I spent most of a day last month in Dover discussing the need for charter school law/regulation reform with legislators and other officials. These discussions went well beyond NCS.
The NCS renewal/expansion application, and the DOE’s process in considering it, has brought to light to many the clear need for deliberate attention and reform to the process. My frustration is that this need has been raised multiple times in the past, to the DOE, and yet they have thus far not fixed the issues. CSD is in one manner a victim of the unaddressed shortcomings in Delaware’s implementation of charter school law, as raised in these reports.
I agree with pandora that it is not a failure of ‘NCS opponents’ to have raised these concerns earlier. The entity with the RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that the system is working is the DOE (and Red Clay), the authorizers of the charter schools. Only when they are failing must others come forward to sound the alarm.
In one way, NCS got caught in the cross-fire (of the observation of overdue reform to the charter school oversight system). However they were the ones who stuck their heads up.
Thank you PBaumbach.
Like I said, Newark Charter School expansion request was in the wrong place at t he wrong time. The chatter on the blogs over NCS expansion fueled the charter debate as an issue within itself and as we seen, the battle lines were drawn between supporters and non-supporters of charter schools in Delaware. But in the fringes are those who have serious objective views that are focused on public education as one system and how to created a system that employs charters without destroying traditional public schools.
We have a Governor (Jack Markell) a former advisory board member of Rodel who seems to do what he can to drive their Vision 2015 agenda without objectivity of a governor who must ensure fair and equitable education for all of Delaware’s public school children. We need a governor non-bias to any one reform entities and one that is has vision to pick the best of each plan. Rodel is and has been a major financial campaign supporter of Jack Markell and it seems Markell has bigger political aspirations that needs that continued support. From one perspective it looks like Rodel hijacked Race to The Top and embedded their Vision 2015 plan. However, it’s more like Governor Markell handed it to them because he has no clues what he is doing because he never had a education reform playbook. The one that he does have was stuffed in his back pocket with campaign contribution. Like I stated before, Race to The Top is a Trojan Horse for the charter school movement and now the public is on to the agenda.
Like a broken record, the issues is not Newark Charter School or Wilmington Charter School. The issue is the charter school laws of Delaware that were penned by politicians subservient to those who control the wealth and power to put them in public office. The reformists call DSEA a special interest group by yet more education dollars flow out of the class room to feed more unnecessary administration and consultants. Billions of dollars are flow out of the classrooms for unnecessary student testing. The baseline for justification for charter schools are the standardized test scores. Yet, NCLB and DSTP were deemed flawed and inappropriate means to hold schools accountable. Now there are NCLB waivers that skews school ratings but teachers are being blamed for all the failure.
Haven’t you notice, teachers in traditional public schools that have low achievement performance ratings are called failures. But yet, teachers in charters schools what have low achievement performance ratings need our support and understanding. Pro charter school reformers say close those low performing charter schools and have no compassion as to what happens to students within.
OK sure I love to rant! But the bottom-line for Delaware’s public school systems is, we have an education civil war where the Delaware Charter School Law give charter schools the competitive edge and it ties the hands of traditional schools and lines them up to the firing squad wall.
Over the course of many charter vs traditional school debates I find myself evaluating my own positions. I use to think the Delaware Department of Education should be the only charter authorization authority. Buy Chuck Baldwin made me realize perhaps DE DOE should have no and the school district should have full authority. But it really comes down the question do we really need charter schools or do we need stronger programs with traditional schools? But without complete control at the local school board level we can’t have what we really need. The overreaching hand of the state and federal government has hijacked local school board autonomy.
Newark Charter school parents, you have a wonderful school and you’re expansion request will be approved. But don’t get to secure in your own world because, Delaware charter school law is so skewed, flawed and fractured radical revisions could bring down your save haven. Let’s hope not. Just think about as charters grow traditional school crumble from the weight. CSD’s tax base is taking a major loss in property school tax with the Chrysler complex and Bank of American building converting to education exempt tax status. The CSD takes the hit from students transferring to charters. Some might say too fucking bad! But the reality is there are unintended consequences associated with the charter school movement. And when Race to The Top funding runs dry, we’re going to see another education nightmare. Our state legislators job is not just dealing with education issues and they too will be blindsided by the events that will unfold. Just because the economy may be getting better don’t think that means more money for education. Local funds will be needed to back-fill Race to The Top programs that have been written into legislation and regulations.
Dontdestroychristina might sound like some evil bitch but the real evil going on in education is when Wall Street and politicians run their self-serving agendas. Yes, Coolspringer there are some groups doing positive work. However, when evil out weighs that woodwork house of cards will fall bring all down. We’ve seen it in community churches and community leadership. Poverty in public education has become a profit center and if the Bush family involvement isn’t a red-flag then God help us all! Arne Duncan is only a temporary federal employee until after Obama’s second term if that is to be. But he is young and is sowing seeds for life after Obama just every USDOE secretary did before him with their president.