The Delaware Department of Education, in an email dated 11/13/14, assured the Red Clay Consolidated School District of a certain amount allocated for each of the three priority schools in their district. As well, they placed more demands regarding the school leaders. Nowhere in this document does it state anything about Title I funding as addressed in the documents I posted yesterday between the DOE and Red Clay from May of this year.
What the Delaware DOE did by not informing the Red Clay Consolidated School District that 10% of Title I funding had to be divvied up between the three priority schools and taken out of other schools in the district is an absolutely disgusting and reprehensible new low.
There is also more “direction” placed on Red Clay in regards to the University of Virginia in this email…
We have reached the end of the Delaware Priority Schools FOIA Saga. This picture actually harkens back to the bygone days of the Summer of 2014, but it was always my intention to save this one for last.
At this point in time you are probably thinking “Uh, okay, what’s the big deal about this? Just another education reform Turnaround School document. I’m sure these are a dime a dozen around the DOE offices.” You are right. But if you look at the bottom right corner, there is an emblem for the University of Virginia. The very same university that Red Clay put in their priority schools plan to use as a vendor to help out with their priority schools. But if the DOE used WestEd earlier in the summer to get help with the Memorandum of Understanding and the methodology for the calculation of the priority schools, and Red Clay used University of Virginia, doesn’t that mean… Yes, there was some collusion somewhere along the way between the summer and when Red Clay officially signed on in December 2014…
We know Penny Schwinn used WestEd as a consultant in the summer, and she asked them for a turnaround plan to work on the Delaware priority schools initiative. Did she work with someone at Red Clay in advance to get the University of Virginia thing going? Who? Hugh Broomall? He is mentioned in a couple emails in this FOIA party. This Transparent Christina link may shed some light on what was going on at Red Clay when they announced this:
There will be one more part after this, maybe two. I want to put all this together along with some other sources and put a working theory together on what the DOE was up to with the whole priority schools deal.
The Priority Schools Task Force had a meeting today. One would think it would be at one of the priority schools, but no, to rub salt in the festering wound, it was held at the Community Education Building in Wilmington. This is the building that is in a one-mile radius of the six priority schools. The building that has lots of room for charter schools. The only six priority schools in the state. Coincidence? Hardly. But I’m not going to discuss that today. My views on this are well known. No, I am going to talk about the Secretary of Education for Delaware, Mark Murphy. It’s a wonder anyone could fit in the room for the meeting with his big ego swallowing everything up.
According to Mike Matthews, who attended the meeting, the following exchange occurred between Murphy and Matthews:
At the meeting today I asked Sec. Murphy what specifically was wrong with the priority schools considering the evaluation done by his department, the University of Delaware, and the Delaware Association of School Leadership revealed that Stubbs and Bancroft are doing great things. The secretary could not answer my question, instead accusing me of engaging in a “tit-for-tat” by asking such a question. Sec. Murphy did reveal that his office is refusing to sign off on those reports. And then I blurted out “Yeah because you don’t like what those reports revealed!” He was not pleased.
What a jerk! I always knew Murphy was an oddball, but this is pure arrogance on his part. To have a review done of some of these schools, and have them come back with really great things, only to dismiss it like a Massett would dismiss an ACLU complaint, is the very definition of ________ (pick your own word, many have come to my mind since I read this). For those who had any doubt prior to this, the DOE, Murphy, and Markell have made up their mind. They made it up before September 4th. These schools will be charter schools in the very building where the task force meeting was. And Gateway has already been decided on as well. This is my theory of course, not based on actual fact, but a preponderance of evidence and actions.
In other odd news from the meeting, apparently Red Clay’s proposal to the Delaware DOE for the three priority schools in their district would have assistance from the University of Virginia for leadership assistance. No mention was made if there is any cost involved for this endeavor. Some feel this is exactly what these schools do not need, more outside consultants.