Another Pencader board blunder! #netDE

Pencader Community Meeting!! Thursday, January 10th 6:00 p.m.

“Attend the Pencader Community Forum – Saving Our School on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 6:00 PM in the school cafeteria”

Folks there are 9 board members and if 5 show up it would make a quorum an illegal meeting of the board. We’re not talking a school play or an event where there is no school business discussed. We’re talking survival of Pencader. Because the board wasn’t thinking 5 board members “can’t” join the school community for this “critical” event. Now how does that look when Team Pencader isn’t in force?

The board could have called a special board meeting or workshop with proper public notice under special circumstances outside a regular board meeting. Think by-laws people! Damn!

189 responses to “Another Pencader board blunder! #netDE

  1. This would require them to understand FOIA instead of thumb their noses at it.

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  2. Reblogged this on Transparent Christina.

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  3. Kilroy is relentless 🙂 I can’t believe the number of things you hold in your head and remember to check for.

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  4. And who is going to this meeting to report back to the blog readers how it goes, how many Board members were actually there, how many parents asked for financials, how many asked questions about the quality of the school’s report to DOE, or how many just opened up and swallowed the kool aid without asking questions.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      agent 15 will be there! The script is set to feed the pigeons. But it will take only one parent to demand these reports which should be on file at the school. I just can figure out why parents of Pencader students can’t be on the board. Surely if there we that parent would see to it this critical information is posted.

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  5. Kilroy, Board Member Kennedy is a parent. She’s also the president of the PTO. She should be leading the fight for the financials and transparency. Yet, she’s not. She’s a hold over from the dysfunctional board of past-come-present. I cannot for the life understand why the Pencader parents are not demanding accountibility. Perhaps they represent a new-yet-undefined subset of parents – those who use choice to “improve their child’s educational outcome,” but then sit back and expect the choice school to not just educate but raise their children.

    On the rumor front – Publius and FYI have faded away b/c the Pencader legal eagles have gagged their clients, the BOD. And Frank is spitting nails b/c he’s just now learning about missing $$$. I fully accept that I am repeating speculation that has been generated from within the school. But, rumors have a 50/50 chance of being truths.

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    • Not quite comfortable with rumors… but my impressions are that FYI is directly involved with Pencader while Publius is higher up the charter food chain and is not directly connected with Pencader.

      These are only my impressions and based solely on their comments. FYI appears to have a direct connection with what’s specifically happening at Pencader (true, or not). Publius is more about ideology.

      Take that for what it’s worth… probably nothing.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Now I am confused! How is that parents elected their representative to this board and they don’t question the lack of transparency and adherence to the law? Damn! When I was PTA President of baby Kilroy’s middle school I stood up big time! When I was Chair of Red Clay District Title 1 Advisory Board I kept their feet to the fire and had a pipeline to D.C. and when I was on the DSPAC I asked many critical question of DE DOE and had no problem communicating to Sec of Ed Woodruff. This corporation shit with charters seems to be a big hindrance to real shared decision-making, But surely I am overreacting and forget Pencader “governing body” is in a class of their own! The bottom! God bless the parents and I wish them luck but the better get those reports NOW ! I can’t get it by the so-called naysayers on the blogs but allow backroom operations to continue! Sounds like somebody when to the Arne Duncan school of backroom management

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    • Pandora – I understand your position. That’s why I clearly disclaimed that these are the rumors and not yet substantiated. But, there is a particular clarity around them in that missing money and inability to reconcile accounts could be the cause of the missing financial statements.

      Kilroy – Kennedy is a holdover from the previous board. I don’t know that the parents elected her to the board or that the bylaws even call for parental elections vs a parent being appointed by the seated board. But, she is in a “term” and the bylaws have changed since her term began. She was however elected by the PTO. So you are right on about the parents – it would make sense for the PTO to be advocating for information. Guess it’s kind of hard to compel that momentum when the leader of the PTO continues to support the dark ages re: financial docs. If Kennedy disagrees with what appears to be a board acquiesence to not provide the financials, she should at least be vocal about her objections. Her silence presumes her assension.

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  6. 170 Lukens Observer

    Can you fraud?

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  7. The school parents should “select/elect” their reps on the board and the teachers should do the same for their reps. I am very, very, very certain that did not happen at Pencader. Probably if you grabbed a parent walking into the meeting tonight and asked them who “their” parent rep is on the Board they’d look at you funny, grin, and shake their head, “i dunno…” shouldn’t be that way if you want real representation. But that’s another argument for another day. Today’s argument is for accountability…

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  8. Pigeon on the Green

    I hope Frank knows everyone at DOE reads this site.

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  9. Rules and regulations never applied to them before, why start now?

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  10. 170 Lukens Observer

    What if someone wants a fiscal report and they can’t produce one?
    50.00 says they can’t.

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  11. 170 Lukens Observer

    FOIA has to go the state. Not the school. Besides this bunch hasn’t a clue. We’re Greggo and Ferraro put a Subway in there. The traffic on 9 is awful anymore and the fast food place over the bridge has become increasingly dangerous.
    We called Nicky this am.

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  12. Actually, FOIA now goes to the agency. Or at least, every agency is supposed to have a FOIA policy and publish the process. New rules by Jack Markell. There is a state portal catch all in the event that an agency hasn’t conformed, yet. But, that does not dis-obligate Pencader from posting the policy and procedure to their website. Now, a letter regarding a FOIA violation would go to the AG’s office. But, folks seemed to get really hot and bothered when I file those…

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  13. 170 Lukens Observer

    We would but we’re looking forward to a Subway/pizza place across the street. We told Nicky to call it Cafe 170.

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  14. 170 Lukens Observer

    So what happened tonight?

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  15. Was the parking lot full???

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    • I’ve gotten 4 parent phonecalls from an ad-hoc PCHS phone tree established when the blogging was fast and furious from May-Sept. 2012.

      2 attended. It was a flop: no energy and no answers. At least that how they saw it and heard it.

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    • Two? That can’t be correct… can it?

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  16. 170 lukens observer

    2? They are really done.

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  17. Are you meaning TWO PEOPLE attended the “Community Forum” tonight? Where were the other 298? Or were they home skyping it?

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  18. If there were 5 BOD members there the meeting was not even “legal”….but when did they worry about that?

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  19. 170 lukens observer

    subway and seasons pizza soon to come to 170 lukens!

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  20. Watch out…the Season’s Pizza owners are heavily involved with Odyssey Charter!

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  21. Publius e decere

    In response to the myriad fatuous comments posted here tonight let me respond with some civility and some actual facts in contrast with the ranting speculations posted earlier this evening:

    Tonight’s Meeting: I believe attendance at tonight’s meeting was approximately 40-50 people and made up of parents, teachers, administrators, board members and community members. Frank McIntosh led the meeting and explained many things: what he knew about DOE proceedings, what he and the board have done in response, his best understanding of next steps, and his personal confidence that the school can succeed in getting the DOE and SBE to set aside any recommendation to revoke which may be made by the Accountability Committee. I believe it was also made clear in the meeting that student results are good, the school achieved AYP, graduation rates are quite high, college acceptances are admirable, and the school environment is highly prized by the students and their parents. I believe it was also made clear that the recent problems of the school were at the leadership level both in administration and board and that those problems are now purged – to his credit, Frank did not dwell on the past, instead focusing on the immediate future (avoiding revocation) and the strategic future (restoring enrollment and mission). It was made clear that DOE felt the school meets expectations in financial viability (even at current downturn in enrollment) and meets expectations in its ability to address special education needs. The “closable gaps” were in DOEs confidence in the new board’s governing bandwidth and the school’s ability to re-build enrollment. All in all, I believe the message was one of cautiously-positive expectation for a continuing charter.

    Kilroy: You need to stop carping on the financial transparency thing. The school has financial data on its website, and the DOE attends its CBOC meetings. Maybe not to the full extent of your messianic expectations, but here is what they have in plain public view:

    Audited Financials for 2010-2011 school year: (published March 2012)
    http://pencadercharter.net/busfin/sites/default/files/page/70/documents/Pencader_FS_FINAL%5B1%5D_Audit.pdf

    Financial Report for 2011-2012 school year:
    http://pencadercharter.net/busfin/sites/default/files/page/ajax/documents/Pencader%20Web%20Report_June%202012%20%281%29.pdf

    Most Recent Financial Report for period ending August 31st 2012:
    http://pencadercharter.net/busfin/sites/default/files/page/209/documents/Pencader%20Web%20Report_August%202012.pdf

    Most recent CBOC Minutes for meeting November 28, 2012 (with John Carwell of DOE present)
    http://pencadercharter.net/busfin/sites/default/files/page/206/documents/November2012_CBOC_Meeting_Minutes.pdf

    Webpage of CBOC minutes compilation, showing regular presence of DOE CBOC member at meetings:
    http://pencadercharter.net/busfin/node/206

    It looks to me like Pencader is acting with financial transparency at a reasonable level. Could they go further? Sure. Could Kilroy actually tone down his Ralph Nader histrionics? Sure.

    In my opinion, everyone needs to take a deep breath and calm down. The students and parents at Pencader like (OK, love) the school and they are getting a good education. The leadership has changed for the better. Give this expression-of-choice school a reasonable chance to prevail.

    Publius

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Publius e decere with sincerity thanks for the update.

      “Audited Financials for 2010-2011 school year: (published March 2012)”

      So what you are saying there is an audit under way for 2011-2012 and we want see it until March 2013? One would this with concern re: former school leader an audit would be done re: Changing of the guard not waiting for the required yearly audit?

      Re: Financial Report for 2011-2012 school year: June 30, 2012
      This report made by former school board and leader reflects a total operating budget surplus of 313,866.39. WOW amazing! Now how did HE and former SL screw up?

      “Most Recent Financial Report for period ending August 31st 2012:”

      When was the 2013 budget presented to the board? How can the Facility Lease be at 25.2% at August 31. 2012 , two months into FY 2012-2013? This “budget” reference is more of a preliminary budget as the official September 30th count wasn’t know! Where is the final budget? The funds in this report were “anticipated”

      “Most recent CBOC Minutes for meeting November 28, 2012 (with John Carwell of DOE present)”

      4. Mr. Bentz presented the financial report. There was not much activity for the month. The next report will be more enlightening..

      “More enlightening” SCARY and ALARMING !! Carwell was present? no comfort!

      “It looks to me like Pencader is acting with financial transparency at a reasonable level. Could they go further? Sure. Could Kilroy actually tone down his Ralph Nader histrionics? Sure.”

      Now we can get serious! I don’t have any problems with your comments and opinions. I am about transparency and “I” can see potential for positive change and direction. But I am here to tell you the Pencader legal eagles should have allowed Frank more discretion to be forthright with community aka putting the cards on the table. Yes I know there was a mess because of former SL excessive control.

      “The leadership has changed for the better. Give this expression-of-choice school a reasonable chance to prevail.”

      You have a member of the board who was to be the eyes and ears of parents who apparently didn’t sound the alarm and call for the SL to step down! Also compounding the situation was the Charter School Network defending the former SL leader calling for the entire board to step-down. That is what I heard so might be fact or fiction?

      I fought very hard prior to the start of last school year defending Pencader who was on the verge of closure under DE DOE Dan.

      Kilroy’s July 23, 2011
      https://kilroysdelaware.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/message-to-reach-and-pencader-parents-and-all-parents/

      Kilroy’s July 21, 2011
      https://kilroysdelaware.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/lowery-smells-the-coffee-pencader-to-stay-open/

      Kilroy’s June 18, 2011
      https://kilroysdelaware.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/reach-and-pencader-parents-show-your-children-how-to-be-an-american/

      Publius, do read them!

      I think you and I know a bullshitter can’t fool a bullshitter.

      The odds are stack against Pencader and the delay in getting the cards on the table didn’t help! Frank’s response to DE DOE was lame and who gives a shit about his book! no disrespect Frank!

      Put the final budget online reflective of the official student count!

      Frank has a few political chips he can cash in! But why have a charter review committee if politics rules the day? Where is the integrity???

      And in my opinion DE DOE was the probation jail-keeper and Carwell could see reports weren’t going online! Bullshit he didn’t want to intrude on local control!!!! They were on probation and their rights were limited!

      Publius, if a town idiot like me can see something was structurally wrong and DE DOE lack the capacity to provide effective technical assistance which is part of DE DOE function we have a serious problem! Friend legislation is coming that will rock the world!

      You are a good fisherman baiting the folks in! And as I said before, I play chess to stalemate not checkmate ! Its more interesting that way.

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    • Ah, Mr. Darwinius returns … Why is it, one wonders, that survival of the fittest is only a test for public schools and not for charters?

      … that charters should be allowed to screw up their Capitalist responsibilities endlessly, and yet Darwinius will still excuse it and call for the continued siphoning of state tax dollars to an entity that has failed in its fiduciary duty time and time again …

      Social Darwinism makes such wonderful public policy, except when it is being applied to your particular causes, huh?

      It is going to take you a very long time to spin away your comments that charters are a Capitalist, Darwinian dream, old boy, because I intend to remind you and everyone else as many times as necessary that you have revealed your true nature.

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    • Publius e decere

      Kilroy,

      I agree, Pencader should post a revised final budget to reflect the 2012 September 30th count. And I acknowledge your prior support for Pencader during the 2011 crisis.

      In general, I admire your relentless push for transparency. I simply think that right now at this moment Pencader needs to address other more vital issues. If we can believe the accountability committee written report, the committee was not strident about transparency beyond current practices but it was concerned about governing capacity and enrollment. Pencader needs to address these concerns of the accountability committee in order to survive. Once the storm passes the new board can step up their transparency game.

      Publius

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    • Publius e decere

      Steve,

      If the school was failing the students I might agree with a Darwinian closure. But the students are succeeding at this school, the school is serving them well. The past “failure” was a failure of administration and board, and the main culprits were purged. That purge was certainly Darwinian, the right kind.

      So what is the problem with giving the school a chance to regroup with a new board? Said differently, what if the board were to continue functioning poorly for the foreseeable future BUT (a) the students continue to do well and graduate and go to college and thrive in a safe and constructive school environment, and (b) the school can balance its books. Wouldn’t closing the school then only serve to assuage the ego of a few policy purists who insist on form over function while significantly harming hundreds of students and families and laying off scores of teachers who have families relying on their careers?

      As I see it, Pencader has good student results, parents interested in school continuity, and committed teachers who deliver a positive classroom experience. The bad admin/board leadership is gone, so why punish the teachers (jobs) and students (relocation) with a punitive closure after the school has embarked on a genuine path of change?

      I am not trying to excuse poor student outcomes. (That is what CSD does.) Pencader has good student outcomes. Why close Pencader if the current board can keep it afloat, cure the ills and guide it to a thriving future? The past is the past and it has passed.

      Publius

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    • kilroysdelaware

      “Once the storm passes the new board can step up their transparency game”. Publius

      I live by a motto, perseverance always prevails and my fight for transparency will never end. If you ever go to the SBE webpage and listen to their meeting recordings, just think it was the power of one who drove that dream and made it “law”. It was one who publicly requested Red Clay establish a Community Financial Review Committee and the same one to lobby each board member to approve it! It was one who dogged Red Clay to record their public session of their board meetings. The same on influenced Christina and Capital to do the same. Christina took it one step further and made it “board” policy. I was one who one who demanded the school board oath of office be modified (I know it doesn’t apply to charters yet) On and on the one goes! Always remember in every storm their is thunder and lightening! I am it !

      Transparency now during the storm will show us what kind of skipper with prevail during the sunny days. Plans are something thought-out and vision is at the center of the thought.

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    • Publius, please support your assertion that CSD makes excuses for poor performance with evidence.

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    • Shorter Publius: Kilroy, STFU, you are drawing too much attention to a charter schools 4th review of betraying DE students and taxpayers. Please stop talking about it!

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    • alsonewarkmom

      “I am not trying to excuse poor student outcomes. (That is what CSD does.) Pencader has good student outcomes. ”

      Not really. If you look at the school profiles and compare Newark High to Pencader, you can see that NHS has a higher number of low-income students, minorities and special education students and a higher percentage of students meeting proficiency. Only around 25% of Pencader students meet proficiency in Science. Is that what is considered good student outcomes these days? Charters are granted flexibility for better outcomes. This hardly seems to be the case at Pencader. Why is it still an option for my tax dollars to fund this school?

      Also, When has CSD ever made excuses for poor outcomes? My experience has been exactly the opposite. Try attending coffee with the principal at any CSD school and see if ANY principal is making excuses. Trying to understand and improve outcomes…sure. Excuses…never.

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    • @alsonewarkmom, you are comparing Newark and Pencader saying that Newark has higher low-income stats and higher special ed, but left out the part that Newark also has the Cambridge Program, so that would change all of their stats. and increase their science scores.. they also have higher math scores. Anyway, seeing our state SAT averages is just depressing, no matter which school you look at. ugghhh and WTF??

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    • Pencader had higher reading scores than Newark. just sayin 🙂

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    • Publius,

      You say: In response to the myriad fatuous comments posted here tonight let me respond with some civility and some actual facts in contrast with the ranting speculations posted earlier this evening:

      Then most of your sentences begin with: “I believe” this was said/done…

      Did you attend the meeting? Because it sounds like you did not. And if you didn’t attend, I’m going to have to hold off accepting all your “actual facts”

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    • alsonewarkmom

      @pencadermom – You kinda missed the point that Charters are supposed to out-perform TPS. Also, Cambridge has no bearing on the total statistics. The stat is simply % of total students meeting proficiency. Yes, Cambridge students meet proficiency, but added to that % that Newark also has far greater numbers of low-income, minorities and special education. So in a more challenging field, Newark actually performs better.

      Here is what I get from the DOE website

      9th grade reading: Pencader(59%), Newark (65%)
      9th grade math Pencader (56%) , Newark (60%)
      10th grade reading Pencader (65%), Newark (60%)
      10th grade math Pencader (51%), Newark (62%)
      10th grade science Pencader (23%), Newark (38%)

      In all but one assessment area (10th reading) Newark out-performs Pencader STILL with highter low-income, minority and special education students..

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  22. Publius writes: I believe attendance at tonight’s meeting was approximately 40-50 people and made up of parents, teachers,
    administrators, board members and community members.

    This attendance figure does not give me great hope for this school. 41 attendees would represent 10 % of the student population. However, this 40-50 consisted of board members, teachers, administrators, and community members. Thus less than and likely substantially less than 10% of the parental population actually turned out to learn how they could help save their child’s school. If you can’t get the support of parents, you will not be able to save this school.

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    • Publius e decere

      My guess is that after all the school has been through, and with the last school leader letting them down so tragically, most Pencader parents may be suffering some level of “turnout” fatigue.

      Or maybe parents read all of the reports online and decided that things were already in the best hands possible.

      All we know for sure is that low turnout is NOT representative of the larger population other than by coincidence. But we still give voice to those few perople who turn out. Like in your election. And like this forum at Pencader. The parents who turned out were quite supportive of the school and generally dread the risk of its closure.

      Publius

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    • Or maybe parents read all of the reports online and decided that things were already in the best hands possible.

      Publius certainly knows that laughter is the best medicine! Thanks for kicking my day off right.

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  23. I can tell you for a fact that The “supportive” Pencader parents are out there scrambling to get their kids in other schools for next year. Vo tech has had parents coming in to request transfers as have other schools up north. The support at the meeting was likely mostly teachers who were told to be there and show a solid front. They also are hoping to keep jobs and not hit the job market with “Pencader” on their resumes.

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    • I can tell you for a fact that you do not know all of the parents or students. Stop acting like you do. Also, I don’t know what the choicing rules are, but I know of at least one student who was going to look into filling out a choice app. before the deadline but is planning on making a decision later.

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    • The Choice window closed January 9. There is no “later” for making a decision, unless it’s for another charter or a private or parochial school and it’s rather late for those options as well.

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    • Even with the choice period over, parents still have options:

      1) A parent can matriculate their student into their feeder school.

      1a. If the student is not beholden to a one year contract, a parent may choice their child to their feeder school at any time.
      1b. If the parent does not wish to choice to the feeder, they may submit a good cause application to another traditional public school in any district in Delaware. Districts are likely to deem the strong possibility of a school closing as ‘good cause.” Student will fall in line behind the applications already submitted.

      2) A parent can still submit choice applications under the good cause clause as closure is good cause and even potential closure could likely be construed as good cause.

      2a. If the choice school does not have openings, the student will be waitlisted. This goes for both traditional and charter schools.
      2b. If the choice school is a charter and requires a lottery, parents should contact the choice school immediately to inquire if this situation warrants good cause as that school interprets. If the charter agrees that good cause is present, the student may still make it into the lottery.
      2c. If the charter does not feel that good cause is met, the student can still be waitlisted.
      2d. A student not bound by a 1 yr contract with their current charter school may be eligible to transfer this year into a charter that does currently have open seats if the charter is willing to take them. The accepting charter could request the balance of funding for that student to follow the student, however, the sending charter does not have send the funds. It’s a courtesy request, but unlikley due to Pencader’s mysterious financial status.

      THE BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE ANY PARENT AT THIS TIME IS TO INQUIRE AT THE CHOICE OFFICES OF THEIR PREFERRED DISTRICTS AND CHARTERS FOR INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO THE PROCESSES. THEIR ANSWERS WILL INFORM YOUR PLAN FOR YOUR CHILD.

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    • “The Choice window closed January 9. There is no “later” for making a decision, unless it’s for another charter or a private or parochial school and it’s rather late for those options as well.”
      – If someone sent a choice application BEFORE January 9th, (like I told them they should do, not sure if they actually did it or not) they can then make their decision LATER.
      Unless they changed the rules, I do know that you can do that (unless you are bound for a year to a charter, like Elizabeth mentions).

      When my son was in 8th grade, I choiced him into Newark and also applied to Pencader and then made my final decision AFTER the January deadline. That’s all I was saying.

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    • Thanks for the clarification, Pencadermom. It didn’t sound like the Choice app had been filed. Can’t file it after the 9th. You said, “one student who was going to look into filling out a choice app….” I hope the kid did what s/he “was going to” do.

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  24. Honestly, Publius’ argument really is this Frank Drebin pleading :

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  25. Publius: Kilroy: You need to stop carping on the financial transparency thing. The school has financial data on its website, and the DOE attends its CBOC meetings. Maybe not to the full extent of your messianic expectations

    Stop looking into us as an agency responsible for the spending of taxpayer money. Just leave us alone, OK. Come on, Kilroy stop offering a fair counter-narrative to the one written by our OWN history.

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  26. Do taxpayers get an expression of choice to not fund PCHS?

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  27. Pigeon on the Green

    The parents are the only thing that could save that place according my friend at DOE (my office is in the basement below her) and their lack of attendance last night means they have given up. 40 to 50 people when they have 411 kids enrolled there? Subtract the teachers, board and a few hanger on’s and that leaves room for very few parents.

    “Hi, I’d like a large sausage and mushroom”…..

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  28. The leadership of Pencader believes themselves to be the great and powerful Oz. “Pay no attention to what is happening behind the curtain…” Except Oz was found to be an intelligent and compassionate person. Thats the big difference.

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  29. Publius: To chime in on what Kilroy said, and maybe open your half-shut eyes about web-site transparency.
    1. The audit for the 2011-2012 school year was presented to the Board at the September, 2012 meeting. That audit was not for the current school year.
    2. The most recent financial report on the web is for August, 2012. That is now 5 months ago. Said another way, the school is now 1/2 into this academic year with no financial reports available. Why do you consider that acceptable when the every formal review the school has undergone has touched on financial mismanagement?
    3. CBOC minutes are sparse at best. If there are any questions/concerns you’d never know from the minutes. Is the CBOC functioning as it should be?

    On another issue: the graduation rates/ AYP are for the year ended. Curiously, they are for the year when the past leadership that you enjoy beating up on was running the place. There is as of today’s date no data for the current year.

    About DCAS testing: it was good to read that the scores for the fall testing this year surpassed the fall scores of last year. They should. Last Fall Pencader’s DCAS scores were the worst in the county!!! Below Glasgow’s. When I saw them I met with the asst. school leader, who brought along the now Spec Ed chieftain, and the PTO president. The answers I got when I asked why the scores were in tank were, and i quote, “the kids hate the test,” “the test is stupid,” “why can’t we still use the DSTP?” ( I took these quotes from my notes) We devised a plan for testing that turned out to be more successful and scores came up. I see that the same plan is currently in place so the scores should be improved over last Fall. Incidentally, why no more DSTP? Because RTTT requires a growth model test. It doesn’t matter if the kids hate the test. Kids all over America take tests ad nauseum and nobody cares or asks if they like it or not.

    Your arguments, and in fact many of your words, Publius, are just exactly what has been said each and every year to try to haul Pencader thru review after review. What assurance can you offer that if the school is allowed to remain open they will not be rowing in this same boat again? What plans are IN PLACE to boost enrollment, because enrollment is the key to the charter game. Not hope. Not promises of change. Since 2007 there have been promises of change. Somewhere buried deep in this institution is a toxicity that has yet to be purged.

    I know you believe you have all the answers. Many of us in the past thought we had at least a plausible answer and solution and nothing worked, clearly. Do not say to people to “take a deep breath and calm down.” That is condescending at best and unrealistic at worst.

    The school is run with our taxpayer dollars. We deserve to see how they are being spent. That is transparency. You claim you see it on the website. Nobody else does. Remember that naked emperor?…!!

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  30. 170 Lukens Observer

    Arthur,
    Brilliant assessment. We across the street felt the founders were always open and accessible.

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  31. 170 Lukens Observer

    Enrollment, (my secretary is out so all of the calls go to her VM, the joys of owning the company) makes me ask why does DMA and CSW never have or ever had enrollment issues? Why does NCS unopened high school already have a waiting list?

    Yet my neighbor across the way is still advertising for kids? Still? With the press the get they’ll have zero applicant’s for the fall and those they do manage to get will annihilate any marginal growth in AYP.

    The lying ego’s of a few have damaged the education and career’s for many.

    Oh, just called the park manager up in front and asked him about a food court style situation where breakfast and lunch can be served. For delivery all they would need is a golf cart. Now if only the liquor distributor next door would have happy hour….

    Like

    • One other thing: all last year (2011-2012) when Bill Bentz/Shawn Klapinsky handled the financial reporting they gave the Board two written reports, one designed specifically for posting to the web. I am sure Bill still does that. So, where’d they go?

      Am I the only one who notices that these sorts of problems don’t crop up at DMA or CSW or a number of other charters? And I betcha they haven;’t read MacIntosh’s book…..

      Like

    • Minnehan, you just love busting that book. Wasn’t it translated into chinese or spanish? I’m sure he’s getting massive royalties from overseas sales. Perhaps, DOE will hire Mr. Macintosh, he’s clearly more qualified than some of the current staff there.

      Like

    • No, Elizabeth, for now it’s only translated into Italian. I don’t think he can be buying a new car and making payments on those royalties…

      But I have an enrollment idea for the school: Since MacIntosh and one or two of the other new Board members are very involved in the NCC business community, Hall of Famers, etc. perhaps they can convince their Hall of Fame colleagues to move their kids from Tower Hill, Tatnall, Archmere, Friends, Sanford, St. Mark’s, St. Andrew’s etc. to Pencader….will that help?

      Like

  32. The Pencader drama will make a fitting backdrop for the charter reform debate as the General Assembly acts on the charter reform recommendations of the Governor’s working group this spring.

    Pencader shows the weakness in oversight inherent in all state-sponsored charters: The boards are not elected by the district, and aren’t even elected by the school parents. Authority is concentrated in too few hands, and there is no accountability to the general school system or to the larger community.

    All charters depend on benevolent dictators. Instead of being the public resources public schools should be, charters are isolated fiefdoms. Even charters that are on the up-and-up still have this potential vulnerability.

    There are clear targets for charter reform here, and even for a rethinking of whether we really want to enable the coming wave of charter expansion.

    Like

  33. I would like to dispel a Publius Myth:

    “The bad admin/board leadership is gone, so why punish the teachers (jobs) and students (relocation) with a punitive closure after the school has embarked on a genuine path of change?”

    More specifically – Why punish the teachers? Pencader’s closure will result in the loss of employment of its teaching staff. However, the units follow the students. Thus, the schools that will receive these children should closure occur will generate new teaching units, requiring these schools to hire more staff. The jobs don’t go away. Pencader’s staff may need to apply for them. But, these teachers come into the interview process with the fantastic DCAS data that Publius continues herald. Such data will make them valuable as clearly they are high performing teachers. Thus, the closure is a zero sum game for teachers. They will leave Pencader and engage in a job search that will lead them to openings in other schools created by the student shift. What’s left is proving their merit and the DCAS data will do it for them. They just need to interview well. And certainly, these high performing teachers will be able to that. (And I am being completely serious and not one bit sarcastic.)

    Like

    • The teachers would apply at the schools that get the jobs when the students are placed into public schools. Wow, now this is rich, the teachers get to choose where to apply: Expression of Choice!

      Like

    • It’s the ultimate expression of choice! Unless, of course, Hurricane Jack, takes away more education dollars that would have funded earned units… But, hey, he’s the education governor. He’s not going balance the budget on the backs of children…again.

      Like

    • High performing DCAS data??? Surely you were not distracted by the graphs and charts in the document they gave DOE which used cut scores rather than actual state data to compare their performance. They are below the state average performance in every grade and subject and they score below every other district in new castle county in 10th grade math, and remember they are a finance school so one would think math would be a strength, yet it’s not.
      Once again the question has to be asked of the school’s ability to even understand their own performance based on what they submitted to DOE or perhaps we should be asking whether they want to admit and truly report their actual performance as compared to the state and other schools.

      Like

    • Thank you, MHS – I was only repeating what Publius continues to assert, that the students are achieving academic excellence as determined by their testing scores.

      I do agree that you have more correct interpretation of that same data.

      Like

    • Publius the Troll.

      Has a ring to it.

      Like

  34. A year ago the folks in charge of the testing did not know what “cut scores” were. When I reviewed the data for Grades 9 and 10, which are the two grades that take the DCAS tests, there were Grade 11 and a smattering of Grade 12 kids who got lucky and were tested, there were kids who were counted twice, etc. MHS is right on the mark here. One of my perennial questions remains: why isn’t the Business s Department the flagship of the school? Interpreting data should be something that can be (1) understood, (2) taught, etc.
    Ho hum…..more emperors than clothes….

    Like

  35. Publius e decere

    In response to John Young:

    (CSD making excuses) I know you will get all emotional about this, but you (a CSD board member) regularly post comments on this blog in which you cast blame on charter schools for the challenges faced at CSD schools. And you seem to have a particular nasty streak when it comes to Pencader. A CSD board member posting under his own name in a public forum is certainly evidence to consider when deciding if CSD makes excuses. OK, go ahead and let loose now —

    (Do taxpayers get an expression of choice to not fund PCHS?) On a broad level, yes they do have a choice – if they don’t like the law then choose to vote for new legislators who will change it to your liking and accept the vote outcome is you are not in the prevailing plurality. But it we were to give voters a narrow “cafeteria power” to decide which individual schools they will or will not support, then I think several of your CSD schools would quickly find themselves at the receiving end of the NO lever. Again, I expect your hair-trigger temper to fly at this comment, but it is a simple calculus: Put up or shut down.

    (on channeling) What can I say, you read what I write and that’s a start. Despite being incorrigible, you are teachable. Next lesson: Knock off the vulgar acronyms.

    In response to Ms Minnehan:

    (Do not say to people to “take a deep breath and calm down.” That is condescending at best and unrealistic at worst.) I’m sorry you took it that way. I was responding to the flash-mob-frenzy of Pencader Putdowns on this thread which preceded my own post. I am a realistic optimist on the odds of turning around Pencader. You clearly are not.

    In response to Pandora:

    (Did you attend the meeting? Because it sounds like you did not.) OK, I’ll take the bait here. Yes, I was there as a private citizen in the back of the room. That is all you get to know. Now for the quid pro quo: Were you there? Based on your comments you were probably not there or you would already know that my description is accurate – and fair.

    Publius

    Like

    • Publius: there is more to “turning around Pencader” than wishing it to be so, sadly. Until you are in the trenches doing the work you simply do not understand what is going on all around you. Pretending doesn’t do it.
      Your “calm down” sentence was exactly that. Condescending. It was not a response to anything other than your own sense of superiority about knowing how a school could be/should be/must be run. Have you done that yet? Doubt it. It would be humbling. Glad to know you were at the meeting. Did you shed light on their situation?

      Like

    • for starters, you offered not one example of the behavior you accuse me of:” in which you cast blame on charter schools for the challenges faced at CSD schools.

      this is because you are lying. flat out. You must be better than just proffering tired lies about me just to try and convince a few blog commenters that I am the biggest threat to DE education in existence (which is how you treat me).

      Lastly, in line with your propensity for lying. I also do not have a hair trigger temper, perhaps a bad sense of humor, but then I’m talking to the king of that now aren’t I?

      Publius, you are precious! KEEP IT COMING!!!!!

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      Ms Minnehan,

      Your “trenches” mindset helps explain why you failed to properly govern the school.

      But I’ll let you dig your trench a bit deeper: Pretend that at 3pm today you are put back on the board as its President. What exactly would you do in your trench?

      Publius

      Like

    • Also, did Publius just make a pass at Pandora by acknowledging her and will Steve get mad at that?

      Like

    • HE, Publius’ idea of helping PCHS is standing at the back of a room while the BOD scrambles to make sure they don’t kick of 2013 where they left off: violating FOIA on a regular basis.

      Like

    • but it fits:

      Internet Troll

      An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.

      A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the user claims to hold. The concern troll posts in Web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group’s actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed “concerns”. The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt within the group.[22]

      Like

    • Um… okay. Then what’s up with all your “I believe” statements? Kinda weird way of phrasing which made me wonder if you had actually attended.

      Like

    • “trenches” oh, Wise One, is a word commonly by teachers/educators who are in there doing the job day in and day out. While you are out there casting stones. What is your vested interest in Pencader, anyway? And if you are such a determined and dedicated supporter where have you been since 2006?? And why aren’t you, to coin a phrase, “in the trenches” actually getting your hands dirty doing the work? That would give you more credibility, and probably take away the need to hide behind a Latin nom de plume.

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      Minnehan,

      You often resort to the ad hominem attack littered with pejorative prattle. Publius can withstand it, easily.

      Publius

      Like

    • How many synonyms can Publius conjure up for “phony?”

      Like

  36. Publius e decere

    In response to Elizabeth,

    The fallacy of your argument is its zero-sum assumption – to infer that PCHS teachers merely need to follow the units to avoid unemployment. The practical problems with your scenario are too numerous to list here. But the sheer impersonal nature of it is breathtaking.

    Let’s consider your own district’s recent experience. In CSD, schools were actually NOT making AYP so the state appropriately decided to intervene with RTTT structures and resources. All CSD had to do was move some teachers to other schools, not even to lay them off, just change their commute destination and their assigned students. The teachers were quite incensed, objecting to the picayune details of an interview strategy and lecturing your board during grossly extensive public comments. The simplest sacrifice of comfort to help repair a failed system and they went into hysterics. My point here is to say that people, whether teachers or otherwise, expect fair and respectful treatment on their terms. And even in this clearly equitable situation the CSD teachers were livid.

    Now consider this. What if you had closed Glasgow or converted it to a charter and then made your zero-sum units argument to the teachers? It would make your RTTT experience look like a game of Tiddly-Winks.

    I’m not willing to decimate teachers’ household income and to put families through a Pyrrhic search for a seat elsewhere merely in order to appease the vitriol of the anti-charter ideologues. The families don’t deserve this level of paternalistic condescension by DOE. The Pencader teachers are not the problem and never have been. They provide favorable classroom experiences, the school made AYP and the dropout rate is significantly lower than comparable TPSs. Perfect? – well who is? Fatally-flawed? – absolutely not.

    The failures were of the former school leader and the former board, both are gone. Rightly so. Give the reconstituting organization proper room to heal and thrive.

    Publius

    Like

    • We object to displacing teachers = evil.

      Publius objects to displacing teachers = good policy.

      As I have said all along Publius, you are the BEST, an I thank you for your continued service of posting here at Kilroys!

      Like

    • Come on Liz, just one more chance! Please! Pretty Please!

      Like

    • Publius, you’re funny – “I’m not willing to decimate teachers’ household income and to put families through a Pyrrhic search for a seat elsewhere merely in order to appease the vitriol of the anti-charter ideologues.”

      Change “teachers” to cafeteria workers and “anti-charter ideologues” to “pathetic paranoia” and you have just described what Pencader did with my employment. I have survived as will the Pencader teachers. Your deflection is interesting in that you did not reach for the faulty data to agree that Pencader’s teachers are highly employable. Interesting.

      I stand by the zero sum argument. Jobs in education are much like jobs in long-term care. Opening a new nursing home does not create jobs in this state. It dilutes a stagnant market and moves jobs from older facilities to newer ones. State staffing mandates ensure that facilities are staffed to the required level based upon census.

      Schools operate much the same way. Unit counts are derived using a formula based upon student census. The creation of a new charter school or the closure of another school does not create nor destroy jobs, it moves them. And will only do so until a baby boom results in an increase in the child population. The market is currently stagnant.

      I am surprised that my argument generates of sense of condescension by DOE. They did not originate Pencader’s problems. Pencader did that to itself. DOE only demanded accountibility. Pencader’s failure to own it resulted in the revocation recommendation.

      However, I do feel for those who will have to commence a job search should Pencader close. Instability in this economy is a very scary thing.

      Like

    • I’m having a hard time reconciling three of Publius’ statements.

      This, in regards to public schools:

      “The premise you have to accept is that maybe, just maybe, the TPSs will not attract enough students to be viable.and will have to close. A capitalist dream scenario. A Darwinian solution. A school of hard knocks answer to fixing schools.”

      And this, also in regards to public schools:

      Force districts to REALLY make unused space availabel for charter schools. In a district with two school buildingls operating at 70% capacity, move kids from one to the other to fill it and let the residual-building open space of 60% be made available for charter schools at a lease rate which recovers district cost pro rata. No gouging.

      And then this, in regards to Pencader:

      I’m not willing to decimate teachers’ household income and to put families through a Pyrrhic search for a seat elsewhere merely in order to appease the vitriol of the anti-charter ideologues.

      Sounds the Publius’ Darwinian School of Hard Knocks only applies to public schools.

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      Pandora,

      It is not difficult to reconcile the three things you quoted me for.

      1. Cafeteria-plan taxes. I was pointing out to John Young that his proposal to allow taxpayers to opt out of paying for a school which they don’t like could backfire on him. I wasn’t arguing for a cafeteria-plan, I was arguing against it.

      2. Freeing up space in TPS buildings for charter schools. I was arguing for an activity which is consistent with the spirit of current law. By law, districts have to report each year on their unused space and make it available to charter schools. If a district occupies a TPS building at only 70% but does so by using every other classroom then there is no practical way to fulfill this law. If, however, they occupy a contiguous set of classrooms starting at one end of the building, then the other “30%” end of the building will be completely open and could feasibly be used by a charter school, especially one which is just starting up and has few students in the first few years.

      3. Decimating household income of teachers. I was arguing for NOT firing teachers and closing Pencader since they are meeting AYP. I know that John Young can’t seem to listen well on this point without blurting out more sophomoric comments, but maybe you can read my re-explanation here with an open mind? In the CSD RTTT case, teachers were going to have continuous employment by the same employer and only have to show up at a different building. If Pencader closes, the teachers will lose their jobs, have no income, have to find a few employer and have to apply to other schools for employment IF other schools are hiring. Other schools may very well decide to keep the additional unit dollars and just adjust class sizes without hiring more teachers. The two situations (CSD-RTTT vs Pencader) are tremendously different downside risks for the teachers, and anyone who has ever been unemployed knows this.

      In general, my arguments regarding Darwin result from anti-charter firebrands first saying that charter schools must be closed as soon as someone fails a FOIA request or doesn’t post minutes on a website. All I’m doing is arguing with them using their own arguments … what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

      Publius

      Like

    • Freeing up space in TPS buildings for charter schools. I was arguing for an activity which is consistent with the spirit of current law. By law, districts have to report each year on their unused space and make it available to charter schools.

      and the only district working to HELP charters with this requirement? http://www.doe.k12.de.us/infosuites/schools/charterschools/annualsurvey.shtml

      I can hear Publius’ head exploding as the anti charter CSD is the ONLY district working to assist DE charters in this respect. Once again, your assertions about the motives and facts surrounding my behavior are debunked.

      Does lying like you do ever get tiresome? It sure does reduce your credibility I must observe.

      KEEP IT COMING PUBLIUS, still waiting for your smoking gun of pointing out one, just one comment I have ever made suggesting that CSD failure is a product of charter success as you so boldly have asserted. Liar.

      Like

    • Pandora, I can hear Publius snapping his fingers at you from here, just like Joe S.

      Like

    • Publius, again, you confound me.

      “In general, my arguments regarding Darwin result from anti-charter firebrands first saying that charter schools must be closed as soon as someone fails a FOIA request or doesn’t post minutes on a website. All I’m doing is arguing with them using their own arguments … what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

      Do you not know that Mr. Young and I filed jointly, as CSD Board Members, a FOIA petition against our own board in order to force the CSD BOE to operate in a transparent manner and end non-compliant practices? BTW, the AG opined agreement on our petition.

      Yes, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. We apply transparency to all schools. Had Pencader’s errors been as simple as failing to post minutes, the DOE would not have placed this school on FR IV or recommended revocation, again.

      Yes, John, I am trying one More TIME.

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      John Young,
      You are less than transparent. I made an argument for space in partially full buildings. Your building is a poorly located empty white elephant. In March 2011 your board voted to put it up for sale. Your board paid nearly $13,000,000 for it in 2005 —with public money I might add — and sat on it empty. Nice. Your board declared it as excess property in2009 and it took until 2011 to put it on the market. You have a white elephant on your hands paid for. ith tax money your board collected and you have the moxie to misread my argument and then incorrectly accuse me of lying as you omit from pretty material facts.

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      Elizabeth,

      You need to take down that post on your “Transparent Christina” blog. You should hope that one of their parents doesn’t round up a lawyer and sue you. And you have forfeited any claim to decency from here on out.

      Publius

      Like

    • Okay, I went back and read the thread I pulled the first two of your comments from, and I’m not seeing where anyone said anything about cafeteria taxes (Your first point). So, I’m still not getting your first comment. It doesn’t strike me as a response to anything said.

      Your second comment, about consolidating space… so you’re saying two schools at 70% capacity should use the unused 30% as a charters? Given that elementary schools usually hold 500-600 kids, those would be an very tiny charters.

      I know, in your 3rd point, that you were arguing for not firing Pencader teachers. I just pointed out that your compassion for teachers losing their jobs didn’t extend to public school teachers whose non-viable schools would close under your Darwin rule and that was the school of hard knocks.

      FYI, don’t be so quick to think bloggers always agree. We don’t, but still manage to get along… for the most part. Go on and click on the link and read the comments, and after you do perhaps you’ll find it more difficult to lump us all together. One last thing, I have a huge amount of respect for John and Elizabeth, and you should, too.

      Like

    • Publius, are you referring to my post of twitter comments gleaned from a completely public source? You have a lot of nerve don’t you. Just suppress and lie, lie and suppress. Is that the advice you’re giving PCHS or possible future tenants? PCHS is following it, no doubt.

      Good job Publius!

      Like

    • Publius lies again. You made an argument for co-location in existing space in a PREVIOUS post.

      In the post I responded to, you SPECIFICALLY cited the code requirement to list available space. WE ARE THE ONLY district complying. Yes you are the one lying. Again.

      Keep it coming man, you are GOLD!

      Like

    • Publius is Billy Crystal’s character:

      Like

    • Pandora, thanks for the blast from the past blog post, but now I want to go back and rebut Venus and the comments are closed. Damn!

      Like

    • I figured it out Kilroy, Publius’ likely has lead poisoning. Publius e ducere, not decere. Clever try though, and the lead poisoning would explain a great deal about your angle.

      Like

    • Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

      Publius, I do not publish Transparent Christina. While I have commented there from time to time, it’s NOT my blog. DO YOUR RESEARCH before you make libelous ACCUSATIONS. Thusly, I reassert that I continue to maintain my decency. YOU, however, owe ME an apology!

      Elizabeth,

      You need to take down that post on your “Transparent Christina” blog. You should hope that one of their parents doesn’t round up a lawyer and sue you. And you have forfeited any claim to decency from here on out.

      Publius

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      Elizabeth,

      My sincere apologies for accusing you of posting the Twitter messages of students. John Young had admitted to having done it.

      John you should hope that one day some other blockhead doesn’t “out” the twiters of your own children or nephews or nieces. To use those kids who believe, naively, that their posts will not end up in an adult venue makes you — reveals you — to be the heartless and selfish clod that you are. A real coward. I hope that a father settles accounts with you in the traditional manner, it would be justice well done,

      Publius

      Like

    • Publius, you are becoming unhinged. Seriously.

      I cobbled together tweets available to EVERYONE with an internet connection through a simple search.

      Children are often referred to as having no voice in discussions about schools and their operations and their efficacy.

      Are you suggesting that we should ignore the students?

      As for your suggestion that a parent attack me to settle a score, well to use your line you reveal you too. Classy.

      You know nothing of me or my motives. You are what you loathe.

      KEEP IT COMING.

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      Elizabeth,

      Our messages passed in the blogosphere. Let me say again that I was wrong in assuming that you posted those Twitter feeds. I made a mistake and I’m truly sorry for that. With so much chatter here about transparency I made the assumption and that was wrong. Hat in hand ….

      As for John, you might consider putting some distance between you and him. He went WAY out beyond reason on this one and is unbalanced enough to “justify” his anti-youth outing as being a public right. He needs help from professionals.

      Publius

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      John,

      Your assumptions about tradition reveal much about you.

      The Twitter posts, by minors, contained many vulgar phrases which I am confident they did not intend for reposting on a site viewed by more than their peers. You have misused technology to the detriment of those kids and you should seriously think about whether you are temperamentally suited to governing a school district when you have so little respect for the privacy of the students therein.

      Publius

      Like

    • Publius, you saying I need help is the best yet. I love it.

      You couldn’t be more wrong, about me or that post.

      Like

    • First of all, the twitter comments, don’t really look like most of the kids don’t like the school to me. They look like normal kid talk.
      On the other hand, the comments on the Christina School District facebook page, those are from parents! Anyone ever check those out. wow!!

      Like

    • PM, excellent point!

      Like

    • um… huh??
      seriously, why did you post those twitter comments? One girl says she didn’t like the school anyway.. but then the next day she says ‘awkward moment when dad sends her somewhere else IF Pencader closes (so I guess he’s fine with her staying if the school were to stay open), some saying they like it, one saying he’s not going to Newark or Christiana if Pencader closes, someone saying they will miss 3 people (doesn’t have a big group of friends maybe, says nothing about the school itself). Seriously, what’s your deal?

      Like

    • Seriously?

      The children have a voice no? Why shouldn’t they be published? Do their voices not count. Sure you can see there are some saying positive things too.

      Seriously.

      Like

    • my mistake, RE-published. They were published by the students themselves.

      Like

  37. I must add a note: in my tenure as President, which I will again remind you ended simply one month short of its designated term ending date, we saw remarkable progress. The damage to the school was done in the main from March, 2012 forward. The school was definitely on the right track. The egos of two individuals became more important than the success of the school and the progress we had created eroded like a sandcastle. You don’t see it that way, and I must remind you that you were not there. Or, if you were you were mouse-quiet and never lent us any of your amazing wisdom. It’s pretty useless wisdom now. Too little too late is the phrase, I believe.

    Like

  38. Publius: . In CSD, schools were actually NOT making AYP so the state appropriately decided to intervene with RTTT structures and resources.

    appropriately intervene by your definition. Write a plan, not follow it, then lie is the interpretation by anyone with the interest in actually reading the plan and listening to the teachers. Both of which are clearly above your pay grade.

    KEEP IT COMING!!!!

    Like

  39. To “condescending” may I add “paternalistic” and just throw in “obnoxious,” “ego-centric” and “defensive” to round out a pretty nifty set of fitting adjectives. Nobody is entertained, and certainly the crowd who posts here is far too intelligent to be impressed. In other words, nobody’s buying your brand of Kool-Aid.

    Like

  40. Reading the above comments all i can think of is the old line about wresting a pig…

    Like

  41. 170 Lukens Observer

    The kids comment’s on Twitter are not pro school.

    Like

    • No, but I bet they’d love your plan for a Subway or Pizza Hut!

      Like

    • I know 4 of the kids. They are seniors. They didn’t leave this year did they? And, some are pro Pencader. And, some are neutral.
      Or are you talking about the girl who said something negative, but then the next day she said her dad would put her in Middletown if Pencader closes.. doesn’t sound ‘not pro school’ to me

      Like

    • I agree with PM, 100%

      Like

    • or were you talking about the kid who said “Pencader shutting down is pissing me off”.
      Or maybe the one who said they won’t go to Newark or Christiana if Pencader closes.
      Or the one who said “I really do like Pencader”
      or the kid who said “Pencader is fine.. drama happened last year too.
      Or the one who said “Pencader not even that bad”
      Or the one who said “gotta love Pencader” – vague comment but she loves the school.

      Like

    • I agree with PM, 100% — huh?????

      Like

    • yes, I agree with you PM, the tweets do not damage PCHS as much a Publius thinks, I think your analysis is correct. Also, I did not indicate in my post, in any way, that these were to suggest otherwise.

      Only Publius’ lies and assumptions, in a lame attempt to twist my intent, suggest such a motive.

      I agree with you.

      Like

    • I didn’t pay much attention to your title or whatever. I did notice Kilroys, which led me to yours. I read Publius comment as a concern for posting kids pictures and tweets on a blog. Of course they can be seen, and of course kids know that, intellectually they know that, but do you think kids think that will happen? I don’t know, but I doubt it. I don’t do twitter so not sure how it works, I am wondering how (and why actually) you found those.

      Like

  42. Publius, they should sue Twitter no? Hilarious idea though.

    Like

    • Publius e decere

      John,

      I have to assume you are ignorant about teenagers age 16+. I’ve dealt with my own and with many others through volunteer activity and I can assure you that kids who post like that with vulgarities and related stuff do NOT go into it knowing that their posts can be read publicly.

      Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD. You and I may not personally know the kids in the posts you “outed” but rest assured that an alert parent can pick out their kid’s post. You violated their privacy in a very personal way.

      You are supposed to be the adult here, to have sage understanding, that you may have googled these posts but you have to have the mature restraint to NOT repost them in your craven little ideological world.

      You had no right to eavesdrop on those kids and post it for us to read. You grossly misused the asymmetry of community influence between you and those kids. It was a bit creepy and VERY wrong. You in a class(less) category all of your own.

      Publius

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      John,

      My abhorrence with your post had nothing to do with its impact — positive or negative — on PCHS. My post took you to task for more-widely propagating teen messages which will only serve to harm their reputations with parents, employers and colleges. In your zeal to destroy a good school you harmed the very students who need it. You are despicable.

      Publius

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    • Publius,

      Your vile distortion of my motives and factual mis-statements about me and my actions in a deliberate attempt manipulate opinion for Delaware charters are far worse than your faux, trumped up outrage at what your falsely claim I have done.

      For that, the label despicable fits you far better.

      Cheers!

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    • Darwinius’ faux outrage is, as usual, a shell game to keep everyone from noticing that he is not here to exchange views, he is here to further his own crusade of Charters uber alles!, and he will literally say … anything … to further that end.

      He has, for example, harped on Pencader as having nothing but a few transparency and financial issues, insisting repeatedly that there is nothing academically wrong there. Two successive state reviews have concluded otherwise.

      He has, in his zeal to discredit John Young, created a convoluted position in which neither the students who Tweeted (because they were, he insists, completely without evidence or common sense) unaware that their profanity would become common knowledge, or the parents who do not make even the slightest attempt to monitor their children’s internet usage are the victims, and John is the villain.

      As for his throwing out the term despicable in the light of his stated views on public education policy [that public school students should be displaced from taxpayer financed buildings in favor of charter school students; that the closing rather than improving public schools represents a Capitalistic, Darwinian success rather than a tragedy; that neither declining enrollments, financial mismanagement, nor instructional failure should ever be good enough reason to revoke a charter], that is closely akin to some old saying about pots and kettles.

      In other words, John, being called despicable by friend Darwinius is rather like being called ugly by a frog.

      Or a troll.

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    • “monitor your kids internet usage” – lol that’s a good one. Like when they go out driving, unless you want to completely stalk them (which can backfire horribly) you have to trust that you taught them well enough to know what can happen if they A, B, or C. Plus, they often have alternate accounts that you don’t even know about and they are a step ahead when it comes to technology (a step ahead of me anyway) Steve, did you know about snapchat? I didn’t until today when I had a conversation with my fourteen year old about all of this.
      (in this paragraph I am talking about older teens, not youngen’s.)
      Steve, I get what you are saying in your comments, but really, would you be ok with posting your kids picture and twitter account on here, or on Johns blog or on your blog?

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  43. Publius,

    First, being lectured by you on ethics is beyond the pale as you might say. As you firebomb all that dissent and offer nothing more than your own brand of pejorative prattle on how you hold some moral high ground in the charter debate as you sideline children with less money and intellectual disabilities. So for all that, you really are a piece of work.

    As for your analysis of my rights and responsibilities. The post title offers no angle or analysis. It is disclaimed as vulgar via the hashtag #NSFW (not safe for work), and is not an original posting of the material but a collection of a public record. (https://transparentchristina.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/twitter-community-talks-pencader-netde-nsfw/)

    You can call it reckless, and some or even more than that may agree with you (or not), but it is a way to give voice to the students. They have a right to speak and your plain attempt to suppress their views dressed up a faux moral outrage at me, is frankly, pathetic.

    and right up your alley.

    Keep posting Publius. Keep extracting from lead, as it were.

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  44. Publius, you and I both know that Pencader’s adults read their students’ tweets.

    During my time at the school, I had a wonderful opportunity to peer into the minds of high school students – lunch time. Students asked me about blogging and talked to me about twitter. It was commonly accepted, most students knew their tweets were being read by adults. Those who did not want the world to have access set the proper privacy settings.

    However, there were students who made it a game. They intentionally tweeted inappropriate comments during the school day from their cell phones to see if and when admin/teacher would bring it up. Many of these same students used twitter to tell the world that Mr. Lewis was no longer employed by the school and again when Ms. Lewis’ arrangement was severed.

    The majority of these students know precisely what twitter is for, they communicate and play with it. They send photos over it for all the world to see. I’ve met students who have tweeted government officials like Jack Markell. They are not nearly as innocent as we would like them to be. And while there are some students who may still be innocent – I think the statements Mr. Young reposted were written with every bit of intentionality – knowing they could be read by anyone.

    As far as distancing myself, I appreciate your concern.

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    • Publius e decere

      I do realize that some parents are more tech savvy than others. I just recoiled at what John presumptively did.

      Thanks for your reply. Again, I’m very sorry for mistaking you as the poster. Have a great weekend!

      Publius

      Like

    • Unlike you Publius, I don’t often presume.

      Like

    • Also, love how you TRASH ES in multiple previous posts then wish her a great weekend as if she is incapable of remembering your visceral insults.

      You are a GEM!

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    • Thank you, John. I have not forgotten.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      “Thanks for your reply. Again, I’m very sorry for mistaking you as the poster. Have a great weekend!” Publius e decere,

      Damn, crow is bitch to eat 🙂 I’ve been there 🙂

      Like

  45. Speaking of tweets one may want back:

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  46. A mere 11 months ago:

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  47. Publius, check out the FINAL CSAC report on PCHS over at Delaware Ed blog: http://blogs.delawareonline.com/delawareed/files/2013/01/Pencader-Report-2012.pdf check out the report as defined within the NEW Charter Performance Framework. Basically debunks your assertions about performance.

    You’re welcome.

    Thanks for getting this Nichole.

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    • I can’t open the report Nicole posted. I’m sure it is my aging computer. I’m guessing it’s not good. You wrote assertions about performance. I guess you mean students performance? DCAS, grad. rate, what exactly?
      I know I am a Pencader defender on Kilroy, and am seen as that. But, I did post before on here, that in my opinion, it all comes down to enrollment. Even before the ‘bitch’ incident, Pencaders enrollment was down. Because of money, as we all know.
      It is hard to enroll your child in a school where you are not sure what will happen in the future. You know I like the idea of a K-12 schools (I mean, I really really really do!) so to think a kid might have to leave their school sometime during their 4 years, is huge to me.
      So I think Pencader was caught in a catch 22. Enrollment was down because of money, so cuts have to be made, and corners cut, to save money, which effects enrollment, which effects money, a vicious cycle. Again, I can’t see that report, and not even sure if I am on track here in thinking it is about student performance, but if it is, I am not surprised. They obviously have made cuts that could well have an effect on student outcome.
      To me this is a sad thing. Very sad. My kid is a senior so I really have no personal stake in it. It is sad because I know what I saw in the past and the stats of what they were…. Pencader was a school that had a high low-income ratio of kids, an almost even ratio of black and white, with a decent ratio of Asian and Indian mix, a melting pot of races and incomes. A melting pot of kids who, for the most part, got (still get) along with each other and get along with the teachers. An office of people who know all of the kids by name, and also know most (many??) of the parents by name.
      Their scores were high, their drop-out was low, their discipline issues were low (and they didn’t stop anyone from coming in, and I disclose that I don’t know any numbers, but I would bet my bank that they didn’t kick kids out). To me, it was an example of what we have been looking for. And now, it feels like it will be wasted potential. Most on here have agreed, on one post or another, that they had so much potential, or that a business school model was a great idea, etc.
      I hate wasted potential. I just absolutely hate it.
      Anyway, I guess I get defensive because of two things. One, like I just said, I think there was great potential and I hate wasted potential, and second, I don’t like snarkiness and humor, and I’ve seen a lot of it on here, when it is related to our kids. And by ‘our kids’ I mean the kids of Delaware. They are the responsibility of all of us. Or at least they should be.

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    • “NEW Charter Performance Framework” really puts their performance into perspective, very different from those graphs they included in the report they sent to DOE. However the report really speaks loudly to the lack of comprehensive improvement plan, student recruitment plan or school leader plan! They also now cast concerns around the budget based upon new items listed that will have a cost to the school.
      The report seems very clear in where the deficiencies were found by DOE

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    • PM, the performance analysis is done in the new DOE Charter Performance Framework metrics, and my point in this case is that PCHS is behind the state’s averages across the board in all testing categories and achievement gaps.

      These are things that Publius worships and touts. So, again, Publius’ lying is laid bare by facts.

      FYI, your comment here is very well said and Pencader needs supporters and you should be proud of being one.

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    • “FYI, your comment here is very well said and Pencader needs supporters and you should be proud of being one.”- I am totally suspicious of you tonight

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    • you shouldn’t be. I have never wavered. posters like Publius literally lie (note the lack of response when I demand one instance of Publius’ assertions to be provided) to suit their agenda.

      I have no issue with Pencader remaining open, BUT not without a full accounting of its sins. There are unfortunately many and despite them being in the past, they mostly involve the public trust and the spending of our tax dollars so they must be confronted. Publius wants a complete free pass and to put the past away in a box and pretend it never ever happened. These are our tax dollars and I think that approach is wrong.

      If the DOE/SBE ultimately vote to keep PCHS open in the complete context of its performance, you won’t see any world is ending headlines on my blog.

      If it closes, it will be sad even if warranted/necessary. Especially for the rising juniors and seniors.

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  48. Publius, I’m sure you know this because you are an adult (or are you?) but as a parent and as a teacher I always, always told kids that when you are using Twitter, Facebook, email etc as soon as you “send” that material is no longer your private material. It now belongs to the world. So don’t be blaming John for sharing what he found on Twitter. Also, I’m certain you know this, many colleges now check out Twitter and FB accounts of applicants to get an idea of the “character” of the student before admittance or rejection. Just sayin’….wasting my time probably, but just sayin’….

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    • How do colleges find someones twitter account?

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    • PM. you can go here and just type a searchword, like Pencader for example.

      Like

    • I love Twitter, and while I don’t tweet a lot it is one of the fastest ways to get news and find amazing articles. During Hurricane Sandy Twitter was invaluable. (#SandyDE)

      Most kids use Twitter differently from me. They tend to use it as a social experience. There is a privacy setting on Twitter, but most don’t use it since one of Twitter’s main functions is the spread of information.

      I’m not big on posting dumb things kids say on Twitter, but… as a parent it is my job to try and stay tech current and to educate my kids on the dangers of social media.

      Right now there’s a shocking case of alleged rape in Steubenville, Ohio involving the HS football team. The victim (and law enforcement) discovered what happened to her through flippin’ tweets – complete with disgusting pictures these punks actually sent to her parents.

      If your kids are using twitter then you need to learn how to use Twitter.

      Moving on, have you seen Snapchat? There. Now I’ve given everyone something new to worry about. 😉

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    • PM: I have no idea how they find kids’ accounts but they do. There have been several segments on national news recently about it and my granddaughter is a high school sophomore and at her school they have given the kids very specific information about how to use this new social media so you don’t get yourself in trouble. I tell kids that once you put something out there you lose total control of where it goes…same for what we are doing right here!
      I have a FB account but rarely if ever put any personal info on it. I do not know a thing in the world about Twitter or how it works. I can use a cell phone, just to make and receive calls, send a simple text, etc. I come from the paper/pencil/rotary phone generation….one step above the rock and chisel folks!

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  49. oh crap, I don’t really want to know how to do that.. but now I probably will.. lol. I was actually trying to see if HEM knew how.. ok I was callin her out 🙂 but you messed it up. When is next CSD meeting. I want to come to it.. and so does my neighbor. You’re gonna love her!! She’s not shy. I am. She will ask questions. I won’t.

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  50. I left a comment on the other site. Not only were half of the twitter comments pro Pencader, but most of the negative comments came from kids who NO LONGER ATTEND THE SCHOOL. That is important to note. Similar to comments coming from adults who no longer work there, some of whom were released from their duties there. The problem on this site is the headline, saying “the kid jury is in, not good for pencader.” A deceptive and inaccurate headline. Regarding twitter, yes it is public, but I hope we realize – as adults – that youngsters will write things and publish them without giving it much thought sometimes. It is our job as adults to teach them to be careful with what they post online. We should not be grabbing their posts and spreading them around. In fact, if you told them you saw their posts, they would probably say something like, “Why are you looking at my posts there?” because those posts are intended for their friends only. We need to remind our children to be careful.

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    • Cindy, I’m sure you can see that the headline you oppose is KILROY’s, on my site the headline is intentionally nonpartisan, as are the comments.

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    • yes you are correct. when i said “this site” i meant this kilroys site. thanks for clarifying. your headline was fine.

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    • still offering libel on that resignation you call a termination as a complete fabrication?

      Best get your story straight, unfortunately the only other person in the room is infatuated with fake degrees and pension fraud it seems.

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    • explain yourself. because i have no idea what you are talking about. just repeat that last message with clear thoughts, and take out the vague references, and i will gladly reply to it.

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  51. But, and this is very important, you say the kids posts are “intended for their friends only,” that is not controllable. Just like if you said that only your friends can read what you post here, on FB or wherever. There is no secrecy, no privacy in social media anymore. That lesson got pounded home loud and clear in the General Petraeus fiasco this past Fall. And if the head honcho of the CIA can’t figure out how to keep a secret then I don’t think a 16 year old kid can!

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    • Not only that Ms. M., but whatever anyone places on the web through any particular site – social media or not – is there forever. Just a thought.

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  52. That’s exactly why we must continue to teach them. Someone with your years of experience should realize this. We keep teaching. We don’t give up. Well, some of us don’t give up.

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  53. Then don’t call it.

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    • I think it’s worth noting that Pencader has twitter accounts, as in accounts that coaches and others use/d to communicate with their students. These are presumably sanctioned accounts – blessed by the school admin to be used for communication. Once a school goes down this road, you really can’t argue for student privacy.

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  54. “Once a school goes down this road, you really can’t argue for student privacy.” – seriously??

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    • If the school is teaching students that Twitter is a way to “officially” communicate – receive tweets from their coaches, teachers, etc – there is an obligation of the organization to teach the children that social media is public media. Pencader condones/d the usage of twitter by adults to communicate with students. Thus, their “private” tweets are not really private, are they? It’s a slippery slope.

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    • Can we move beyond this faux twitter outrage soon?

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    • Elizabeth, I have always taught my kids that just because you ‘can’ do something, doesn’t mean that you ‘should’. That’s all. To me, looking up and posting kids twitter accounts on blogs would be something that you ‘can’ do, but shouldn’t. In my opinion. I guess we will have to agree to disagree.
      Pandora..my last comment on the topic. 🙂

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    • PM, so you support suppression of student opinion?

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  55. John, I don’t think that is a fair comment. She said she wouldn’t do it, and that she did not particularly like it, but she did not challenge your ability to do so, nor did she say anything remotely to be interpreted as supporting suppression of student opinion.

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    • Steve, that’s fair, but all I’m doing here is asking her opinion via a strong question. She appears to support that position, so I am asking for clarification, hence the question mark at the end.

      Nothing more.

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    • “PM, so you support suppression of student opinion”- ummm yes, sometimes. (when your kids are teenagers you will get that answer 🙂 )

      I promised Pandora I wouldn’t comment on this, so I will give my son’s girlfriends answer. She said “their opinions were made for their followers, not for an adult from Christina School District who searched Pencader”.
      I will say that she also ‘gets’ that twitter is public and it ‘can’ be posted anywhere at anytime. She said her account is private. She’s a pretty bright girl.

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    • (when your kids are teenagers you will get that answer 🙂 )

      Unfortunately, I wont.

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    • I have never claimed, nor did I opine to whom their opinions were directed. This is my blog post title: Twitter community talks Pencader #netDE #NSFW

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  56. looking up and posting kids twitter accounts on blogs would be something that you ‘can’ do, but shouldn’t.

    BTW, to me, this suggests that one may indeed support suppression of student opinion as opposed to not saying anything remotely close to said same.

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