First was the wasted time spent complaining about New Castle Councilman Jea Street’s letter, objecting to the board’s turning down $2.3 million of federal Race to the Top funds to help struggling high-poverty schools improve academically. He was clearly piqued at the board majority for a failure to give the public a sense of when it would be forthcoming with a response to the federal government’s ruling that it address unfair disciplinary action in the state’s second largest school district.
WTF ?? Race to The Top has zero to do with the federal ruling on unfair disciplinary practices under the former school district superintended and board members serving at the time of the federal investigation. No Race to The Top money is designated to go towards addressing district disciplinary policies.
God only knows why Jea Street supports giving teachers bonuses for doing “their jobs”.
Even the local teachers union disapproves of bonuses. Jea should be upset that the process for purging under-performing teachers harms all children is secondary to bonuses. The money being pissed away on bonuses for people paid to do their jobs could be better served going toward helping entry-level and under-performing teachers do a better job, Losing the $2.3 million does does nothing to address the concerns of the federal ruling.
Instead some board members stoked unimaginable fears of another possible Sandy Hook, Conn., massacre, based on Mr. Street’s traditional no-holds barred criticism of their loyalty to all of the district’s students, particularly black students. “The language in the letter was incendiary and totally uncalled for,” board member Shirley Sutton-Safer intoned. “With some of the lunatics who are out there, who knows what they might do if they saw this letter?”
We’ll I for one like Jea Streets style and rants! We know Jea is Jea and nothing will change him! That’s a good thing! However, Shirley Sutton-Safer’s concern seems to be Jea’s over the top comments could be view but others that certain members of the board are racist and social cancer that has to go. Sure he called for the superintendent to step-down and the superintendent happens to be African-American which might be a smoke screen. Yes Rhonda there are lunatics out there.
Perhaps what most rational folks would have done after reading the document – determine it wasn’t incendiary. It expressed the frustration embedded of parents and politicians who have worked for years to try to determine why black children seem to get the harsher end of the disciplinary actions for the same infractions, which the data suggests were committed by those among the majority population. The federal Department of Education Office, after conducting its own review raised the same question.
Black children get fucked-over more than white children because many of the so-called community leaders proclaiming they are civil rights leaders bow-down to kiss the hand of white knights such as Jack Markell. During Markell’s bid for governor he acknowledged charter schools were “skimming and creaming” students causing re-segregation. Markell stood side by side with those during a ceremony when Bank of American donated an office building to the Longwood Foundation that will house a mega charter school serving mostly black students. Jea Street’s fight is with Dover! But again, Race to The Top’s $2.3 million dollars in question has nothing to do with the federal report!
Truthfully, the district appears to act in bad faith by not keeping to their Race to the Top agreement. They reneged for reasons they thought more honorable – among them that the deal came with money that singled out teachers rated as highly effective for $1,000 bonus. That flies in the face of tradition which holds that the rising tide of pay in a school building should lift every employee’s compensation accordingly.
So giving a $1000.00 bonus to many more teachers rather than $10,000-$20,000.00 to a selected few is bad faith? Also, next year is the end of Race to The Top and I wonder if Jea and the News Journal would yell foul if Christina didn’t raise local school taxes to continue the bonuses at a time they continue to take the class-size wavier. How does it serve children when we rob Peter to pay Paul? The deals I see with Race to The Top are the Limo Deal where Judas sowed some seeds on the way down to the D.C. sellout game, $8.2 million dollars to Wireless Generation subsidiarity of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for “data coaches”. The there is Markell’s stock portfolio surely enriched with shares of News Corp and K12.inc stock! Don’t remember, Jack Markell is a self-proclaimed proud card carrying capitalist and knows there is profit in poverty when it comes to education! So where do you think Markell career wil end up? Take a look at the leaders in education reform! All a bunch of rich white guys and many the same who did nothing about racial diversity in their organizations and who had unfavorable lending policies towards blacks! Damn even Joe Biden’s brother Frank Biden is cashing in on charter schools.
He ended this violent manifesto with a call for the resignation of the school superintendent and particular members responsible for “broken promises and bad faith, ongoing discrimination and exclusionary, race-driven practices.” Then he did a “George W. Bush” on them terming such actions as “weapons of mass educational destruction” which he promised would be dealt with accordingly. Could that be why he cc’d the governor, local and state politicians with oversight of the district’s operation?
What has he governor done to address the de facto segregation left in the wake of the Neighborhood Schools Act, charter school laws laced with discriminatory practices, class size cap laws with loopholes and support of federal intervention in local school board control? Why is that governor can’t see the need to record school board meetings and leave it up to me? Perhaps Markell rather not want the public to hear the Jea Streets of the world! Hear parents raise concerns about problems with school choice! Hear how their children are being bullied! Hear school administrators complain about Markell’s state budget cuts! Hear school board members raising concerns about the financial unsustainable Race to The Top.
The fight for real change is in Dover Delaware and issues of civil rights won’t improve until a few good sisters step-up and sound the charge for real change! Black or white, it’s the mom’s towing the line when it comes to education.