I am not bashing charter schools with this post. The fact is, the Delaware Department of Education charter school office may be a hindrance to existing charter schools and expansion of charter schools in Delaware. Also, the lack of capacity may be more damaging to charters under review or on probation.
Apparently DE DOE is working on or fine tuning some kind of framework to be used for new charter school application and renewals of existing charter schools. I must assume this framework is some kind of template that keeps thing more uniform and DE DOE heads out of their asses. We know the how the approval process worked in the past, it was driven by ego and seeded in political agendas. Perhaps a “framework” will keep the cards on the table and give all charter school applicants and renewals a fair shake. I am a strong believer in documentation, uniformity and transparency. I’ve reviewed many charter school application and it appear there is an art of what are the right things to say and when you have Innovative Schools part of the charter school plan it’s like a Betty Crocker and Good Housekeeping Seal wrapped up into one. Personally, I don’t think DE DOE should be encouraging charter school applicants directly or indirectly to use Innovative Schools services. I see some very strong conflicts of interest with the web of people involved and association of organizations. Why give Innovative Schools exclusivity rights? If competition between charters and traditional schools are for the betterment of public education, shouldn’t competition in charter school management companies be good for raising the bar on charter school governance! What happen with Innovative Schools with Pencader?
Charter school applications seem to be full or all the right things to say and all the warm education fuzzy one wants to hear. I think Hube refers this to Ed-babble. They cite various successful education model as foundation for the charter plans. But what get’s me is. even with the save the world of education plans backed by amazing walk on water credentials of board members, why do charter like Pencader fail and others like Moyer is hanging by a thread? Also, why do we hear, they are a new charter school they need time? Sorry a little bashing here, my bad! If charters were the answer to failing traditional schools, how many times do we give charter schools like Pencader another chance? He comes Publius, but gee Kilroy look how many times we give traditional schools chances to turnaround? Dude, converting them into a failing charter schools like Pencader isn’t the answer! Perhaps those school vouchers would be a good idea to give student who you failed once and failed twice!
Sorry back on track! Much as it pains me to say this. I think the Delaware Secretary of Education and application review panel made up of people who actually been in a classroom and manged schools approve charter school applications, renewals and modifications. The can give the state board a clear presentation without shallow responses. At the end of the day no matter what the ball falls in the Sec of Ed’s lap! Perhaps this charter school application framework might be the right thing. The approval and renewal process is too long and filled with too many bullshit sorry ass educational warm fuzzies and clueless DE DOE folks. HOWEVER, the trade-off is, when a charter school fails to keep it’s commitment to student academic success and fiscal and operational responsibility with clear transparency adhering to state laws the warning shot goes out on the fly, not none of these dragged out review process. When a charter school fails to update financial reports, budget reports, board minutes, citizen budget oversight committee reports which are not budget reports and other requirements, the board shall be put on notice to correct the problem within 10 days or face probation and a call for a new board and school leader. Another option, get DE DOE out of the charter school approval and oversight of charter schools and only allow districts to approve charter schools. Someone will come in here and say, right Kilroy what about labor? Here is where another section of the law needs to be modified. Districts must convert persistently low performing school to charter “or” this is where DE DOE steps in.
OK folks, your turn! Question 1, Are you happy with the current DE DOE charter school approval, oversight and review process? Question 2, Should persistently low performing traditional schools be converted to charter schools? Question 3, Should students attending persistently low performing traditional and charter schools be giving a school voucher?