Red Clay School District’s referendum presentation is as bad as the worst used car commercial even seen on television. The classic game of one lies the other swears to it.
I try to put thinks in perspective and say, OK I don’t like the new school plan but do like keeping our existing schools updated and maintained. I have a choice of voting No for the new school and Yes for repairs and up grade to existing schools. But the more I look at Red Clay’s plans and some of the used car salesman tactics I’ve come to a conclusion to vote No on both referendum questions. Do note, I’ve never voted no for a Red Clay capital referendum or operational referendum. We hear all the shit about having honest conversations about education but it seems Red Clay wants to high-jack that conversation but calling those who have serious reservation about their plans naysayers who don’t care about kids. Over and over we hear, it’s just the price of a daily cup of coffee. Well perhaps it’s time for Red Clay to stop drinking at Starbucks.
I’ve laid out my opinion in past posts about how I feel about the new school on Graves Road. Pretty much I called Red Clay everything but racist. I don’t live in the city of Wilmington nor am I back. There are many people who live in the Camelot communities like ant is a safe self contained ant farm not giving a rat’s ass about others. They appease white parents who don’t want their children riding school buses into Wilmington to fill vacant seats in the city schools. Meantime taxpayers pay heating and maintaining school buildings that are not being used to it’s fullest potential. And let’s not forget, new schools require ongoing maintenance and operational cost for things such as heat and maintenance staff. Are we going to hire more custodians or transfer them from other schools. But what about the city middle and high school students whom apparently aren’t worthy of a neighborhood middle or high school of their own? Red Clay claims they don’t want to make changes that will make Wilmington school racially identifiable. Though I don’t live in Wilmington, Wilmington is part of our society as are black people, Hispanics, Latinos, Asians, American Indian, Arabs living among us and all other races and nationalities.
Back to Red Clay’s referendum. Red Clay presents shallow renovation plans to each of the schools. Why not full plans to exactly which doors are being replace and what are the exact up grades intended for a school stage and so forth. They have to know all the numbers to formulate and estimate. The reason they play this game of Red Clay Where’s Waldo is because down the road they’ll lower the scope of some plans and increase it on other plans. They’ll create this little pool of floating money to run bullshit agendas. Are there building level committees of parents, teachers and community members reviewing projects to ensure what was on the plan gets completed? Are there committees that sign off and provide a report to the school board and community that repairs and upgrades to their building were complete as promised? HELL NO !!! Red Clay can use forward thinking when their heads are up their asses.
Many parents who send their children to charter school say they aren’t happy with traditional public schools and the assumption is its bad teachers. That is not necessary the case. Central administration and leadership also plays a major part in education and it often poor leadership that trickles down to the classrooms. Teachers these days have about the same amount of authority as custodians or the cafeteria lady! It’s put the blinders on and do what you are told. Much of the failures in public education is due to failure in leadership and much that stems from school leaders kissing political ass to sever their own interest.
Many charter schools if not all run a tight budget like Old Mother Hubbard. Red Clay tactics playing poor mouth claiming schools are so bad they’re about to fall off their foundations are playing the community for idiots. There have been referendums over the years trying to keep up with upgrades such as modern technologies. They’ll find pictures of doors that are in the worst shape and print pictures of them to want you to think all doors are the same. Maybe its time to review Red Clay’s preventive maintenance plans. Maybe school district are too big and overwhelming for superintendents. Perhaps we need to revisit site-based management that includes maintenance issue. Why wait for a door to rust of it’s hinges when addressing the first sign of rust could prevent long term damage? Why not have maintenance contracts on heaters and A/C where parts are maintained along the way before they become major issues? I have a hunch charter schools are more proactive when it comes to these issues.
Maybe that new school in Hockesin should be a charter school? I guess its easier for the more affluent to manipulate school officials to build schools to their needs at the same time putting their asses in the face of city children rather then build charter schools. It seems Red Clay is more accommodating to the more affluent than any other school district in the state. Red Clay has turned it’s back on ensuring equity in achieving neighborhood schools in Wilmington and more focused on meeting the needs of the more affluent suburban communities.
Nothing will ever change until there are changes community leadership. Why are voices of suburban parents louder than that of city parents? Those who live by the old school thinking that a piece of pie is better than none at all aren’t good community leaders. And those who follow community leaders who have a personal $$$ vested interest in education are fools. The cost of power is “FREE” and it take a community of voices to stand up and demand “CHANGE”. Red Clay will go to the schools selling those schools what they will get out of this referendum but we must looks at the complete agenda. Wilmington Red Clay taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for a school in the suburbs when that school has no feeder pattern extending into Wilmington. Sure fill a Choice application out but it’s up to you to get your child to school. DART buses don’t even run to Graves Road. Sure you don’t have to vote on the question for the school or vote no for that part. But does that excuse the AGENDA?
Red Clay will get more than they bargained for when the new civil rights leaders step up! It’s only a matter of time and that day is coming!