New Castle County Vo-Tech School District has a lot of very high-priced administrators in their district. Their leader, Dr. Victoria Gehrt, is the second highest paid Superintendent in the state. Their enrollment has gone up in the past four years by over 168 students but they have eight less administrators making over $100,000. What is very interesting with them is their Assistant Principals seem to begin in the $120,000 range, which is significantly higher than the rest of the state. All of their Principals are in the $140,000 range. This is what happens when the General Assembly approves a line-by-line budget as they do with all the vocational districts in Delaware. I do get that all of their schools are high schools and those usually require Assistant Principals. It just seems way out of proportion when compared to other districts. Of note is the fact they do not appear to have an Assistant Superintendent so perhaps that is a wash.
Who Is On The Assessment Inventory Committee?Senate Joint Resolution #2 Committee
I reached out to Delaware State Rep. Earl Jaques to see who is on the Senate Joint Resolution #2 Assessment Inventory Committee. I received his response yesterday. This is a very interesting list with a name I never saw before, but I was very familiar with the last name. We shall see what comes out of this committee. My guess: a massive reduction in district assessments which will lead to more Smarter Balanced interim assessments. As well, official legislation getting rid of the Smarter Balanced for high school juniors since the SAT is going to become SBAC Jr. (my nickname for it).
Here are the members of the SJR #2 Assessment Inventory Committee:
Delaware Senator David Sokola
Delaware Senator Nicole Poore
Delaware Senator Ernie Lopez
Delaware State Rep. Sean Matthews
Delaware State Rep. Timothy Dukes
Delaware State Rep. Earl Jaques
Delaware State Education Association President Frederika Jenner
New Castle County Vo-Tech Superintendent Dr. Vicki Gehrt (filling the role of President of Chief School Officer’s Association)
Raina Allen (filling the role of “A representative of the civil rights’ community picked by the Governor”)
Equetta Jones (filling the role of “Parent picked by the Governor”, also a teacher in Red Clay Consolidated School District)
This is an interesting group. With the legislators, it is right down the middle with who voted yes on the opt-out bill, House Bill 50, and who voted no. The “yeas” were Senators Poore and Lopez and State Rep. Matthews. The “nays” were Senator Sokola and State Reps Jaques and Dukes. Both Sokola and Jaques are the head of their prospective education committees in the Senate and House. Jenner is obviously represent the entire DSEA membership. Gehrt, who also hails from the same district as our current Secretary Godowsky. I have never personally met Equetta Jones, but I did see her speak at a Red Clay school board meeting last spring and she is very passionate. The only person I wasn’t familiar with was Raina Allen, but a quick Google search let me know exactly who she was.
Filling roles from the Department of Education are: Secretary of Education Dr. Steven Godowsky, Chief of Staff Shana Young (which will be interesting given what I’m hearing), Tina Shockley, and Susan Haberstroh. What I don’t see is anyone from the State Board of Education involved, anyone as just a teacher, and only one parent. This is a very top-heavy group and they will be helping to make crucial decisions about the future of assessment in Delaware. If this sounds reminiscent of the DOE’s recently defunct Accountability Framework Working Group (but no legislators were on this), where the recommendations of that committee were ignored by Godowsky and the State Board of Education, let’s hope the legislators can keep an eye on what is really important and not make this the usual Jack Markell dog-and-pony show.