Monthly Archives: April 2012

Big charter and traditional schools projected enrollment numbers due tomorrow

May 1 , 2012 is the day charter and traditional public schools projected enrollment is due.

The fiscal school year starts July 1, 2012 and the state kicks out some funding for the new year. I am curious where Pencader numbers will be? in school year 2010-2011 Pencader’s actual enrollment was 616 students and this year 2011-2012 the enrollment is 507 students.

all Enrollment

2010-11 2011-12

Grade 9



Grade 10



Grade 11



Grade 12






Somewhere in the numbers is the break even point re: revenues and expenses. DOE Dan knows and he’ll be sending up some red flags if the May 1 projected student count isn’t healthy. I am not sure how aggressive Pencader has been re: recruiting students for next year. Seems like they are too busy bickering rather than shoring up their image. I’ll make an effort to get those projected numbers and report back to you.

Parents if you want to save Pencader you’re going to have to turn up the heat up and end it. Better get it done by this Friday!

For so long as Pencader shall remain on probation, it shall not incur any additional debt without the prior written consent of the Department. By June 30, 2013. Pencader Business and Finance Charter School shall have also repaid in full the $300,000.00 loan from Greggo & Ferrara, and shall be debt free.

How many campaign flyers does it take to turn off a voter

Mommy,Mommy! Look! Someone who has come to three school board meetings sent me my report card in the mail today! by Transparent Christina

Go read here ………………….

We’re getting into that time in the election cycle where were flooded with all those campaign flyers and robo calls. School board candidates start early because their election is May 8th. Can candidates oversell themselves? But in the case of school board elections, many of the flyers aren’t from the candidate themselves. I love the flyers that aren’t endorse by the candidates and wonder why these 3rd parties act of if the candidates have a physical plan. Why don’t the candidates just mail their plans to the public? Markell wrote an entire books. You’d think a school board candidate could write a few pages.



Although I have made it publicly known that I am disassociating myself with the negative fliers sent on behalf of my campaign, I do feel the need to also place this statement on my website. I did not send the fliers out, nor did I approve them. While I appreciate the work of an advocacy group supporting my candidacy, I do not believe in negative campaigning. Serving on the Christina School board would be a privilege and an honor. I do not desire to tarnish that honor by making offensive statements regarding the board as a whole. I would like to thank all of my followers for their support and encouragement.

                                                            Val Harris~

John Dickinson High School has choice openings to even out of district students

Dickinson High School Approved to Offer IB Diploma

The district is planning to increase the number of spots available to students in the IB program. An informational Open House will be scheduled at the school shortly and students can apply to the school until June 30, 2012 for the 2012-2013 school year. Seating will be limited.

Call Principal: Byron Murphy 302-992-5500

Webpage John Dickinson High School

JDHS Invites Parents to Get Involved

Dickinson has four parent organizations that need new members this year:

Dickinson Support Association (DSA):  This is Dickinson’s parent – student – teacher organization.  This group works to support teachers in the work they do for children and puts on the After Prom party every May.

Sports Boosters:  This organization works to support all athletics at Dickinson.

Performing Arts Boosters (PAB):  This organization supports music and dramatic arts at Dickinson.

Community Advisory Board (CAB):  This group works in parallel to the school’s leadership team to monitor, implement, and revise the School Improvement Plan.  If you are interested in impacting the future direction of our school – this is the organization for you.

Folks you snooze you lose! Don’t wait until to you’ll hear seats are full!

John Dickinson High School is rate SUPERIOR

SchoolName SchoolRating AYP

Charter School of Wilmington

Above Target

Delaware Military Academy

Above Target

Dickinson (John) High School

Above Target

duPont (Alexis I.) High School

Above Target

McKean (Thomas) High School

Above Target

Message for parents and students of Pencader

Dear Parents and Students of Pencader Charter School:

Last year Kilroy’s stepped up to join the fight to save Pencader Charter School from obvious desire of the Delaware Department of Education lead by Governor Markell to closed Pencader over financial concerns. Pencader has amazing teachers and support staff. Also, Pencader has wonderful administrators and a new school board but the riffs over the termination of Mr. Lewis is toxic and the victims are you!

I am noting going to defend Mr. Lewis but the man has been around in education a long long time going back to the days when teachers would drag your ass out in the hall and paddle it for things like talking during class. Teachers these days are left to defend themselves with no real authority over students. Many charter parents and traditional school parents put discipline concerns tops on their list! They want their children in safe schools. Mr. Lewis telling a student she was acting like a spoiled bitch is as minor as it comes. Teaching is stressful and the shit has to get to even the best teacher and from what I hear Mr. Lewis is an outstanding teacher. As far as teaching yelling for class control ! Damn, back in my day we were dodging pieces of chalk and caulk board-erasers. Even the nuns in Catholic schools would beat the shit out students. God bless Mr. Lewis for all his caring years in education and please don’t bash him here! Unless the board and Mr. Lewis agree to release private executive board information we won’t know the full story. That as it many be, Mr. Lewis and all teachers must somehow maintain being professional in an era when teachers are frown upon for patting a student on the back or giving them a hug in praise. Teachers are victims in a society that appears to be turning to shit! His intention weren’t malice but non acceptable.  

The problems your school faces now is not about Mr. Lewis. When I supported Pencader charter school last year from the DE DOE Ax, I supported your new leader Mrs. Lewis another fine educators and please don’t bash her. What I see is emotionally hurting people and that hurt has festered into pain for students and parents who need not be required to take sides in this mess.

Pencader is a charter school for business and finance and you are getting a unique perspective in the dangers of family run businesses. Being in business isn’t a game! The first rule of economics is organizations exist to serve people. But much of the troubles in public education, is public education seems to serve everybody but students. The call for charter schools was to create individual schools with self-autonomy to better serve students (always open for debate). The Delaware Charter Schools Network seems to want to be the broker to end this crisis. Reports have this organization wanting to fire your school board. However, the Delaware Charter Schools Network can’t possibly know what went on in executive session regarding Mr. Lewis. Because if they do, someone broke the law. Delaware Charter Schools Network wants to be your friend and calls for a open Town Hall meeting to discuss this crisis. The problem is yours! The answers are with you! Don’t drink the Kool-Aid!

Let your school leaders, state legislators, the Delaware Department of Education,  other parents, other students, teachers and the community know your feelings about the impact all of this is having on “your” school do it here on Kilroy’s. Use any anonymous name you like but stick to that name. If you are bold enough to use your real name that’s even better. Trying to express yourselves to the impact of the current Pencader situation because, I am telling you , your schools is in very serious danger of not existing. I was very hard on DOE Dan last year because it appeared he supporting closing Pencader and I’ve have never align myself with anything he does. But common sense tells many of Pencader is sinking!

To the Pencader board and leadership: Do you really need the Delaware Charter Schools Network to be your babysitter? You are a school of finance and business educating tomorrows business leaders. Stop making this shit about you! Parents, student, many in the community even strangers rally behind you last year! It was for the concerns of the kids / students! Stop treating them like pets in a pet-shop! They are not merchandise, they are our kids. Stop acting like “bitches” !

Again, I don’t want to hear about Mr. Lewis or Mrs. Lewis in relationship to Mr. They are both fine people and gave years of their lives to education. What’s going on now is far more serious than the “bitch” word!

The rain continues to pour on Pencader! This time IRS


Previous school leader did not file tax returns for 3 years

2008, 2009, 2010
Need to complete 1023
Fines: $75/day for each return

How can this be ? Pencader Charter Business and Finance High School!

I just hope the Pencader team comes out of this emotional nightmare soon!

What next? Pension Fraud ?

CSW board comes out of the dark!

Board Agenda & Minutes





































Archived Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Finally the board of director’s minutes have been updated! Chuck was good talking to you today! Keep the passion going !

The Pencader Charter School dilemma

Last year when the Delaware Department of Education seemed poised to close Reach Academy and Pencader. Many in the community came to the aid of these charter schools. Even a few school board members of traditional school districts who are open about not wanting to authorize charter school in their district came to the aid of Reach and Pencader. Did it turn into a game of trying to save these charter schools or to take-on the iron fist of DE DOE charter school leadership that runs its own agenda? Yes, I did enjoy the battle. However, I’ve made some friends and fans along the way. I review all the monthly DE DOE progress reports on these two schools and the seem well on they way of coming off DE DOE death watch. However, with Pencader comes a new twist.

The incident where Mr. Lewis told a female student to stop acting like a spoiled bitch set-off fireworks. This incident came on the heels of more serious incidents involving sexual misconduct at others public schools. What Mr. Lewis said was inappropriate and far from being criminal. If this incident with Mr. Lewis happen prior to all the other incidents involving others at other schools in Delaware there wouldn’t of been a heighten concern. Whatever happen to the teacher who “physically” interfered with the SRO officers at Moyer? Still on the job?

I originally comment that he be suspended for the remainder of the year and be required to take anger management classes. But retreated back and suggested 30 day suspension. However, I only have one view from the outside and the Pencader board had another from inside. If there wasn’t a video of this incident on the internet would we have heard about it?

The following is from the official Delaware Department of Education Pencader progress report March 2012 present to the state board of education at April 2012 meeting.

DOE staff met with representatives from Pencader on January 5, 2012. Bill Bentz provided an overview of the school’s budget and the presentation was thorough. There was conversation at the March 29 meeting with Pencader concerning their enrollment for the 2012-2013 school year. Early indications are that they will struggle with enrollment. We will know more after the April 1st count is available.

DOE asked questions concerning the negative publicity of Mr Lewis, the school leader’s husband around directing abusive language toward a student. This was before the teacher was dismissed and we are hopeful  that will help with enrollment.

Its obvious DE DOE was concern with the impact of Mr. Lewis’s behavior drawing negative publicity that could impact enrollment which is already fragile. What message was DE DOE sending Pencader’s school board? To me it was a message to terminate Mr. Lewis’s services.

By now many of you know Mr. Lewis is the spouse of Pencader school leaders Mrs. Lewis. I can only imagine the stress the incident brought to that household.  And despite all they “are” good people. Mrs. Lewis and the Pencader school board has been doing an amazing job turning Pencader around. Look at the progress report and see items noted “completed”. Pencader biggest problem is the financial debt the board and school leader inherited. School enrollment is the main source of revenue for all charter schools.

Its really sad to see Pencader imploded because of the Lewis incident.

If the reports by other blogger are true in regards to the Delaware Charter Schools Network involved where the director joined Mrs. Lewis in the call for all Pencader board of directors to step-down, I must say I am shock to hear such intrusion. To me it sounds like the seedbed for Innovative Schools involvement is being laid and down the road Mrs. Lewis services may be terminated.

Despite to obvious personal rifts going on Mrs. Lewis and the board have the right stuff to keep Pencader moving forward. I think each person should do some soul searching and ask if all of this fighting is in the best interest of Pencader students? Those students and parents took a chance on Pencader despite the DE DOE black cloud hanging over their heads re: probation. Those students and parents believe in the Pencader system yet, the adults within are acting like spoiled bitches. Adults stop and work together and save Pencader for the children. It should be about them and them only!

Classic patronizing line: After the election we’ll have coffee

A person whom I thought was a trusted friend rolls me under the bus to impress another and when confronted tells me, “after the election we’ll get together and have coffee”. Wow!  Such remorse.

The political war on student loans is unnecessary

Student-loan brawl By S.A.MILLER

Republicans and Democrats both want to stop interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans from jumping from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent in July. They just can’t agree how to pay the $5.9 billion cost

Student loan reform: What will it mean for students? Christian Science Monitor

The legislation makes substantial changes in the way students get money for college, but those provisions might not necessarily be tangible for students in the immediate future.

That’s because the biggest change is in who administers student loans. Instead of private banks issuing loans guaranteed by the government, the government will now become the originator of the loan.

When I acquired a Parent Plus Student Loan it was through a bank. But now all that has changed, Note: Before July 1, 2010, Stafford, PLUS, and Consolidation Loans were also made by private lenders under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFELSM) Program. As a result of recent legislation, no further loans will be made under the FFEL Program beginning July 1, 2010. Instead, all new Stafford, PLUS, and Consolidation loans will come directly from the U.S. Department of Education under the Direct Loan Program”. All the above loans are now through the federal government, no more going through a bank. The change in legislation was to help reduce the cost of the loan program by cutting out the middlemen. However its obvious that more federal employees were hired to administer the loan program. So how much is the government really saving? But back to this war on the loan interest rate. The funding for these loans comes from the taxpayers and the interest paid returns to the taxpayers. I don’t understand the 5.9 billion dollar cost concern. Its a loan that has to be paid back with a current interest rate 3.4%. Sure there will be defaults and loan scams. But my point is, doesn’t the 3.4% interest cover the government administration cost of the student loan program? The federal fund interest rate charged banks is o.25%. I wonder where the savings from cutting out the middleman is re: student loan / banks went to? The legislators need to vote to keep the student loan interest rates right where they are.

True story, the Parent Plus Loan I acquired for baby Kilroy via the bank; I always paid a little extra each month and when the next month’s bill came it was adjusted downward. It came to a point the monthly statement indicated $0.00 due. That’s because I was paid ahead. So a few summers ago I said to the wife, the monthly statement indicated $0.00 due so let just take the money we normally paid and have a little extra for vacation. Well the next month’s bill came with a notice that the interest rate had gone up because I missed a payment! I called and explained the payment I missed indicated $0.00 due. I was informed that I was required to at least pay the interest. I said, the bill said $0.00 due and why didn’t it indicate how much interest was due? I was told to read the contract! So up went the interest rate!

WTF! 3 years teaching experience is good enough to be Delaware’s Secretary of Education

Murphy’s vision should suit Delaware just fine; News Journal

As executive director of the Vision Network for the last two years and a former teacher, Mr. Murphy has been a front-line participant in overcoming the challenges facing public education in Delaware

But Mr. Murphy will be taking on the leadership of 19 school districts with multiple administrative personalities and parent constituents. In Mr. Markell’s eyes, he is apparently that someone with a “teacher’s heart,” a “principal’s perspective” and a data-driven mind that the governor was looking for.

As a result, Mr. Murphy should be able to pick up where Ms. Lowery left off in spreading the gains in student achievement.

From his favorable comments about understanding classroom pressures, expect more help for teachers in mastering the data to correct their student learning deficiencies and their own instructional weaknesses.

Among the first winners of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top competition, Delaware has become a recognized leader in public education reform.

From Delaware Ed blog Nichole Dobo

Principal, George Washington Carver Elementary School in the St. Mary’s County Public Schools in Maryland, 2002-2006

Assistant principal, Leonardtown Elementary School, St. Mary’s County Public Schools in Maryland, 2000-2002

Teacher, Banneker Elementary School, St. Mary’s County Public Schools in Maryland, 1997-2000

Delaware Code Title 14, Chapter 1, Subchapter I; Section 102

§ 102. Secretary; Deputy, Associate and Assistant Secretaries; Acting Secretary; appointment.

(a) The administrator and head of the Department shall be the Secretary of Education, who shall be a graduate of an accredited college and shall have not less than 5 years’ experience in teaching and administration, with experience in each such category.

A teacher from 1997-2000 makes 3 years of teaching, 2000-2002 an assistant principal makes 2 years as an AP. But how did he get a year’s credit for teaching 2000? So less than 5 years teaching? Per Delaware law that makes him disqualified. “Bachelor’s in physical education.” 6 years as administrator. So was he fired or quit his principal’s job? Any little skeletons in the closet ?  However, though Mr. Murphy is highly qualified in Vision 2015 and adopted the latest Wall Street reform tactics, It appears his “teacher’s heart” isn’t seasoned. No experience running a school district or senior responsibilities. But don’t worry folks, the Delaware State Legislators will approve Markell’s selection because Markell owes them all but one. The republicans will stand-down because of the prominent republican connection at the Rodel Foundation. Wilmington community leaders won’t dare stand in Markell’s way. The real question is, don’t we want the most proven seasoned educator we can fine or do we want a person who is so aligned to Vision 2015 to the point they were  the executive director?

Transparent Christina spiking the blog meters

John Young’s blog Transparent Christina is moving up the hit meter ranks. I think all his hard work  since June 2009 is paying off. Looks like Markell will have this blogger sticking in ass like a nasty thorn for the next four years.

On Nastiness

Voices 4 Delaware Education Action Fund sends another dirty coded message to influence school board race

All Hell Breaks loose at Pencader Charter Board Meeting!!!!!! Updated at 7:52PM

Pencader Charter school infighting is all time bad stuff,,,,

New Website supporting Shirley Saffer for Christina School Board #netDE

Rep. Kowalko lambastes Delaware PTA for their electioneering! HOLY SHIT

DE Charter Network spies report in again: screed of lies handed out at Pencader Charter board meeting…..

Breaking News! Video! Mark Murphy meets DOE Dan

Earth to Delaware state legislators!

I urge you to require all public and charter schools to record their board meetings as Red Clay does voluntarily and Christina does by board policy and as the Delaware State Board of Education does by law. We must see a law requiring all public school districts , votechs and charter schools to digitally record their public session board meetings and put recordings onilne.

State legislators, turn the lights on and give us real transparency

See Christina School District site for their recordings 

See Red Clay School District site for their recordings

Legislators many of you know my role in making the above happen and thank you for your support. Please take the ball and carry it in the end zone for me!

A Skipper Vision clone anointed Delaware Secretary of Education

BREAKING: Markell announces choice for Sec. of Edu by Nichole Dobo

WILMINGTON — Gov. Jack Markell announced his nomination for secretary of education today, choosing the director of a Wilmington-based nonprofit that works with 26 schools in Delaware.

Mark Murphy, the executive director of the Vision Network, was named to succeed Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery, who is leaving to become the head of public schools in Maryland. Murphy, 36, has headed the Vision Network for about two years, a job he took after working with a New York-based education nonprofit that focuses on school leadership. He’s worked as a principal and a teacher in Maryland.

Executive director of the Vision Network, a Wilmington nonprofit, 2011-present

Hey Markell! Remember our phone conversations before your primary race for governor? I was right about my concerns with your relationship with Rodel! So now its official! You’re a liar!

Jack you own all the Delaware legislators except one! So it looks like a shoe-in for your new puppet! Well one thing for sure, restate prices in Landenberg just went up 10%