Happy days at the Delaware Department of Education

When Lillian travels it’s party time at DEDOE. No work , no reports and charter review meetings rescheduled.

Pencader school board starting to move into the sunlight

Breaking away from the old guard tradition the new Pencader school board  has begun to post board minutes online.

go to Pencader’s website and click School Board on bottom right side of webpage.

April’s meeting looks as if was a Executive Board Meeting which is reserved for personnel and legal matters. This is typical of all school board meetings as information discussed falls under protected confidentiality laws.

March meeting was public session. Minutes might be a little vague but this new board needs to walk before it can run. Ideally they will move toward digitally recorded meetings and posting those sound files online. Digital recorded meetings are not official board minutes and more of a means to allow parents, community, DEDOE and even state legislators the opportunity to listen in. Printed minutes are still required and must be voted on re: approval of minutes.

New Business

Dr. Lewis would like to initiate discussions with Innovative Schools to secure the services of Bill Bentz to help organize our financial reporting and budget design. Board agreed unanimously to push ahead with this.

Innovative Schools  offer various services to public schools and charter schools. I have some reservations about this corporation especially with their association with Rodel and  political type folks working in the background. However, Pencader is wise to seek out some knowledgeable of school finances and budgets and don’t see any harm here.

Public Comment:

Mrs. Kleinhomer, PAC President, presented a list of concerns which had been forwarded to Mr. Hamilton prior to the meeting.  Board members will review concerns and share comments with Dr. Lewis prior to next meeting.

Perhaps the board should have posted those concerns unless Mrs. Kleinhomer requested them not to be posted. Pencader and concerned community members need to come out to these board meeting and put their cards of concerns on the table. The time is approaching that parents, staff and board members need to join forces to save Pencader. My instincts are Pencader will be put on probation but Governor Markell has to prove to Arne Duncan the United States Secretary of Education he has the courage to close failing charter schools and traditional schools. However, Pencader failing finances is in part due to the Delaware Department of Education failing to comply with state law under Title 14, Chapter 15 Fiscal Provisions, § 1508. Citizen oversight of district finances. DEDOE has refused to comply with this law and laws requiring DEDOE annual charter school reports. There is no doubt former Pencader school leaders drop the ball or was incapable of managing school finances. However , the legislators enacted a law the required an open financial review process with monthly financial reports posted for public view. Markell will turn a blind-eye to his people’s misdeeds and it looks like no relieve from state legislators.

So to save Pencader which might be a very hard battle, parents need to step-up and get involved and demand full transparency and put their cards on the table. All must move forward to fight this battle as one. It’s ashame the old Pendcader administration didn’t work in the sunlight but perhaps that may have be intentional.

Good luck Pencader and keep opening those window and fill that school with sunlight.

Delaware Department of Ed tells legislators; Kiss my ass !

145th General Assembly
HS 1 FOR HB 119 w/HA 1

Primary Sponsor:

Schooley

Additional Sponsor(s):    & Sen. Sokola

CoSponsors:

Reps. Blakey, Booth, Carey, Hocker, Jaques, J. Johnson, Q. Johnson, Kovach, Kowalko, Lavelle, Manolakos, Miro, Mitchell, Schwartzkopf, Scott, Wilson

Introduced on :

06/04/2009

Signed 08/13/2009

Long Title:

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE WITH RESPECT TO PUBLIC EDUCATION.

Synopsis:

This Bill permits local districts substantially more discretion with respect to expenditure of state education funds than they have under existing law. However, the bill also establishes a number of safeguards to ensure that those funds are spent in a responsible manner that enhances student achievement, including state approval of local district budgets, a requirement of full transparency for local district expenditures, and the establishment of citizen financial oversight committees for each district.

 Signed 08/13/2009

Oversight committees shall have representation from parents, educators, and taxpayers residing in each of the public school districts, provided that in the case of charter schools membership on oversight committees shall consist of parents of students enrolled in the charter school, educators at the charter school, and representatives of the Delaware Department of Education.

§1508.  Citizen Oversight of District Finances.

The Department of Education shall promulgate regulations by November 1, 2009 establishing procedures for appointment of citizen budget oversight committees for each of the public school districts and charter schools.

Every state representative and state senator who was present for the vote on this bill voted yes. House vote: () Passed 6/16/2009 6:01:14 PM——-  and  Senate vote: () Passed 6/30/2009 11:46:34 PM—  Yet not one has stepped up a demanded the Delaware Department of Education to be accountable for failing to comply with state law

The financial misdeed or pure incompetency of the former leaders of Reach Academy for Girls and Pencader High School for Business and Finance are nothing in comparison to our state legislators  allowing the Department of Education to put their asses in the face of the law.

It’s time for a major shakeup at the Delaware Department of Education ! Our children and parents have become victims of their own government. Who among our state legislators dare to show real courage and call for removal of the Delaware Secretary of Education and her clueless assistants? Can we PLEASE have some JUSTICE.

Rick Jensen’s secret interview with Arne Duncan

DEDOE Charter School Office is a train wreck

Folks I know I do a lot of ranting but go see for yourself. Click the list of charter schools and review board meeting minutes and monthly financial reports. That’s if you can find them. List of Delaware Charter Schools

I am not sure if you know this but there is a department within the Delaware Department of Education that oversees Delaware charter schools.

How F-ing hard is it for these DEDOE desk jockeys to click on the websites to ensure monthly board meeting minutes are posted and monthly financial reports are posted. The law requires these reports and a citizen budget review committee. Where are these reports and where are the required committees.

Come on Governor Markell, look for yourself! There is absolutely no reason for such a mess and a failure of responsibly!  I am not going to blame DOE Dan for this one! DOE Dan, check those websites and see for yourself! All it will take is a few E-mails to these school leaders to tell them, get your shit together and start putting required information online and get their budget committees in order!

Charter schools will fail and that is a given. But they shouldn’t fail because those in DEDOE aren’t doing the jobs.

Go ahead Lillian, look for yourself! It’s a mess!

How can parents stay informed if these schools don’t give a rat’s ass about their legal requirements.

Parents of charter schools reading please go to your child’s charter school website and see for yourself. And do remember if your child’s school ends up on formal review for financial concerns you’re going to want answers. I hear it many-times when there are problems at the school! Goes like this, why didn’t somebody tell us or why didn’t somebody do something sooner? Hello !  McFly Parent ! You are that somebody and don’t wait for a preventable crisis.

Why is DEDOE holding back on Moyer’s financial reports?

Last year the Delaware Department of Education took-over Maurice J Moyer Academy citing academic and financial concerns.

Moyer is running at 38% (202) of approved student enrollment of 525 students. DEDOE signed a contract with K12.Inc whose CEO is an old buddy of Delaware Governor Jack Markell. I’ve searched high and low and DEDOE did not provide the public with the financial arrangement.

Moyer’s webpage link provided by DEDOE is the worst school webpage in the state of Delaware. The webpage doesn’t provide information as who the board members are, board minutes, financial reports or even individual teachers names. Now if you want to invest in this Wall Street listed for profit (stock)  school they provide a link for that, K12 Investor Relations Information 

Checked on Wall Street and this stock (K12.Inc / LRN) Could have positive longterm potential. Hey Jack I see one of your old Nextel buds and we know you and big guy have a special connection. Jack, would you give this stock a hold or sell?

Hey Jack, can you tell us why Moyer gets a buy on HB119? Re: no monthly financial reports! Hey wait, aren’t they required to complete a financial positioning report like other schools?

That’s right Jack ! Lets kick around other charter schools to keep the eyes off of Moyer.

Another layer of school administration for Delaware schools to be added called SAM

New Program to Help Principals Focus Time on Instructional Leadership

Participating schools will be able to choose from two models for this service. One allows for the hiring of a full-time position to assist the principal in increasing time on instructional leadership by taking on operational responsibilities. The second model provides time-tracking software for the school and training for the building’s existing administrative assistant, along with a stipend to this individual for taking on this time-management responsibility.

Just what we need, more administrators! So now the principals will become instructional coaches and SAM will be in-charge of school operational functions.

SAM participants will be identified and trained by July with deployment planned for August. The contract runs through June 2013.

And then local taxpayers will foot the bill

This is one of several state initiatives to provide principals and assistant principals across Delaware with assistance as they assess and support teachers in their buildings and help them free up time spent on administrative duties.

Just what teacher’s need , big brother with more time on his hands. What about giving principals and their assistants more time to track-down parents who refused to engage in their child’s education?

The state is partnering with the University of Delaware’s Delaware Academy for School Leadership (DASL) on this project.

Why not partner with the U of D in allowing freshman education majors the opportunity to spend some time in classrooms during their first year. Call it “What the Fuck am I getting myself into 101.” Why wait until their senior year to put them in the classrooms. Give them a taste and time to bail and transfer to another major.

So this amazing program will reverse 20 years of education meltdown by June 2013 (one school year)? Once again we have another financially unsustainable program. And once again nothing to address the need for some serious parent outreach programs.

Delaware DOE incompetency delays capital finance for charter schools

A good inside friend told me that Delaware Governor Markell plans to push an agenda that provides capital funding for charter schools and this will happen in his second term.

Markell is a sleep at the wheel and can’t see the incompetency of those running the charter school unit of DEDOE add roadblocks to any plan that involves increasing capital funding. Charter schools are corporation and the state has no ownership in real-estate and if a charter organization decides to close or is forced closed the state cannot seize properties. Just think if the state handed over 10 million dollars to the former Reach Academy managers and closed Reach the corporation keeps the 10 million dollars invested in real-estate.  Same goes for any charter school.

Those starting charter schools know the rules of the game and shouldn’t be crying for capital funding. DMA and Newark charter schools go their shit together and didn’t ask for a handout. I am fine with conduit loans because that money is paid back.

Markell has a long way to go before he can push this agenda because those he installed at DEDOE to oversee charter schools lack the capacity to provide proper oversight that “helps” the charter schools stay on financial course. What we have is people who sit back and allows crisis to snowball to a point of no return. In the case of Reach and Pencader, Marell appointees refuse to follow state laws governing public education such as ensuring their department complete the required charter school annual report and ensuring citizen budget oversight committees are trained and in place. The reason this is not happening is because those appointees in the charter school office of DEDOE don’t see the law pertaining to them and their responsibilities. State legislators are reluctant to engage because they fear Governor Markell and that includes his own party. It’s pretty sad when the lawmakers turn their backs when state employees at DEDOE say screw the law.

Despite all these  failures in leadership Markell will push his agenda and state legislators will bow down. Is it too hard for Markell to put competent people place. Markell will close a charter school to prove he has what it takes to close failing charter schools but what’s going on here is Markell own appointees set up the schools to fail. Reach and Pencader wouldn’t be having the financial cisis they have if the safeguards the state legislators put in place were implemented. Surely with school level budget review committees in place perhaps they could have address many of the financial concerns before they snowballed. Sure Reach and Pencader’s management must be held accountable. However, an oversight process set in law was ignored by DEDOE charter managers.  Will they lose their jobs? Hell no!

The sad note to all this is children will suffer because adults appointed by Jack Markell failed to follow the law. Sure we can question the moral of the Reach and Pencader leaders but we also must do the same of those at DEDOE.

The issue of capital funding for charter schools can never be addressed or discussed until we have competent people working as partners with charter schools and you can bet all this Race to the Top reform will add more regulations to charter schools  that will drain on their budgets.

Markell wants to hand charter school capital funding and make traditional schools  go to referendum. Wouldn’t make sense that we follow the law overseeing school finances in which is the intent of Citizen Budget Oversight Committees. Allowing DEDOE to violate state laws sends the wrong message and harm children.

Does Rodel manufacture pharmaceutics ?

“The Rodel Foundation of Delaware was established in 1999 to help create one of the finest public education systems in the nation. The foundation focuses on improving public policy, supporting best practices, and engaging the public. In collaboration with public, private and civic leaders throughout Delaware, Rodel is working to implement Vision 2015, Delaware’s acclaimed plan for world-class schools.”

Amazing! 10 years later the federal government had to come in and clean Rodel’s mess up.

Governor Markell’s blunder could close Reach Academy for Girls

                               The Heart of  Reach

When will Governor Markell hold DEDOE charter school office accountable?

Delaware Governor Jack Markell jumps at every opportunity to take credit for good news in Delaware’s public school but hides like a coward when there’s bad news. But in this case of Reach Academy for Girls, the Delaware Department of Education charter school managers failed to implement and train citizen budget oversight committees as required by law, Title 14, Chapter 15 Fiscal Provisions; Subsection 1508.

Jack look these girls in the eyes and tell them the people you put in place to ensure their schools had financial oversight failed them. Jack when do we hold your people accountable for their failures? Man up Jack and hold someone accountable for failing to ensure Reach had the required citizen budget oversight committees. If it did perhaps this major crisis could have been avoided.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,125 other followers