Folks on average I get about 10 sidebar E-mails or every comment left on Kilroy’s. Also, my Kilroy’s Delaware twitter account is reaching across the country.
In a few of my sidebar E-mails there is conversation that Pencader Frank will us the analogy that because there will be more people coming to the DE DOE public review meeting the overwhelming public support is to keep Pencader open! Personal, I doubt even Pencader Frank is that foolish to attempt such ass-backwards stunt.
The Delaware Department of Education Charter Review Committee has already recommended closure and most of the public have confidence is DE DOE (not me of course). Why would anyone in the public supporting closure go to this meeting full of Pencader Staff, students and parents who will be begging DE DOE for mercy to just have their head ripped off? It’s obvious Pencader will rally the troops! But sadly no board member to date has gone public with pleas and “justification” to save Pencader. I can see why they wouldn’t! They would be face with questions such as where are IRS 990 forms, where is the FY 13 final board approved budget, where is at least an internal audit.Where is the free voice of the CBOC? The CBOC isn’t a subcommittee of the board, it is required by state law with great latitude to view all documentation not subject to student or staff confidentially. The CBOC met January 23, 2013 the day before Pencader’s January 24, 20013 board of directors meeting. There is nothing in the agenda specifically noting review of the CBOC report. The CBOC is not the same as the monthly financial report. No matter how you cut it, Pencader board of directors is structurally flawed. Why is the CBOC meeting date the day before the board of directors meeting?
The DE DOE charter review public session meeting is February 11, 2013 and will demonstrate whether or not DE DOE has the will to do what is right for Delaware’s public education system. Yes indeed there are students in the middle of the proceedings and sadly the Pencader board of directors failed to put the cards on the table. Many of us know the issues surrounding the last set of board members and we don’t need to go into it. The current board loves to blame the previous board but yet fails to prove it by doing a better job in regards to transparency and provide at least an audit. If the final decision comes down to pulling political strings to keep Pencader open it would be an indication that the review process is invalid and skewed. This will be a clear test of leadership! Public comment cannot fill the gap in structural failure. Pencader did get one more chance and this blog and other rallied for Pencader.
The fiasco going on at Pencader has tarnished the integrity of the charter school movement that could slow the growth of adding more charter schools. Parents and students are demanding the charter choice option which I support 100%. However, in no way should we grant or save charter schools that obviously lack a solid foundation in governance.
Those of you who prefer the sidebar conversation via E-mail keeping them coming. But please be patient waiting for response.
Three cheers for Mike Matthews for staying true to his blogging roots. Matthews, older and wiser and now shaving puts it all out there re: DPAS, DCAS and RTTT. And someone will need to tie him down when Delaware hits the switch on the Smarter Balanced Assessment set to replace DCAS and further alienates local school board control.
Mr. Matthews needs to stop blaming the Delaware Department of Education and take his fight to Delaware Education Czar aka Delaware Governor Jack Markell. But don’t get me wrong, I agree DE DOE lacks capacity but that level of capacity is gauged by what the governor allows.
As far as Race to The Top a federal grant not law, Delaware must comply with the RTTT agreement which is a four-year contract. But by time Delaware really gets into implementing teacher accountability the RTTT contract will be expired. Mike Matthews highlights something way beyond teacher accountability and doesn’t go deep enough as to the impact on students. Listen to his comments, due to lack of computers it’s near impossible for all student in one district to take the same test even if given in the same month ( he didn’t say like that but suggest the test window is so wide because of needed computers) Also, some students will be tested on material they haven’t been taught in contrast to those who would take the DCAS towards the end of May. Remember DCAS is a growth model test to assist students and teacher but once again the push from the Wall Street ponzi scheme its also the means to hold teacher accountable. We all acknowledge NCLB and DSTP was flawed and don’t blame the unions for designing those educational Frankensteins. Unions had to suck it up and be team-players sometimes called stakeholders.
Mike Matthews represents the newest generation of teachers that will be pressured by change brought about by the failed NCLB and DSTP. Mike’s generation is more adapt to use technology and creatively than any generation before him. We have so many bright people like Mike willing to be public school teachers because they have passion and creativity. I suggest those who view his video plea for help best take noticed. Do we really need a bunch of pre-wired Stepford wives as teachers? Or do we want creative teachers teaching individuals not widgets.