The Wilmington Education Improvement Commission released their draft of the plan for redistricting students in the Wilmington portion of the Christina School District to the Red Clay Consolidated School District on 11/17. Today, the draft is updated with a lot of new information, including the actual resolution the State Board of Education will vote on at their January board meeting. The updated draft gives no indication of the authorship of that resolution. As well, there is a whole section regarding school choice and how many disadvantaged students are unable to fully utilize the choice process at certain charter schools and magnet schools. There are many funding recommendations that have been added as well. What is deceptive about this updated draft is the highlighting of new material added. Most folks will first look at the table of contents to determine any new changes. Certain sections have been added and are highlighted in yellow. What is bizarre is the existing chapters that have many new parts added into them are not highlighted in the table of contents, including the WEIC Resolution (which can be found on page 23 of the below Scribd document). I would think the Resolution would have been in the initial draft but it was not.
I applaud the section on school choice and barriers to at-risk students, but there is so much added to this draft that completely changed my perception of this initiative. I believe any public comment period should not have changes to a draft at all. Many people may think the 11/17 draft was the final one and may not be aware of the changes. This is a classic example of a lack of transparency on this plan which has been my concern all along. I strongly encourage anyone who has already read the draft to do so again. Yes, it is 191 pages, but there are many changes to this that folks need to be aware of. Especially since 3 out of the 5 public hearings have already happened!!!!