Delaware’s DOE dishonest charter school shell game

Richard Milburn Academy (closed in summer 2000 after one year of operation)

Georgetown Charter School (closed in March 2002 during its first year of operation)

Marion T. Academy Charter School (closed 2008)

Maurice  J Moyer  Academy (charter revoked 2010 and DEDOE hired K12.Inc to assume responsibilities.

The Delaware Department of Education officially list one charter school re: “All Charter Schools That DDOE Closed Or Did Not Reauthorize to Operate and Reason” and that is Marion T.  (See here)

Per DEDOE’s monthly charter school status report  May 1. 2011:

School Accountability Rating Summary 2010
Charter School Breakdown
Superior 7
Academic Review 5
Academic Progress 2
Academic Watch  4

* Includes Moyer

Total 18 active charter schools with 61% not meeting standards. However, factoring in the three charter schools that were closed, the total number of approved charter schools would be 21. Therefore, the reality is 67% of all approved charted schools failed to meet the standards.

I am curious as to why Governor Markell wants to sweep Georgetown and Milburn under the carpet as if they never existed?

Governor Markell pushes data driven education but seems to like skewing the data to his advantage. United States Secretary of Education claims we’re lying to parents and students about the condition of education but yet Delaware Governor the first to win the Race to The Top fund can’t be honest with the taxpayers.

Charter schools are a great concept and I support parents and students who make charter school their option. As we see with Reach and Pencader charter schools Delaware Department of Education lacks  the capacity in being an effective “partner” with charter schools. Sure DEDOE must perform oversight duties but if it had the capacity to be partners assisting charter schools in effective financial management perhaps charters school especially new charter schools wouldn’t be struggling financially. House Bill 119 was to bring finances out in the open. However, with DEDOE be too preoccupied with Race to The Top, PZ Plan, DCAS, DPASll and kissing Arne Duncan’s ass perhaps they would have that capacity. HB 119 is a total failure and the legislators who supported it needs to take time and visit every district and charter school website to see compliance or lack off. DEDOE isn’t even capable of doing that.

Charter schools fail and struggle because the Delaware Department of Education fails to provide adequate support and intervention often comes too late. Allowing various charter school models that are nothing more than unproven experiments to cycle through trial and errors isn’t healthy for education. Arne Duncan only wants “great” charter schools and supports closing failing charter schools. However, he nor Delaware Department of Education have put together a safety-net (legislation or policy) that looks after the interest of those students impacted by a closed charter school. It’s like too fucking bad ( sorry Rick for the grammar but just want to share to pain) these students are forced back to failing public schools. Talk about a social injustice! DEDOE approves charter schools and one would think that process is sound. How in the F is it possible a charter school could open one year and order closed the next or even the same year?

The Delaware Department of Education needs to get off the authoritarian trip and move toward a hands on support agency. Delaware Secretary of Education  Lillian Lowery is a very knowledgeable, kind and warm person and it’s unfortunate she cannot function as the Delaware Secretary of Education  without political puppet strings. Also, we have the Delaware State Board of Education that it’s members are appointed by the Governor’s approval and serves like the secretary, at his pleasure. Delaware education is driven by politics with outside interference of business roundtables.

It’s time for the state legislators to step up and demand that DEDOE be required to find placement for students who will be impacted by charter schools ordered closed and that placement must be a charter school or traditional public school rated “Commendable” or “Superior” with transportation accommodation OR a school voucher to attend a private school of their choice equaling the average Delaware per student cost. Student are not lab rats that must endure emotion pain because adults can’t run charter schools or the Delaware Department of Education doesn’t have the capacity to be effective partners.

Delaware public education needs effective financial transparency and effective transparency of school governance. DEDOE is resisting an effort to move Delaware State Board of Education meeting from 1:30 P.M. at the cabinet room to 7 P.M. at a local Dover schools. Apparently this will cause a hardship on DEDOE employees and their consultants. These folks are so disconnect and just live in their own fart-bubble. What about the undo hardship the Delaware Department of Education is causing students and parents with a dog chasing it’s tale reform plan?

Legislator PLEASE delivery us real transparency of school finances and school governance that includes the Delaware Department of Education.  We can no longer standby and allow the people to be subservient to those that are the public servant in accordance with Delaware and United States Constitution.


9 responses to “Delaware’s DOE dishonest charter school shell game

  1. nativebluehen

    The old meeting on Thursdays at 1:00 is designed to shut out true public input. I hate to say it but the Valerie and Nancy show was actually much better then the Dan show.


  2. fyi

    RT DeVos Family Behind School Privatization Push Disguised as “Choice”: #racism #amway #blackwater…


  3. Is anyoen in the General Assembly reading Kilroy?


  4. And check thi sout – go to the post for the lnks –
    Differences in Public Education in DE
    Posted on May 8, 2011 by Wolfe Gary
    Normally, I don’t write or comment about charter schools as Kent/Sussex counties have very few of them. My comments today are not about the school itself, but more an open letter to parents and legislators in Lower Delaware. While catching up on the news I read an article in the Cape Gazette about a legislative breakfast at the Sussex Academy of Arts and Science in Georgetown. Now I understand the premise of the charter school, and can see why so many parents want their child to attend them. My issue, and nothing against this school, is that charters setup by the state have the ability to pick and chose who they accept! Also, and you can check out this charters application, but why is it the parents of children attending these schools can be required to attend teacher conferences each year when in many public schools we are hard pressed to get a parent in the front door? Now one thing I will get on my soap box about is that if a student does not meet these requirements they are returned to the school from where they came with no questions asked!
    When I went to the website for SAAS I read their goals statement and outside the first statement about being a Superior School, I know that the one about being a “safe, respectful school environment” is in many other schools vision statements. The problem we and many other schools outside the charted network run into is that the public schools today can’t send students to someone else when a parent does not act like a parent, or when a student fails to respect themselves or their teachers! To the members of Delaware’s Legislature, and Executive office, if you want to see Superior schools in Delaware lets first give schools the support with improving student/parental involvement, and before you push STEM programs give our graduates employment in the state that requires that type of education!


    • Bubba'sBoy

      Charters may appear to have a discriminatory practice but it is one that is more inferred than actual. Some charters get different and more participatory and bright children because of location, perceived difficulty and the mere fact that parents have to go out of their way to register them in the school.

      Parents who take the time to find a school are more likely to participate in most cases. Some charter schools have the same problems as a traditional public school as shown in the number of schools on academic watch or worse. Those doing “well” have a similar demographic (check poverty level).

      As for getting rid of kids out whose parents do not participate I doubt if DOE will stand by this practice. Every school wants this and a safe environment. So most superior schools don’t have to worry about much in this area. In some cases students are counseled out of schools because they refuse to follow rules (unfortunately regular public schools don’t have this power) even though it has to be really egregious for DOE to back up the school.

      STEM is one of the latest fads in education when we should be moving toward more vocational skills and teaching kids to think. Kids are dropping out because of the push to make them all fit into a specific area instead of giving them choices. We are running out of skilled labor and losing jobs at home to foreign labor because our students have lost the ability to reason.

      Charters and regular public schools and private schools all are teaching the same way we have always taught even with technological advances where they are. We can blame charter, votechs, private (although we don’t know how private schools are actually doing, no state test) and in some cases regular public schools for skimming the cream, leaving some schools to struggle with those students left. Those left are a mixture of students with excellent and not so excellent skills. Still they deserve and in most cases get the best education possible in the present system we have.


  5. DDOE by law has the authority to require total transparency on how and where all public funds are used, they do not require this because this would reduce the power of a few select administrators and board members. Control over spending together with control over what information we are provided is absolute POWER, and that is what they want. DDOE, districts do not want us involved.
    As stated we need far more vocational courses, we need people to work on our cars, fix our heater, air conditioners, work in medical fields, etc. I am told we have a shortage of nurses and this will only get worse as more and more people retire.


    • Greg Mazzotta

      Your point is worth emphasizing – there is a growing shortage of nurses and medical technicians.

      The American Society For Quality, sent out an alert to this effect just last week.

      Retirement populations like Delaware will see this impact sooner than later.


    • Greg Mazzotta

      Monday, May 09, 2011

      Survey: Health IT Can Help Health System Cope With Staff Shortages

      Health IT can help address quality issues related to projected shortages of health care professionals, according to a survey by the American Society for Quality, Healthcare IT News reports (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 5/6).
      The survey of 475 ASQ members found that the health care work force shortage could lead to more fragmented and uncoordinated care, longer waits and an increase in medical errors.
      Survey respondents cited electronic health records as the IT system with the greatest potential for reducing the negative effects of health care staffing shortages (Cardiovascular Business, 5/5).
      According to the survey respondents, other health IT tools that could help address the quality concerns related to the expected work force shortages include:
      Automated medication dispensing systems;
      Computerized order entry systems for medications;
      Clinical decision support systems;
      Disease registries; and
      Telehealth and remote monitoring systems (Healthcare IT News, 5/6).


  6. nativebluehen

    The vo-tech’s get to asess student behavior files before accepting a kid into high shool. Yet no one complains. Hmmmm, many a legislator or their family member works for the vo-tech’s. Odd…. this is a 100 times more discriminatory then CSW test.
    At Polytech the motto is the power of knowledge for work or college.