Two reasons stand out. First, in a blatant violation of state law that the Department of Education has shockingly failed to enforce, Newark Charter fails to offer federal free and reduced price lunches. The reason the school offers for this failure is that it lacks a cafeteria. Why doesn’t the school include a cafeteria? Could the reason be that the leadership knew that by failing to build a cafeteria, they would then avoid the federal free and reduced price lunch program, which would automatically reduce the number of low-income students?
Nothing is the law requires any charter school to accommodate Free and Reduced Lunch students! However, I tend to believe Desmond Kahn on this point.
Second, the school gives a strong preference in its admission process to those who live within a five-mile radius. This obviously excludes low-income areas in the Christina District in Wilmington and Bear. The combined effect of these two facts skews the income level of Newark Charter students away from levels representative of the Christina District, or even of the greater Newark area.
The same argument can be made in regards to Red Clay’s feeder-pattern for North Star, Linden Hill and Brandywine Springs. Also, you bet on the new Graves Road school or whatever Red Clay calls will mirror the other school in affluent selective feeder-patterns.
Gov. Markell should stand by statements he made during his campaign in opposition to the privatization of public education.
Don’t hold your breath! Markell sold his morals to the business round-table school reformist. Markell sold Delaware public and charter schools to Washington for $119 million dollars which equals on-tenth the state’s education budget.
I am still being told as recently as today that NCS request for expansion is a done deal.
While the observed persistent demographic disparity is a reason for concern and calls for a strong response from the Delaware Department of Education, there are issues that have not been addressed that are relevant in the evaluation of Newark Charter, its current proposal for expansion and DOE’s charter school policy.
Newark Charter is a publicly funded school, and its impact should be evaluated according to specific public policy criteria that evaluate its contribution to the goals of the public education system. A public policy should be evaluated under two criteria: equity (does it redistribute resources fairly?) and efficiency (can we achieve a better outcome at the same cost?).
We’re back to the same concern, the problem is with the charter school law not Newark Charter School. If we don’t stop NOW changes in the law down the road will “severely” impact existing charter schools. Mr. Soares has valid points but if it is an attempt to stop NCS approval it’s misguided.
Governor Markell (tell him Brian) you sit on your ass as the foundation of traditional public schools are being undermined. But as they fall charter schools with selective admission and questionable lottery processes will bring unwanted changes to all charter schools that will burden their financial stability. Its shameful that you as governor work in the shadows in favor of certain charter schools rather than address the obvious concerns. DSEA will endorse you rather than take a no recommendation position. But they’ll do so fearing your political power that will punish them. I was there when your little puppets disrespected the Red Clay school board who are elected officials and the Red Clay public during the Race to The Top MOU board vote. Your puppets gave them a choice of an offer they couldn’t refused. You sold that vote as everyone one board!
As required by law, a lottery system was established to deal with the excess demand faced by Newark Charter. But a lottery generates inequities randomly. This is not desirable nor acceptable, as the process for allocating public resources should not be a source of inequality.
Prove it !
The persistent excess demand for Newark Charter services results from a poorly planned education policy that does not meet the needs of the community, and expanding the benefits of those selected through the lottery process is unequivocally not a solution to the existing problems. The focus of Newark Charter and DOE should be to extend the quality education provided by Newark Charter to the currently excluded students.
So let’s just handover Christina School District lock, stock and barrel to Newark Charter School and replicate that special success throughout CSD. Lets put the charter concept to the ultimate test! OK, that’s far fetched! Lets give them Glasgow High School.