Red Clay Board Member Found In The Nude

Red Clay School Board Nominating District E

Anyone living within the Nominating District E may run for Red Clay School Board May 2009
Hear is the form and information needed to file to run for this seat.

Make note of filing deadline school district shall complete a Candidate Filing Form, have his/her signature notarized and submit the form to the Department of Elections for the county in which the administrative office of the school district is located no later than 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday in March.

Rumor has it from a very reliable source that another board member may be stepping down. However if that person waits until after the filing deadline then the board will appoint someone to fill his seat until May 2010. I think it would be selfish and disrespectful if that person waited until after the deadline as it will deny the public the right to vote for a successor rather then a board handed picked successor.

Rumor has it another board member moved out of his nominating district long ago and legal can complete his term. However, this person apparently still owns a home in his nominating district and it’s no certain that he will move back. I hope he considers stepping down so that someone in his nominating district could run and more effectively be connected to that community.

Just a side note, right or wrong in contrast to my opinion or any negative public opinion by others, these board members serve the Red Clay community as unpaid elected officials and are the only unpaid elected officials. Some lead Red Clay through some very difficult years confronted with issues surrounding desegregation and the challenging Neighborhood School Legislation following the lifting of the Federal Desegregation order. I don’t oppose charter schools, I just don’t like how they were approved by Red Clay in which two were in violation of state law. I am disappointed that no one was held personally accountable for the “preventable” financial meltdown. The newer and any future elected board member won’t please everyone and will make errors. However, there is a consensus in the community that insist on full financial transparency that is vidal for any consideration of community support referendums that will be need sooner than many think. Our newly elected Governor Jack Markell has the executive power to require full financial transparency of public school and the Department of Education and hopefully he will hear the call that will break the deadlock and step up to the plate. In 2009 it’s likely that there will be unfortunate state cuts in pubic school funding which will shift greater responsibility on local taxpayer who will revolt without full financial transparency.

Governor Markell if you want support from the local communities how about some from Dover.

Obama on NCLB

I support the growth model plan and urge everyone to write or E-mail their U.S. Congressman and Senator and ask that they support adding the growth model plan to the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind.

The growth model plan will provide more flexibility in helping low performing students and schools.

Valerie Woodruff did go to bat for Growth Model for Delaware

Jack Markell to unveil his new parking spot

Special treat for anxious parents and community members who have been patiently waiting for his announcement as whom the next Delaware Secretary of Education will be, Jack Markell will unveil his new personal parking space at Hooter’s in Dover.

Due to the state of the Delaware economy Jack Markell spent the remainder on his campaign funds (pocket change) on a more suitable vehicle. He’ll use it only in times of tax increases on the public.

Does the fire of desegregation still smolder?

Supreme Court rejects school racial diversity plans
In a major civil rights ruling, a narrow majority struck down two school-enrollment plans.

By Warren Richey: Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the June 29, 2007 edition

“In a major 5-to-4 decision announced Thursday, the US Supreme Court struck down race-based public school enrollment plans in Seattle and Louisville, Ky. that were designed to maintain racially integrated student populations. The majority justices said the plans were unconstitutional because they relied too heavily on race in violation of the mandate that all Americans be treated equally regardless of skin color or ethnicity.”

“In announcing the ruling, Chief Justice Roberts gave public-school administrators throughout the nation perhaps their toughest assignment yet: Find a way to remain faithful to the promise of racially integrated schools under the landmark 1954 decision, Brown v. Board of Education, but do it without paying inordinate attention to the racial or ethnic background of the students.”


Kilroy’s Spin:

I found this article interesting. Trying willfully maintaining racial balance is a violation of the law. Moving students unwilling to schools to create racial balance is wrong! I can agree with this.

Chief Justice Roberts wants schools to find a way to create racial balance to remain faithful to the promise of Brown V Board of Education. Well this plan sounds like an all voluntary plan. What could a school board like Red Clay do to promote more racially diversified schools? Is it possible to provide choice transportation with less burdensome and convenient bus stop only between Wilmington schools which are predominantly African-American and suburban schools which are predominately White? Why should any student / parent want to participate just for the sake of racial balance? Is it possible for a school such a Brandywine Springs do a direct outreach to the Warner school encouraging students to choice to Brandywine Springs? Yes there are Choice open house nights which are open to all.

I oppose force busing not from any racial hang up but for the sake of the kids who are physically and emotionally impacted. However, in Red Clay’s case Wilmington’s minorities are being forced to be bused to middle school and high schools in the suburbs as there are not Red Clay City of Wilmington middle schools or high schools. Just think of the outcries of suburban parents if they children had to be bused into Wilmington for elementary school because there were none in the suburbs. With Red Clay refusing to convert a school like Warner in to a K-8 which would add a middle schools they are effectively creating forced busing.

The reality is because Red Clay’s choice program is a shambles where parents and students claw over each other to gain admission to “popular” schools the entire district suffers. Choice was Red Clay’s ticket out of assigning schools closest to home per the Neighborhood School Act and they did have a time convincing the Delaware State Board of Education, read the transcripts. To follow the law Red Clay would be force to build more schools and that would go over too well with the local taxpayers.

Questions of the day?
Should Red Clay have at least one middle school in the city limits of Wilmington? High School? Should the city high school students be assigned to their closest high school to the city limits being A.I. High School? Or move Cab to another location and make that space available for city students. At the end of the day it appears minorities are more burden by busing then whites.

Federal Intervention Heading Red Clay’s Way ?

Reinventing middle school
In Del. and elsewhere, educators seek better ways to teach young students
By JENNIFER PRICE • The News Journal • December 30, 2008

Often described as “the critical years,” middle school lays the foundation for not just students’ organizational and study skills but their overall motivation, educators say. Ultimately, students either get prepared for high school or get left behind.

“You can’t wait till the ninth grade to intervene,” said Al Summers, director of professional development at the National Association of Middle Schools. “By then, it’s too late.”

In an effort to reduce the number of transitions a student makes, Red Clay Consolidated School District’s Brandywine Springs School is among buildings from Baltimore to Philadelphia and New York City that are expanding elementary schools to include up to eighth grade.

Red Clay’s Cab Calloway School of the Arts serves students in grades six through 12.

Kilroy’s Spin

The Red Clay school board pulls the plug on K-8 at Baltz and doesn’t even realize Warner exists. Its amazing Red Clay focuses on the more affluent and predominately white schools rather than target student populations that are in most need. Warner has a building capacity of 1230 students however current student enrollment is 604 students. Why not expand Warner to K-8 so these students 81.9% African-American and 84.4% poverty level students who are at the high risk of potential high school dropout can be better served?

When the proposal to expand Brandywine Springs to K-8 was made there was predetermined timetable step however, the parents insisted the district move the timetable up to start the expansion sooner. As far as Warner, there was an attempt to expand K-8 but the surround community didn’t want middle age students tracking through their neighborhoods. The Red Clay School Board put the needs of student aside to appease politics.

Brandywine Springs Schools doesn’t have the building space to effectively meet the needs of a K-8 program and it’s very possible they are sowing seeds to push for another Capital Referendum to add building space.

Cab Calloway an all Choice Magnet school grades 6-12 only serves about 52% Red Clay students. The other 48% of students are out of district students who only bring local per student operating funds, no capital funds.

The reality of what’s going on here is focused on serving the needs of white affluent students and parents first. It seems our minority and poor children are once again forced to the back of the bus. Sadly, there are no strong civil rights leaders left in Wilmington to willing to step up to fight this social injustice.

What can I do? Looks like just howl in the wind! However, Red Clay is taking a dangerous path putting so much emphasis appeasing the demands of the vocal suburban parent. One day someone much brighter than I will see the disparities caused by a school board ignorant of the needs of children in poverty and take action. No one likes forced busing because it didn’t work however reverting back to minority schools being second fiddle will force federal action.

The clock is ticking for federal intervention in Red Clay and it doesn’t have to be this way!

Red Clay Soup

Don’t get me wrong folks; Red Clay Consolidated School District is one of the finest in the country.

Sure maybe 5% of the teachers are in the wrong profession.
But we have 95% of Red Clay teachers and administrators who are dedicated to serving public school students.

My concern with education is the management of public education starting at the top with the governor, state legislators, DOE, school boards and district administrators. They are disconnected from the classroom and don’t see themselves as a support network.

I’ve known Red Clay teachers and administrators since 1959. I use to walk to Krebs school with my elementary principal. His house was about forth from the gate going into Bestfield. Krebs use to be in what was called District 21 and the district superintendent’s office was housed there. I can see the house he used to live in from my side window. The junior high principal lived two blocks over. Yea, it was a real neighborhood school. Teachers living all around me. One little punk in the neighborhood grew up to become superintendent. Red Clay has served 4 generation of my family. I had a choice to buy a house anywhere I wanted but choose one in Red Clay, three blocks from the house I grew up in. My son recieved a wonderful education even at the old Conrad Middle School where some referred to as a ghetto school.

The loss of focus on maintaining the quality Red Clay schools started with Red Clay getting into the charter school business and by no means I want to offend parents and students who made that choice as I did. Red Clay’s charter school agenda became a runaway train that caused low capacity issue in Red Clay schools. The board whines, “if we didn’t someone else would start charter going through DOE.” So did that mean race ahead like a horse running with his head up his ass running into a brick wall? The overambitious school board with their silent partner the superintendent seemed to care more about political bedfellows then the long term needs of Red Clay students. Why is Red Clay the only school district in the state of Delaware to charter schools? The notions of thinking we need a capital referendum to add space to popular schools and leave other under utilize is a fools plan that will be met with serious community opposition. The, “ It’s for the kids,” card has been played once too many!

To the emerging schools board, please just follow board rules and give the community right to weight in on the issues.

To the emerging school board, please deliver full financial transparency online. The $61,000.00 could have helped move that process forward. Your breaking the contract bid laws once again and the little reference to $49,000.00 was bullshit because you know all contract over $50,000.00 is require by law to go out to bid! You tell the public audit for fiscal 2007 and 2008 but are only auditng school year 2007-2008, one fiscal year!

To the emerging school board, it only takes openness and honestly with no hidden agendas to regain the community trust. Playing the community for idiots only puts yourselves into a deeper hole.

To the emerging school board, ask youselves how do you expect this community to trust a new superintendent promoted from within?

To the emerging schools board, you are the future of Red Clay and the age of accountability and transparency is upon us! Please deliver!

Audit not fiscal 2007 "and" 2008 just 2007-08 school year

December 17, 2008

Unofficial Meeting Minutes

Minutes will be presented for approval at the next board meeting

Regular Session Minutes

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Page 4


“Mrs. Vavalla recommended that Red Clay Board of Education award a bid

to Barbacane, Thornton & Company to conduct an independent audit of

financial statements and give an analysis for the 2007-2008 school year.”

Mrs. Davis seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

By Antonio Prado

Community News

Posted Dec 18, 2008 @ 12:54 PM

Last update Dec 21, 2008 @ 04:52 PM

Mill Creek, Del. — “The Red Clay Board of Education awarded Barbacane, Thornton & Co. a contract to audit the 2007 and 2008 fiscal years.”

Red Clay E-News Dec. 23, 2008

Red Clay Board Approves Financial Statement Audit

“Red Clay board members unanimously approved awarding a bid to Barbacane, Thornton & Company for an independent, financial statement audit designed to provide an analysis of the 2007-2008 school year. The contract is valued at $61,000. Board members noted that approximately $49,000 was set aside for payment to the Financial Recovery Team. Since the district has been released from state review, the district has been released from state review, the money will be used to pay for this financial statement audit.”

OK folks I was there as well as the Community News! I heard the independent audit would be for fiscal years 2007 and 2008. However reviewing the boards “Unofficial Meeting Minutes,” the record will stand “2007-2008 School Year” not fiscal years! The 2007-2008 School Year is July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. Error or intended manipulation and alteration of public records? They pulled this shit with the charter school votes for Prestige and Delaware College Prep Charter approval where the public was lead to believe the approvals were “conditional” but however, Gary the board member didn’t say conditional when he made the motion for the vote which was for “approving charter application.”

Now I know I heard audit for 2007 and 2008 fiscal. So why is the public record saying 2007-2008 school year?

Trying to hang in here with me because it get’s technical.

The vote for this audit was not on the board’s action items for December’s Board Meeting. As you can see, “V. ITEMS SUBMITTED BY THE BOARD.” Here are the dilemmas, Ms. Vavalla subnitted this item the night of this board meeting requesting the board award “a” bid to the auditing firm, not the submitted bid by this firm. There is no actual bid entered into the board agenda towards the end of the agenda containing bids. “If” the board reviewed and discussed the bid for an audit in executive session one would assume each board member reviewed the actual bid and the scope of audit. Why wasn’t a copy made available to the public? What’s really interesting, the audit / bid is over $50,000.00 (“The contract is valued at $61,000.”) which is required by law to go out for public bid. Did it? If Yes, who were the other bidders and how much? The board agenda doesn’t list the bidder’s.

Can anyone tell which board meeting did the board vote on requesting the district to secure a bid for the audit? Certainly that event would have caught the eye of the media or the community.

So I can’t be so trusting as here again are discrepancies in what was said and what was entered into the board record. Did all the board members who unanimously voted yes review the bid and the scope of proposed audit? The board wants to be more transparent but doesn’t show the actual bid proposal and the scope of the bid. They have no problem putting change orders in the agenda for adding a toilet to a project. You can see it in E-News and the minutes,” 2007-2008 School Year” not fiscal years 2007 and 2008.

Community Lobbyist Group To Have A Voice

The Red Clay Community Education Action Committee is online and will be meeting in January 2009.

As promised website is up and running
Please visit and bookmark!
E-mail address

I’ve communicated with local legislators and had a personal meeting with one.

TBA, sometime this January 2009, I will hold a early Saturday coffee meeting get-together at a convenient local coffee shop within Red Clay.

I have a committment from three local legislators to sponsor legislation to amend the school board oath of office to correct an oversignt.

Big goal for 2009 is passage of full finanical transparency of school finances including DOE.

I did have a brief one on one chat with Governor-elect Jack Markell and did weight in during one of his public town hall meetings. I made a point that he has the executive power to make an “Executive Order” calling for full financial transparency of school finances including DOE. It is time to delivery Delaware to the people!

Red Clay School Board has begun sowing seeds for another Capital Referendum and that horse will no get out of the gate!

Red Clay will be on referendum financial lockdown until this community sees full financial transparency of public education statewide and of DOE. The Delaware state of economy the state legisaltors will be cutting public edcuation funding putting greater finanical burden on the local taxpayers.

Red Clay Community Education Action Committee will push very hard for full finanical transparency of public school finances and DOE

The pendulum swings


“In 1990, Judge Schwartz made a specific finding that one of the districts (Red Clay) had failed to comply in good faith with the 1978 order. Coalition to Save Our Children v. Buchanan, 744 F.Supp. 582, 587-93 (D.Del.1990). Judge Schwartz stated that “the vestiges of prior official segregation [had not] been eradicated ‘root and branch’ from either the Red Clay District as a whole or from its student assignment patterns.” Id. at 587. Indeed, Judge Schwartz found that the record was “replete … with evidence of delay, obfuscation, and recalcitrance on the part of the Red Clay Board with respect to remedying the racial disparities” in that district. Id. at 592-93.”

“In 1991, Judge Schwartz stated that, notwithstanding the Red Clay District’s “technical compliance with this court’s orders,” he again had “very grave doubts concerning the [Red Clay] Board’s good faith compliance with the spirit of desegregation,” and thus could “not make a finding that the Red Clay District [was] operating in compliance with the Equal Protection Clause….” Coalition to Save Our Children v. State Bd. of Educ, 757 F.Supp. 328, 349-350 (D.Del.1991). “

Segregation creeping back (2004)
“In Linden Hill Elementary School in suburban Pike Creek in the Red Clay school district, the slide toward resegregation was gradual. Twenty-four percent of the students were black in the early ’90s, when busing and federal monitoring were in place, but by 1998, the percentage of black students had dropped to 12. Today, it’s 8. During the same period, the percentage of black students at Warner and Shortlidge elementary schools, also in Red Clay but within the city of Wilmington, went from less than 30 percent to 89 percent. Latino children make up most of the remainder.”

Well gee, let’s see what’s going on in 2008

Warner 81.9% African-American
84.4% Low Income
Lewis 83.6% Hispanic
84.6% Low Income
Shortlidge 93.8% African-American
82.8% Low Income
Highlands 54.4% African-American *up from 21.8% 2007
66.3% Low Income up from 58.2% 2007

Re-segregation or as one board member says, “that’s where they choose to attend.”

Yea, yea Neighborhood schools! So why do all the kids in the suburbs attend their neighborhood schools? Yea, yea too bad you poor people we have cars to help take advantage of Choice!

The pendulum is swinging the other way and we’re going to be back in court and the Red Clay Rats will be all gone!

Red Clay Wilmington and suburban schools returning to pre-desegregation days and charter schools look quite segregated. Wake up people!

Markell, Charter Schools Re-segregation?

17 Delaware charter schools 8 failing NCLB standards. Add in Marion T Academy and Georgetown Charter failed and closed by the state and you have over a 50% failure rate.


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