Daily Archives: January 11, 2010

Duncan being sued case#1:2009cv01765 federal court

CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTERGRITY v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION et al

Plaintiff:

CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTERGRITY

Defendant:

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, ARNE DUNCAN, JOANN RYAN, ROBERT WEHAUSEN and LINDA DARBY

 
Case Number:

1:2009cv01765

Filed:

September 17, 2009

 
Court:

District Of Columbia District Court

Office:

Washington, DC Office

County:

11001

Presiding Judge:

Judge Henry H. Kennedy

 
Nature of Suit:

Other Statutes – Freedom of Information Act

Cause:

05:552 Freedom of Information Act

Jurisdiction:

U.S. Government Defendant

Jury Demanded By:

None

=======================================================

Center for Public Integerity refused information from USDOE ? SO MUCH FOR OBAMA TRANSPARENCY !

Odyssey grades K-12 ; perhaps that’s the way charters should be

National hype over charter schools hits home

“Odyssey Charter, which opened in 2006 and is chartered through Red Clay, is applying for a charter under the state. The K-5 school that teaches Greek as a second language wants the switch to gain greater flexibility for purchasing state property or expanding the school. Board President George Chambers wants to expand Odyssey to include a middle and high school and serve about 1,500 students. If approved, it would add a sixth grade in fall 2011 and an additional grade every subsequent year”

A former board member made a comment about charter schools saying , why start a charter school to have it end at the 5th grade and just dump those students back in the failing public schools? Boy did he catch a raft or shit being a board member of a public school district. Perhaps he may have a point! Charter schools that claim to be college preparatory but ending with grade 5 have no concept what will happen to those students after leaving aren’t college preparatroy.   

Odyssey has a lottery process for admssions however, this comment on the student application concerns me, “Signing this form authorizes Odyssey Charter School to access this student’s school records for purposes of evaluating this application.  and this, Is your child currently receiving special education services? Yes ____ No ____ & Does your child currently have a 504 Accommodation Plan for a diagnosed medical condition? Yes ____ No ____.

I don’t know why charter schools need transcripts of current schools and needing to know about special ed status. To me it seems like a means to cherry pick or skimming of students as Jack Markell commented during his election bid for governor.

“If oversubscribed at the end of the open application period, Odyssey Charter School will publicize and hold a lottery in public, applying preferences as stated in charter and allowed by state law.”

Title 15, Chapter 5, § 506. Restrictions.

3) Students enrolling in a new (nonconverted) charter school may be given preference under the following circumstances as long as the school has described its preferences in the school’s charter:

a. Students residing within a 5-mile radius of the school;

b. Students residing within the regular school district in which the school is located;

c. Students who have a specific interest in the school’s teaching methods, philosophy, or educational focus;

d. Students who are at risk of academic failure;

e. Children of persons employed on a permanent basis for at least 30.0 hours per week during the school year by the charter school.

C. is the poison in charter schools which allows charter schools to “counsel out” students to don’t fit this sections. The mean those who do get the preference.

                            07-08     08-09        

African American

28.6%

23.2%

Asian American

4.9%

6.1%

Hispanic

3.4%

4.1%

White

63.1%

66.6%

English Language Learner

0.8%

1.0%

Low Income

0.0%

2.0%

Special Education

2.4%

1.5%

Enrolled for Full Year

96.7%

97.0%

Kindergarten

71

81

Grade 1

74

81

Grade 2

36

69

Grade 3

22

41

Grade 4

 

21

Total

203

293

2% poverty of 293 students equals 5.8 students but we’ll call it 6 poverty students to be fair.

Do charter schools have outreach programs and aren’t charter schools the ansewer to rasing achievment amoug our poor children.

George you want the laws change given charter schools better advantage re: state surplus property but perhaps we need to change the law in regards to setting poverty levels in charter schools.

However, I support your goal of Odyssey K-12. Good luck with the state board on the vote re: Odyssey Vs BSD. I know you have a wonderful creative lawyer.

Odyssey war with BSD coming to another vote

Title 14,

Chapter 5

§ 504A. Powers.

(6) Contract with any school district, or any other public school or private nonsectarian, nonreligious entity also empowered to enter into contracts, for any and all real property, equipment, goods, supplies and services; provided, that a school district must make unused buildings or space (defined as space no longer needed, permanently or temporarily, for non-charter school purposes) buildings or space in buildings available to a charter school, and shall bargain in good faith over the cost of rent, services and maintenance related to such space; provided further, that a charter school may, with the approval of the Secretary and the State Board for the sole purpose of determining compliance with this proviso,

Brandywine School Board Meeting April 27, 2009 OLD BUSINESS  

A. Darley Road Elementary School Lease Agreement Discussion

ON THE MOTION of Mr. Brumskill, seconded by Mr. Ackerman, the Board members present voted unanimously (7-0) to enter into lease agreement negotiations with the Boys & Girls Club.  

Dr. Scanlon started the discussion regarding the Board’s decision on March 23, 2009, to enter into a lease agreement negotiations with the Boys & Girls Club for the Darley Road Elementary School and the outcome of the subsequent April 6, 2009 Public Hearing when the Board heard from community members and others specifically regarding that decision. Dr. Scanlon asked for direction from the Board as to whether they heard input since their decision last month that would cause them to undo that decision.

After questions asked and discussion held by many of the Board members, Ms. Siskin, Mr. Brumskill, Mr. Huxsoll, Ms. Heffernan, Ms. Johnson-Harris, Ms. Hearn, and Mr. Ackerman each expressed their individual positions on this subject.

Brandywine School District Board Meeting Monday July 27 ,2009

“Ms. Heffernan then asked for a motion stating there was enough evidence to support the reversal of the Board’s prior decision not to enter into lease negotiations with Odyssey Charter School. No motion was forthcoming.”

ON THE MOTION   of Ms. Siskin, seconded by Mr. Ackerman, the Board members present voted unanimously (5-0) to deny the Odyssey Charter School appeal of their previous decision not to enter into lease negotiations with Odyssey for the use of BSD’s closed Darley Road Elementary School.

Delaware State Board of Education minutes August 20, 2009  

Appeal Request of Odyssey Charter School 

Delaware State Board of Education agenda January 14, 2009 

Appeals and Reviews (Tab 9) E.1 Odyssey Charter School v. Brandywine School District (2009-07) (For Possible Action)  The State Board may consider the decision of the hearing officer in this appeal.

Some of you may have attended the Red Clay School Board Meetings associated with Odyssey request to modify their existing charter with Red Clay to open a second building within Red Clay. Once their requested for modification was denied the representative sitting in the audience jump up yelled out of order blaming the Red Clay Board if Odyssey had to default on the loan needed to secure the second location. I was like how fucking stupid could they be signing a loan before modification approval. I heard an individual blurt out ISDC! Well I knew what that was about and it appears some backroom assurances were made re: the charter modification. The motion failed 3-3 vote but after Odyssey crying the board,  “It was recommended that the original motion voted on tonight be rescinded and further discussion should occur between Odyssey Charter administration and Red Clay board members and administration.”  So, the Red Clay called for one of those speical workshop on December 1, 2008. and the issues was rehashed and the charter modification was approved. (I just wanted to give you a little more history as to the operation mode of Odyssey)

Odyssey’s displeasure with Brandywine School District not to lease them the Brandywine Darley Road School that was closed by BSD led to this war. It’s appear Odyssey is playing the clause in the law that grants charter schools first use of “Unused Space” within an existing public school. I have a hunch the state board of education must vote in favor of the law.

For Odyssey Charter to operate in Brandywine School district they need a new charter . Red Clay cannot modify Odyssey’s charter to operate outside Red Clay’s borders. So a new charter application had to be submitted. Big concerns for Red Clay is the mixing of finances between two sperate charters with the same organization. Watch out Tom Wagner these folks are slicker than dog shit.  

Arne Duncan seeking to change Delaware State Consitution

Delaware State Constitution Article X Education  § 6. Property tax; use limitations. 

Section 6. “No property tax receipts received by a public school district as a result of a property tax levied for a particular purpose shall be used for any other purpose except upon the favorable vote of a majority of the eligible voters in the district voting on the question”

Local school taxes for local share of public school operating and capital expenses are put to a referendum.  Charter schools per Delaware Code Title 14, Chapter 5, section 504 reads; “§ 504. Corporate status. (a) A charter school shall be organized and managed under the Delaware General Corporation Law.”   Therefore, charter schools cannot hold referendums and are not entitled to capital funding. They knew the law prior to applying for a charter.

Currently charter school uses operational funding as part of capital expense needs.  As for traditional public schools, the state holds their share of capital funding hostage until local school districts pass a succesful referendum. The state cannot give special funds to a charter school or a traditional public school without giving the other the same proportionate to student population. Doing so would question Delaware role in  equitable funding of public schools. HOWEVER, the Delaware State Constitution specifically forbids any taxes levied via property taxes going to public education other than what the local voters approved. State portions of school capital funding is not proceeds from property taxes however, tying those funds to a referendum for traditional public schools and not charter schools could cause alarm!

Arne Duncan feels his needs and desires to reform Delaware schools supersedes the Delaware State Constitution.

Executive Summary
F. General
 (iv) The State provides charter schools with funding for facilities (for leasing facilities, purchasing facilities, or making tenant improvements), assistance with facilities acquisition, access to public facilities, the ability to share in bonds and mill levies, or other supports; and the extent to which the State does not impose any facility-related requirements on charter schools that are stricter than those applied to traditional public schools;

 In fairness to charter schools I feel our state legislators step up and pass legislation allowing the usage of Conduit Loans for Delaware charter schools. These low interest loans are not backed by the State of Delaware and the state risk no loss in the event of default by a charter organization. With three new charter schools coming on line fall of 2010 and 9 application for fall 2011 in the pipeline I feel our state legislators need to step up A.S.A.P.

Delaware invaded by Charters

National hype over charter schools hits home; Nine proposed facilities apply to open in 2011 in NCCo, Kent

“Choice is important. Every student doesn’t learn the same way. Every family doesn’t have the same educational goals,” said Susan Harris, executive director of the Delaware Charter School Network. “Parents need these kinds of choices.”

Yes students and parents need these kinds of choices but to suggest struggling poor children be segregated in  their own schools is a bit bias. Admission standards of public charter schools should never discriminate against student achievement. All charter schools should have open admissions with no entrance test / placement test prior to acceptance. Some parents of high poverty children who are failing in failing traditional public schools should not be give options that only include  grouping together with other poor performing students. What about children whose own parents don’t give a rats ass and won’t advocate for them? Who will send life board for these kids? yea, yea I know we can’t save the world! Bullshit !  

Howard Weinberg, executive director of the Delaware State Education Association, said charter schools shouldn’t duplicate programs that already exist in traditional public schools.

“We ought to make sure that charters that are applying bring a value added to the population and to the public education system,” he said. “We ought to re-examine the charter school law. We need to make sure we are doing what’s best for the overall system. Every time you create a new charter school, it impacts the system and causes money to be shifted.”

Howard, we ought to stop fucking crying! DSEA should have not attended the event where Arne Duncan came for his political blow job by Jack Markell. If a moron like myself could see the writing on the wall surely you should have. Face it, Jack Markell sold the unions down the river! The simple solution was to come to the table and stop protecting those teachers who are in the wrong profession. In the real world employees who fuck up don’t get protected and retrained. They get FIRED ! Why should the public pay for retraining failing teachers even after millions spent on professional development. 

Howard, you know dam well what Obama and Duncan’s charter school agenda is! They know RTTT will fail but the 4.5 billion dollars spent is well worth  it to ensure the doors are open for more charter schools. The 4.5 billion dollars is being well spent to advance charter schools. Perhaps DSEA members not sign the MOUs until the Delaware charter school law is changed to end the selective admission.

So nine more in 2011 and 3 set to open in fall of 2010! Wow, 12 more charter schools in Delaware. I wonder what the negative impact on traditional school districts will be ? Will Warner  lose enough students forcing Warner to close or rent space to a charter organization? Will district administrators’ salaries go down as student population goes down? How many DESA members will leave to be employed in charter schools? How much Title 1 funding leaves traditional public schools for charters. Answer me one question! Who will advocate for children their own parents won’t!

To all you righteous community leaders who proclaim to be Civil Rights leaders, rise up and stand up for the rights of all children white and black. All parents and students should have the same choice to attend a charter school and not discriminated against by intelligence during the admission process. Low performing students shouldn’t be force to attend low performing charter schools.

To my legislative friends, Marion T was forced closed because of not meeting the standards. Others high poverty schools are in the danger zone re: rating and may be force closed. Where are the safety nets and why should students of these school suffer due to poor legislation? Why should they before back to traditional public schools because you the legislators allow charter schools to discriminate against intelligence. NO PUBLIC SCHOOL SHOULD PICK AND CHOOSE THEIR STUDENTS.

The failure of charter schools will be the result of failed legislation that governs them. Face it we have the same legislative system that regulated the current public schools system. The same legislators who failed to hold educators accountable as not to offend their lobbyist. Handing over the keys to public education to private business entities  with the same systems that monitors traditional public school finances is  formula for future disaster.

No doubt Delaware’s public school system is moving to more of a privatized model and time will tell if it is a good thing. I support the charter school concept and choice but just hope our state legislators find it in their hearts to require Delaware DOE to reach out to parents of students who have no advocate at home. I question the fair and equal aspect of Delaware co-called public reform movement.  I have very little confidence in our governor Jack Markell whose focus may be on his own political future. Jack what happen to your concerns with separation by charter schools and skimming students? Will you stand by and allow a social concentration camp be built creating such disparities?

Message for Red Clay School Board. Former Red Clay Board members (with on still on the board) designed and help established Charter School of Wilmington and regardless of my concerning views with charter schools particularly their admission standards, the rent agreement between Red Clay and Charter School of Wilmington must stand as it is. Of all the charter schools in Delaware, CSW is the only charter schools designed and establsihed by a local school board. So honor that relationship.