Daily Archives: September 1, 2012

Delaware Community Public and Charter School Review Committee to be formed

I spend hours patrolling the websites of Delaware traditional, charter and Vo-Tech schools. What I look for is updated school board meeting minutes, financial reports and Citizen Budget Oversight Committee participation and reports. I review each of these areas. However, particularly with charter schools they are a total mess and inconsistent.

I do need help doing these reviews and decided to form a committee. The easy part is, it can be done from home via a computer and at a time convenient for those who participate. No pay! No benefits! No respect! But I finding doing this is a service to the community and beneficial to the health of Delaware’s public schools.

It’s apparent that the Delaware Department of Education doesn’t have the time to complete this simple task! So I am looking for volunteers. I’ll pick a school and ask that everyone go visit the school’s webpage and complete a review and all leave comments to their findings. This way it will be objective. We can do it right here on Kilroy’s and leave the comment section open for the public to comment.

As we progress and as a team conclude on deficiencies we’ll communicate to the school leader and cc: DE DOE asking the school leader to address the concerns.

So, any volunteers?

Why is Delaware College Preparatory Academy operating in the dark?

Delaware College Preparatory Academy (DCPA) is a Red Clay School District chartered charter school.

I’ve been making my rounds on the various school’s webpages and once again have to report more deficiencies. DCPA last reported board meeting minutes was December “2011”! No monthly reports from Citizen Financial Oversight Committee. The school’s financial reports cannot serve as Citizen Financial Oversight Committee report. Need to see committee’s meaning minutes and report to the board.

So much for suggesting only school districts be permitted to charter schools!

DCPA opened in 2009 and only has 02812 hits on their webpage. One their webpage menu bar their is nothing for “Parents” under Student Services “coming soon”. Under DCPA Links you’ll find HAC.

OUCH !!! Pencader parent unloads on school board

See here at Transparent Christina “I’m going to be the one to sue you!” #pencader #parents #students #DDOE @GovernorMarkell

Is DE DOE working in the background to open gateway for fleeing Pencader students?

Intel is coming in that the automated system system that tracks and identifies students to their schools has been opened that may allow Pencader students to transfer. Source is reliable and my opinions are speculations. If true I think its a fitting punishment for Pencader so that they can’t electronically hold students hostage or other schools from accepting students back in the home district. I am not sure if the information I am being told is a system thing /glitch. I don’t think DE DOE would reassign all Pencader students to their home district. But what I am being told is an unusual event. I can’t image DE DOE and the state board would close Pencader now! But we can never rule it out?

Delaware Secretary of Education Murphy finally grew a set

Mend school or risk charter; Pencader draws state intervention. Written by Nichole Dobo The News Journal

The state’s topeducation leader said Friday he no longer will tolerate what he described as continued failure by Pencader Business and Finance Charter High School officials to resolve ongoing problems, promising to force action “one way or another” next week.

State Secretary of Education Mark Murphy issued the stern statement late Friday afternoon about Pencader, the state’s harshest public criticism yet of the school’s continued struggles. Murphy said he will meet with the Pencader board next week, along with state Board of Education President Teri Quinn Gray.

Hey Coach Murphy, let’s not pull a Rodney King “can’t we all get along” it’s time to be a leader in a time of crisis and set the conditions.

While Murphy did not outline any specific action the state would take, his department has the authority to take the extreme step of revoking the school’s charter.

“The school’s leadership in several instances has failed to follow the state’s guidance on governance and financial issues. The school also failed to address these remaining issues on its own,” a statement from Murphy’s office said Friday. “The department, in partnership with the State Board of Education, is becoming increasingly concerned about the school’s viability and the effect on students and families.”

Sad to say, Pencader leaders have taken the school beyond the point of return and their legal expenses will no doubt exceed budget. As far as financial issues, stop the presses! Just last month the Delaware Department of Education reported to the Delaware State Board of Education there were “no red flags” associated with Pencader’s finances. Sounds to me part of the problem is DE DOE’s charter school office. DE DOE’s lack of capacity and Pencader’s lack of capacity = failure to deliver the promise of a quality education to the most important stakeholder, students.

Murphy declined to comment beyond a written statement issued by the state Department of Education, saying through a spokeswoman that he wants to meet with the school board at Pencader before he elaborates on it.

Fair enough Coach Murphy but remember, Delaware is a very small state so PLEASE be PROACTIVE after the meeting and call Lois Lane. The phone rings both ways in Delaware. Transparency starts with you!

Board Co-vice President Abe Jones said in an email he welcomes the state’s intervention. Jones removed his godson from Pencader recently and has been a critic of the school’s leadership.

Well Abe, you’re the last man standing and hold the key to the possible salvation of Pencader. But salvation might take an act of God. Transparency is the key and don’t you wish all the board meetings were recorded so the whole world could have heard? Pencader is about all children and we all have a mission to protect them in the glorious garden.

“I would like to thank [the department of education] for allowing the Pencader Charter School Board the authenticity of fiduciary independence to internally problem solve the unforeseen and unimaginable personnel matters that has adversely impacted the school and entire community all summer,” Jones said. “Further, I am very grateful and applaud [the department of education’s] timely plan of action to mediate as paraphrased ‘one way or the other’ and will respect whatever position and decision the department makes to problem solve these isolated issues, which should not be inextricably intertwined with any other charter school system in the entire state of Delaware.”

Abe what’s with the bullshit political speech? Isolated ? Bullshit! Pencader’s leadership highlights the need to address transparency at most of Delaware’s charter schools.

The warning from the department and state Board of Education came one day after a heated school board meeting where several parents complained about how they have been treated at the school. The meeting was attended by a state Department of Education official who has been monitoring the school board’s public meetings recently.

It took video cameras of Pencader’s board meetings to expose the truth and the fact DE DOE representatives knew the bullshit was going on but just stood there with their thumb up their ass! DE DOE officials had the nerve to come back and lie to the state board of education about the internal health of Pencader. Murphy needs to man-up and shake-up his charter school office and the time is now!

Among the issues cited in the statement issued Friday: decreasing enrollment, possible conflicts of interest with contractors, the Attorney General’s Office investigation into Freedom of Information Act complaints and a Pension Board referral of information about the school to the attorney general for possible “criminal and/or civil violations.”

Relax people, nobody is going to jail! Deals will be cut to keep egg off of Markell’s face! AG needs to expose what he knows and let it be a warning to all charter schools to get their houses in order AND its time to address more comprehensive audits for traditional and charter schools.

“Conditions have deteriorated over the past few weeks and action is required,” Gray, the state Board of Education president, said in the statement. “We are trying to do what is best for students, families and staff both for this school year and, hopefully, for the future.”

BULLSHIT ! The state board of education sat there while DE DOE reported to them all is well with Pencader! “No Red Flags”! You should have done your best by requiring the same transparency Kilroy imposed on the state board re: recording board meetings. Government does not have the will or moral fibers to be it’s own watchdog! Open the window of transparency and let the public see and hear government at work! The state board of education is just another puppet show of the governor. It’s time to elected state board members and even pay them in return for autonomy that serves the best interest of the public education not political agendas of little Napoleons.

Several parents at the Pencader school board meeting Thursday complained about issues at the school. The board meeting started about an hour late as the board waited for enough members to arrive so that there could be a meeting. A quorum of the board is required for the board to vote on agenda items.

And the meeting started without a quorum and school leader

Some of the parents had signed contracts stating they would remain at the school for a year. The parents asked the school board to release them from those contracts so they could enroll their children in other schools.

They need to go to the Attorney General’s office and demand action! Where are the civil right leaders??? What’s going on at Pencader is a clear infringement of civil rights.

At the meeting, board Co-vice President Kennedy indicated that the number of parents asking to be released from contracts was small. The board understands parents need answers, she said. The board was considering the requests and planned to be in touch with families very soon.

And if it weren’t for DIAA rules forcing student athlete to stay in a school sinking in quicksand there be more students wanting to leave. The board should have went back in executive session and addressed it for those small number of parents. Markell needs to step in regards to DIAA rules in a time of obvious crisis! We’re not talking NFL or MBA! We’re talking high school students who aren’t gaming the system by wanting out of a school whose leadership is failing.

Coach Murphy, leaders are born not created! Which are you? Oddly as this may sound, I think you can do it if you stop following others! Empowerment is the key to success of any subordinate not micromanagement by his superior.  I don’t expect DE DOE to bail-out Pencader with financial support but if there is financial viability, change the leadership and provide support in the way of strict oversight! But I realize, the crisis may have past a critical $$ point!