anything will stop this school from closing down.  The decision will be made by the Delaware State Board of Education on December 17th.  Meanwhile, surrounding districts and charters are planning for an influx of new students.  Some schools are already balking at taking these  students, even though it is in the students’ local feeder pattern.  These students need to find a school fast, and any district or charter that receives them needs to do so with welcome arms and be very proactive in making sure these students needs are met.  For the special education students, these schools need to be on top of this.  These students have already missed a lot of time, and they need help.

As well, I am very curious what happens with the building.  Delaware Met sub-leases the school from Innovative School Development Corporation who leases it from a company called Charter School Development Corporation.  That company bought the building from the State of Delaware who had bought the building from Bank of America who acquired the building in the MBNA merger back in 2006.  This is prime real estate.  First State Montessori Academy is right next to it, and down the street is the Community Education Building, which currently houses three charter schools.  This is all in downtown Wilmington.  In fact, the building is right next door to Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn’s office!  The bizarre part with this whole funky real estate deal was that Innovate Schools donated $1 million dollars to the Charter School Development Corporation prior to leasing the 920 N. French St. location from them for Delaware Met.

Hunter Crafton joined the Delaware Met last Spring.  In the third week of September, she went out on maternity leave and returned in mid-November.  She was only back at the school for a few weeks before quitting.  While she is leaving, I am hearing some of the board members are gearing for a fight of some sort.  I don’t think this is going to be as easy as the Delaware DOE seems to think.

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Rumors Abound About Mark Murphy’s Resignation & Governor Markell’s Response

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A couple months ago, the Delaware blogosphere lit up one Friday afternoon regarding a rumor that Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy was either going to resign or be terminated.  One blogger heard what they felt was a solid rumor that Murphy and Associate Secretary of Education David Blowman were terminated.  This rumor, squashed by Executive Director of the State Board of Education Donna Johnson, was put to rest.  However, many things have happened since then.

The Christina, Red Clay and Delaware State Educator Associations have all issued a no confidence press release regarding Mark Murphy.  I even denounced him at the Parent Press Conference last week (not that my voice carries that much clout in the First State).  Murphy appeared on The Delaware Way and said parents aren’t allowed to opt out.  Many seem shocked Governor Markell would continue to let Mark Murphy be the leader of education in Delaware.  But he is still here.

The latest rumor, which I’m hearing from a few sources, all unconnected, is that Murphy already gave Governor Markell his letter of resignation, but Markell won’t accept it.  While everyone is begging for the Secretary to be replaced, the Governor is holding onto him as if he is the lifeline of education in Delaware.  Others seem to be hearing about a July 1st resignation date, which would make more sense given the start of a new fiscal year, but we have all heard these rumors before.  As always with Delaware education, we shall see…