New Wilmington mega-charter school building to house 4 charter schools?

Dontdestroychristina blogger posted an E-mail from Senator Sokola asking Mr. Meece of Newark Charter School to respond to a letter sent by a Ms. Hoffman raising concerns about NCS desire to expand. It appears Mr. Meece made an error in noting Bank of Delaware donated the downtown Wilmington building. The fact is it was Bank of America but no big deal on the error even people with PhDs are entitled to mistakes. However, how does Mr, Meece know their will be 4 charter schools housed in that building? Furthermore, what impact will there be with major fleet of school buses converging on that location each morning and afternoon? Where will these children go during recesses to get “fresh air”? Does the City of Wilmington have to issue a permit for a school of such. How many students are we talking about in this one location? It’s going to be insane when the building has to hold fire-drills. OK let’s forget all that! Who can tell me the names of the four charter schools that will be housed at this location?   

@DEStateBoardEd Sokola solicits Meece to lie. Meece humbly complies. #netDE  by Dontdestroychristina

“Recently, the Bank of Delaware donated a building in the City of Wilmington that will house four new charter schools. It is likely that at least one of them will be a high school.”

OMG this letter gets better!

Mrs. Hoffman states that “Choice is no choice if the seats are all taken. The ironycontinues since Newark Charter School’s expansion plan (which she opposes) wouldopen up 260 new seats for children in grades K-4 in the first year. While charter schools are trying to open and to expand in Delaware, special interest groups continue to thwartour efforts.

I agree with Meece, “Choice is no choice if the seats are all taken”. So why does Governor Markell  boast about how Delaware students can pick their schools? “Special  Interest groups”? spit it out, DSEA ! But how fucked up is that! Those who support charters like Innovative Schools, The Longwood Foundation, Rodel and the business roundtable are special interest too. I wouldn’t put it pass Meece to hand pick his successor as part of NCS board policies! ;). OK, DSEA supports ensuring professional teachers earn a decent pay and benefits and sure let’s just say they protect inferior teachers ( relax Bacon Boy just being sarcastic). But the business roundtable forced DSTP on Delaware students and parents and even Markell said it was a failure / bad test. Why didn’t those special interest folks get fired? No, they just come back supporting another wrongheaded plan called Race to The Top and Common Core Standards. Make note DSTP rolled out Spring of 1998 and NCLB come into existence 2001. Can’t say NCLB forced DSTP.

Finally, Mrs. Hoffman repeats one of the biggest misconceptions of all that charter schools deprive districts of funds. “You are taking resources from someone else,” she writes. “In Christina, those resources are finite. Public funds shifted to a charter school takes money out of the hands of children who need it most.

Can anyone tell me once the mega-charter building is deemed (public) educational making it exempt from paying school property taxes how much tax revenue will taken from Christina School District? So the tax revenue CSD receives from that building is part of their per local share student funds and now CSD has to transfer per student funds to these four charter schools (for students living within CSD) CSD is getting screwed!

I support charter schools, Choice schools , magnet schools and traditional school but I do question the laws that governs them. Seems to me, the biggest special interest groups are the paid executives of these so-called nonprofits and their Wall Street bedfellows. The reason they are called nonprofits is because they spend or divvy up revenues to avoid showing a profit.

It just amazing me, those of us who question the direction of public education, the intrusion of the federal government in local education control issues, Markell dropping to his knees down in D.C., a state department of education owned by Markell, a state board of education owned by Markell and state legislators who grabs their ankles every time Markll walks by them makes us not for children. Yet the Wall Street bedfellows and nonprofits that suck funding from out of public and charter school classrooms are for the kids!

I am here to telling , once the teacher unions are busted these same folks will come after  prevailing waging forcing America into a two-class system. It’s not about the kids, it about power and corporate America wants it all!

 
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9 Responses

  1. Meece has a Ph.D? Methinks not…..

  2. kilroy… I recall reading about “4 charter” schools either on here, or a link from here more than a week ago…won’t comment anymore until I have time to try & find it.
    IF one of the new schools proposed for the old Bank of America building wlll be a high school charter school, wouldn’t that allow for a neighborhood choice for Wilmington kids? Isn’t that what the councilwoman was wanting? Why does it seem outlandish that the Longwood foundation already has an idea for exactly what they want there? It seems illogical that they would announce this decision without already having an ideal of what they want, and already talking to leaders of other charter schools in the state. The CSW leader seemed to be in the loop too.
    Yes, I agree, opening four school as charters would take away from the money CSD would get for those children, and the loss of tax revenue is a big question, how much are they getting now (empty building) against how much City of Wilmington will stand to earn in utility revenue, City Payroll tax, etc.

  3. “How many students are we talking about in this one location? It’s going to be insane when the building has to hold fire-drills. OK let’s forget all that!”

    OK let’s forget all that? Not so fast, Kilroy! I was having this discussion with another ACTUAL educational professional a week ago and she and I said the same thing. Have the people behind these proposed schools actually thought about those very REAL logistical things? Playground. Cafeteria. Nine flights of stairs. Are the kids going to get on elevators every morning or will we trust the little darlings to go up nine flights of stairs? Will they retrofit the building to be more conducive to a scholastic environment? How much will that cost? My head is spinning. Meanwhile, we’ve got schools in the inner-city that are tragically being torn apart because we as a society are not addressing the needs those schools require to make them successful.

    Let’s just build more charters! They’ll solve EVERYTHING!

    • Charter schools are not required to have cafeterias but for sure there is space! I am sure Alan Levin will find some money. Stairs ? interesting! Let’s make sure when Rodel and Innovative Schools move their offices in the get 9th floor.

      I wonder if there is a zoning issue? 2000 kids wrapping around the building during a fire drill. And if there were a fire the streets will be filled with fire rescue equipment. Do have fields or open spaces like traditional schools.

      As far as those traditional schools being torn apart, one they are crush by charters they’ll be surplus or “must” allow charters to use empty space.

  4. I, along with Mike O., wrote about the mega charter in several posts.

    In Chuck Baldwin’s (President of the Charter School of Wilmington) post was this:

    “This building, which will be used for education, will allow for successful models to replicate in Delaware (KIPP, Montessori). Schools will be established in the inner city and provide educational opportunities for thousands of our children. DuPont and Bank of America are committing million of dollars in resources and are truly “putting their money where their mouth is” when it comes to education reform.”

    Then there’s Charlie Copeland’s post on the BofA, 2000 seat school:

    The Longwood Foundation plans to take that building and create the “Community Education Building” (CEB) and put 4 Charter Schools right in the heart of the City of Wilmington. Wilmington’s own “Charter School District” — an idea that I floated in January 2006 on a Comcast Newsmaker Broadcast but could find no supporters at the time.

    This deal look pretty much done. And people “in the know” have quite a few details about this mega school.

    And this 2,000 seat school won’t only impact CSD, it will hit all city public schools.

    My biggest problem is that citizens are on a need to know basis. We are not involved in the decision making process. We have no idea what sort of schools will be housed in this building.

    Newarkmom says:

    IF one of the new schools proposed for the old Bank of America building wlll be a high school charter school, wouldn’t that allow for a neighborhood choice for Wilmington kids? Isn’t that what the councilwoman was wanting? Why does it seem outlandish that the Longwood foundation already has an idea for exactly what they want there?

    Here’s the concern… What sort of high school? Will it house a school like the CSW or Moyer? Will it be high poverty? Will it have admission requirements? Will it focus on science? Math? Language? Basket weaving? We have no idea. And yet we’re supposed to support this? Tell me what we’re supporting?

    And it may seem obvious that the Longwood Foundation would already know what they want in that building, but that wasn’t what they, and our politicians, said during the big launch. This mega school was unveiled with no details, and presented in a way that made everyone think that we would be, if not part of, then at least aware of the process in choosing what sort of schools would be housed there. But with every day that passes, that appears not to be the case. What’s slipping out of the mouths of certain politicians and heads of charter schools is that this deal is done. They seem to know what’s going in that school.

    Would your community be okay with approving a 2,000 seat school with no idea of what type of programs it would hold?

    • thanks, pandora…I knew I read it somewhere! And I’m glad you responded to me, especially since you are so in touch with this community. It’s easy for people in the suburbs to assume what it needed or even wanted in the city, but I am interested in what the people who live there actually want.
      I agree that my community would be outraged if a 2,000 seat school was planned with (seemingly) no input asked from the community and no info. Can you imagine?!! It seemed odd that this big announcement was made with no details offered. Could the building being gifted to Longwood Foundation been put under wraps until a full disclosure of the buildings intent was done? Was the announcement premature, Is the cart truly before the horse? Do they intend to meet with the community, parents, leaders before deciding exactly what this is going to be, or have they already done so? This community needs a voice and I hope to hear that in the end this will truly create a positive outcome.

  5. Here was my part of the discussion:
    http://seventhtype.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/more-on-plans-for-donated-boa-building/

    Also I asked at some point:

    If charters are public schools, why is the process for selecting the schools not a public process?

  6. Wow. Kilroy has gone off the rails here! Make sure to be fair. ALL the interests are interested in control money and power: corporations, unions, government education monopoly. Let’s not demonize just one side.

  7. Maybe a little off-topic but I am trying to find a list of the private sponsors of the Newark Charter School. Does anyone now where I can find it? Thanks.

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