The takeover madness that threatens our schools Delaware Voice John Kowalko / News Journal Opinion
A recent headline in the News Journal stating that “State says Priority School principals must go” inaccurately reflects the reality that it is not the “State” as comprised of the legislative branch and the judiciary that is forcing this unsubstantiated and judgmental attack on these school principals’ credentials and performance.
It is not pronounced or embedded in state code or law but rather a loosely defined interpretation of a Department of Education regulation that was manufactured by that department under legally challengeable circumstances that appear to have violated the processes for creating such regulations as permitted by law.
Despite the presumptuous attitude of this administration and DOE that it has unilateral authority over local school districts’ personnel issues, it is obvious in reading the Christina District’s response to the Dec. 15 letter from DOE that the department and administration are grossly overstepping their authority without any legitimate efforts or intentions to fairly evaluate the performance of these school leaders. In a letter dated Dec. 7, Penny Schwinn informed Christina District that the principals at Stubbs and Bancroft were ineligible to retain their positions merely because of their presence at these schools while the schools were designated as either Turnaround or Transformation reform models.
This completely disregards the reality that they presided over measurable achievements at these schools. The Dec. 15 response from Christina District informed Ms. Schwinn that these two principals’ performance had been reviewed by the Delaware Department of Education, the University of Delaware and the Delaware Academy of School Leadership under a “Comprehensive Success Review” conducted in November that gave an overall high rating to two “Priority Schools” in Christina, notably Stubbs and Bancroft. Both schools received the highest rating of “4” in the categories of Policies, Procedures and Structures, School Leadership Decisions, Time Management and Curriculum and Instruction among other subjects. In fact, if you go to the CSD website you can access the full reports and dialogues. There is an obvious lack of objectivity and a major disregard for a factual assessment by Ms. Schwinn and DOE.
After examining the facts perhaps you’ll feel, as I do, that Penny Schwinn on behalf of DOE, Secretary Mark Murphy and Gov. Markell are engaged in one of the more disturbing attempts to abuse power that I have ever witnessed as a state legislator. With absolutely no data driven information or statistical proof, it appears that Ms. Schwinn, on behalf of DOE, has indicted and declared failing the principals of Stubbs and Bayard despite the preponderance of evidence to the contrary in the “Comprehensive Success Reviews” report. This callous behavior and obviously errant judgment on the part of Ms. Schwinn, who is authorized by the DOE, suggests that both she and Secretary Murphy should consider resigning their respective appointments.
Maligning the performance of these dedicated school leaders with arbitrarily contrived performance perspectives is an audacious and outrageous attempt to continue denigrating Delaware public education and ignores the real needs of our inner city children. The ongoing efforts by this administration, the secretary of education and DOE staff to wrest the legal power and authority from the duly elected local school boards is tantamount to an illegal abuse of power and a violation of the separation of powers. As long as this administration proceeds down a path strewn with bullying and coercive demands attempting to intimidate and denigrate highly qualified educators and administrators with no legitimate plan to enhance educational opportunities for our children, then one must conclude that there is another less obvious agenda.
This administration and its allies have long displayed a propensity for a corporatist takeover of education with achievable goals of privatization and charterization of Delaware public schools. The preponderance of Race to the Top money awarded to the state never reached the children in the classrooms and the path to creating new charter schools has been smoothed with a verve belying the reality that charters perform no better or worse than traditional schools with like circumstances and similar population diversity. The only difference seems to be unaccountable access to taxpayer money that is not available from traditional schools.
This ongoing takeover madness has harmed the reputations and psyche of many dedicated educators and will irreparably harm Delaware’s public school children and the state’s economic vitality. The public must join together, on behalf of honesty and justice, and demand that this Administration stand down from its pedestal of self-aggrandizement and recognize its own shortcomings.
State Rep. John Kowalko represents the 25th House District.
Delaware legislator calls for DE Sec of Education Mark Murphy’s resignation @arneduncan @washingtonpost #edude #netde @dedeptofed @destateboarded @usedgov @EducationOIG @huffingtonpost #neatoday @NSBAComm @NatlGovsAssoc
Charter School of Wilmington board member critiques Red Clay School Board members on FOIA and Robert’s Rules of Order! Go figure :)
Go figure!!!!!!!! CSW board member cries foul because Red Clay’s board vote to order Charter School of Wilmington to rescind their illegal action in changing admission preference order putting Red Clay students last didn’t follow Robert Rules of Order. CSW tried to push a self imposed “major” charter school modification without proper procedures re: state law. Red Clay is the charter approving authority and oversight authority.
So here you have info from CSW webpage! Two months behind on posting board minutes! Look close Rep Debbie Hudson. More the reason to required recording of board meetings and post within seven day of the board meeting.
|8/26/14||August 26 Agenda||August 26 Minutes|
|9/23/14||September 23 Agenda||September 23 Minutes – Draft|
|10/7/14||October 7 Agenda|
|10/28/14||October 28 Agenda|
|11/25/14||November 25 Agenda|
|12/8/14||December 8 Agenda|
And here you have Red Clay recordings of “last night’s” board meeting already posted on Red Clay’s webpage.
BREAKING: Reach Academy for Girls slated to close at the end of the school year via
@teelehman #netDE #eduDE
For the second consecutive year, Delaware Education Secretary Mark Murphy decided against renewing the charter of Reach Academy for Girls, which now faces closure at the end of the school year.
Murphy also chose to conditionally renew the charter of Gateway Lab School, another charter school that the committee recommended for non-renewal because of its academic performance.
The Seizure @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @RCEAPrez @Apl_Jax @nannyfat @ecpaige @Roof_O #netde #eduDE #Delaware #edchat
Originally posted on Exceptional Delaware:
Last night the Red Clay Consolidated School District Board signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the three priority schools in their district. They tweaked the original a bit, not allowing a superintendent to make $160,000 a year, but rather the district salary for that position. As well, it states these schools shall not become charter schools in the event of a takeover, but the loopholes in the MOU automatically revert back to the state code and regulation which would allow this anyways. It was a punch in the gut for RCEA President Mike Matthews.
Meanwhile, in Dover, my 13 year old dog Dixxie had a seizure. We aren’t sure what’s wrong with her, but we are waiting on blood work to come back to figure out our next step. This event, in addition to the fact that I’ve been under the weather the past couple days, has distracted me from…
View original 176 more words
Red Clay now focuses on working out individual plans for each school. The agreement with the state gives the district’s planning committees more time to submit those plans. Though no plans are officially on the table yet, district administrators mentioned some ideas that are in the works.
One proposal is reconfiguring the grades for Shortlidge and Warner Elementary Schools to create a “campus” model. Shortlidge would serve kids in kindergarten through second grade, while Warner would serve grades three through five.
That, district staff say, would allow school staff to focus more narrowly on individual grades’ needs. It would also provide more classes for each grade, allowing for more targeted work with individual students’ needs.
But several parents said they were concerned splitting the schools up would disrupt relationships with teachers and could present logistical hurdles for families.
Why is it Red Clay comes up with plans that always seem putative to black children!
Mrev’s phone will be ringing big time today with good Wilmington brothers saying how much $$$ is in it for me if I help pour the Kool-aid. WTF !!!!!!! When will the men stand up like men it Wilmington ?
The district also plans to work with the University of Virginia to train principals and district administrators on things like how to coach teachers, how to make smart decisions using data, and how to place the right staff in the right place.
University of Virginia? Shit I forgot, Markell is pissed at U of D researcher and must have told Merv to hook-up with his old pal. Sole-source vendor my ass Merv! A little Google and midnight oil will shine some light on this scam ;) Stay tune on this one :)
Real nice split Warner and Shortlidge! Do that to North Star and Brandywine and all hell would break loose!
OMG !! John Young snaps flipping cars and his middle finger !! RE: Red Clay’s sellout to Jack Markell!
OMG I’ve never saw John Young fire out four post with such bitterness! He even took a pot shot at CSW’s 6 Sigma Black-belt. As far as Markell tampering with Red Clay school board votes there might be some truth! John will be doing a follow up stay tuned and go read hear …………………….. Also, comment section is closed. What John might have on Markell may be in violation of Markell’s oath of office. But that doesn’t matter because he has the Delaware GOP in his back pocket.
Originally posted on Transparent Christina:
Tonight, this came from RCCSD Board president Kenny Rivera’s discussion:
“We all have issues with the framework we were provided for this,” said Board President Kenny Rivera. “I think we have to move forward because we have to do what’s best for kids, because the other option is much worse.”
WHAT??????????? WORSE THAN THIS????
What a cop out, BS excuse to surrender all rights to the DOE. Why did he run? I forget?
DId @GovernorMarkell tamper with RCCSD BOE vote on Priority MOU by moving dates and soliciting votes with directed phones calls?
“Any staff member who has signed a letter of commitment may be subject to Unassignment, regardless of seniority, based on a concern supported by documents in the staff member’s personnel file for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years, a review of DPAS II-R for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years, and/or classroom practices. Any staff member identified for Unassignment effective for the 2015-2016 school year will be notified in writing prior to February 20, 2015.”
In other words, we’ll dig and dig in your personnel file for an unspecified concern to still give you the Markell boot!
In the event there are not sufficient qualified applicants for such positions, qualified Priority School employees may be assigned to said positions on a rotating basis, with the employee having the least amount of continuous service in the District and the least number of rotational involuntary Priority School assignments being assigned first with notification of such involuntary assignment to be made by March 15 each year prior to the implementation of the Extended Learning program.
Yea for sure somebody is going to “rotate”!
This MOU shall be effective beginning with the date of the last signature hereon and ending upon the expiration of the Priority Schools period (June 30, 2018).
And you notice June 30, 2018!!! Jack Markell will be two years out and preaching how he took on the union and showed courage! Markell’s urgency and working the phones was all about JACK and his sowing of $$$$$$$$$$$$ seed for his future!
It is recommended that the Board of Education approve the MOU – Priority Schools – District and RCEA as submitted.
Motion by Catherine H Thompson, second by Faith R Newton.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Kenneth J Rivera, Michael Piccio, Adriana L Bohm, Faith R Newton, Catherine H Thompson, Martin A Wilson Sr, Kenneth R Woods
The District shall assign an administrative leader who shall serve as a liaison to the School (“Liaison”) and who shall be responsible for ensuring that all District services necessary to implement or achieve the goals of the Plan are provided to the Schools.
And there you have, another administrative job!
Funding for Additional Programs.
The District shall not require the Schools to provide any mandatory supplemental programs for which it has not received funding and which are not required by the Plans. The State shall not require the District to provide any District funds to support State -required supplemental programs for which the District has not received funding by the State.
Does thing me Doc won’t be getting paid? Are all currents SES provider contracts null and void until re-approved by new Teach for America school leader?
It is recommended that the Board of Education approve the MOU – Priority Schools- District and State as submitted.
Motion by Catherine H Thompson, second by Martin A Wilson Sr.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Kenneth J Rivera, Michael Piccio, Faith R Newton, Catherine H Thompson, Martin A Wilson Sr, Kenneth R Woods
No: Adriana L Bohm