New Delaware Standardized Charter /Choice School Enrollment Application

Here is it, Delaware Standardized Charter /Choice School Enrollment Application. 

Parents bewared of a charter school tactic called “counseling out”. This is tactic to cherry pick students by kindly discouraging students / parents to continue with desire to attend a given charter school. They tell you things like your child is a good student but might no fit in our school or it might be too rigorous! Don’t let them snow you! Any body wants to carry a pocket recorder and record any interviews (not over the phone) I’ll be glad to post it here and child’s name can be edited out. Counseling out is immoral and we need to expose those abusers!   

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86 responses to “New Delaware Standardized Charter /Choice School Enrollment Application

  1. Please note that the standardization stops at page 1/2. All schools can request that additional applications be completed or documents provided.

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    • Eve B. ("Citizen")

      So is there any improvement here? It sounds like in addition to the prior application complexity, we’ve added a standard form to be filled out along with whatever the charteres, magnets, vo-techs want to ask. Am I missing something?

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    • Last night’s meeting report here: <a href=]"http://seventhtype.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/does-your-mama-pick-watermelons/&quot;?Does your mama pick watermelons?

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    • Eve, you are correct. Parents applying to some charter schools may find that this “an addition” to the mountain documentation that can be required. Other charters may be straight forward and limit the “choice” work to just this doc. But, either way, parents must prepare this “application” when deciding to participate in choice in both the charter and traditional public school systems.

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    • Publius e decere

      Y’all need to get over this. A charter school has a focused program and method for delivering it. If they get too many people applying, OF COURSE they need to ask questions to try and ascertain a fair way to offer seats. Preferences are law, for good reason. Questions which help the school prioritize the best fit are simple common sense.

      If you want to merely supply your name and get a school, you have that — the feeder pattern. Choice is about active engagement in ascertaining fit as performed by the parent, the student and the all-choice school or program. Get a mitt and get on the field.

      Publius

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    • “Focused programming,” Publius? Funny. I’ve talked to staff members at two high-performing charter schools in particular and they claim there is very little “focused programming” or anything terribly different from honors programming that already exists at traditional public high schools.

      The HB 90 meeting last night was quite fascinating. Most fascinating was how easily annoyed and very defensive the charter folks were — particularly at the end. I think some of the questions asked — questions that PERHAPS should have been addressed long ago by an asleep-at-the-wheel DoE — that were brought to the fore caused those in attendance to really second guess the shit some charters have gotten away with for far too long.

      Shout out to Joanne Christian, whose calm, determined, and fact-based questioning really brought the house down at several points last night.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Publius, I know where you are coming from on the specific interest
      Per law: Title 14 , Chapter 5 (b)(3)(c) “Students who have a specific interest in the school’s teaching methods, philosophy, or educational focus;”
      Once the student completes the application that demonstrates “specific interest”. Sadly to say the charter schools are gaming the system to pick students who will be highly successful. Surely the law doesn’t assume all with be 4.0 students. Charter School Of Wilmington is nothing more than a honors program on steroids. However, when we are talking Delaware Military Academy sure one must be willing to conform to military style rule.

      We know what is going to happen with these standardize forms! They will have no value as they are nothing more than a cover page for the students application process! Every public and charter school must serve all levels of students but I’ll give on concession! If the students does abide by behavior standards or not meeting academic standards as far as doing assignments then give them the boot! Some will say I am a sell-out however, charter schools are not public school is they cherry pick students!

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    • “…And method for delivering it.”

      Sir Publius: Might I ask you to please unveil yourself and come to the Sb 147 Charter/District Collaboration Task Force on Monday from 3-5pm at the Appoquinimink Service Center?

      From direct conversations I’ve had with teachers from two high-performing charter schools, there is very little differentiation as to how content is “delivered” to students from a traditional high school. In fact, one faculty member several years back said to me, “Mike, there’s nothing special that goes on in this school. It’s just that the kids are brilliant. Most of them could probably teach my class for me.”

      The curtain is going to come down on this experiment known as charter schools soon enough. Want to have charter schools? Fine! I’m all for them. But don’t specifically exclude students by asking a gazillion and one potentially exclusionary questions on applications and don’t also claim there’s some damn magic or special “method for delivering” instruction in these schools. The majority of them are doing the same thing traditional schools are doing. It’s just that the super, super high performing ones are, well, you know the rest…!

      I want Kilroy to host another blog summit where Publius and I can hang out, grab a drink, eat some roast beef sandwiches, and shoot the shit. How about it, Publius? Bull’s Eye, Kilroy? Set it up…

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    • Publius is only because he is anonymous.

      Yeah, you know the rest.

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    • Publius e decere

      If the public wants charter schools, give them charter schools. Why are charter schools in demand? They have a strategy, they are held accountable for achieving it, and they get closed if they fail. And who decides their success? The public who CHOOSES to go to them.

      If you don’t want charter schools to apply preferences, then uncap their enrollment and the chips fall where they may since they will be able to take all comers. But this would require a fundamental reality check on why the public builds school buildings. They build them to house public education. ALL public education. Not Matthews’ brand, not Kilroy’s, not Publius’, but ALL forms of public education. New York realizes this and they apportion space in buildings to whatever public schools can fit in. Surely an honest assessment of “traditional” buildings in a Delaware will show that there is a way to move kids around and make room for the public charter schools which the public wants. We have one working model in Wilmington (Cab Calloway and the Charter School of Wilm) so we know it works. Let’s collaborate, Mike Matthews, and learn how to open up ALL of our PUBLIC school buildings to all schools which the PUBLIC demands. It can be done.

      Methods. DMA uses ROTC. Charter Wilm uses groups of similar challenge level. NCS uses family-intensive involvement. Mike Matthews and his union may not want to use these methods, and people who agree with that are free and encouraged to choose schools which use his preferred methods. But people who like these charter methods should not be denuded their access to them.

      Anecdotes. Mike can cite all of the unaccountable I-heard anecdotes he wants. What matters is the official organizing principles and the institutional discipline behind them. “Union” Mike’s organizing principle is seniority, grievances, and one size all. People who like that should go for it. But those who don’t should be free to choose something different. Today, DE law allows families to choose a different model. Someday, employees will be able to choose whether or not to pay into the union. Mike is sitting on a governanent sanctioned oligopoly over teachers and he has the moxie to complain about people who opt out? Wow. “Insufferable” is the most polite adjective I can conjer.

      Mike and his brethren feel that the only way they can succeed is to take away choice from families who choose the charter model of public education. A sad pathetic view. A more constructive view would be to give broad choice to families. “Choice” means access to opportunity, NOT a guarantee of equal outcome. Applying to Kindaergarten is fairly pure on random selection being fair, middle school should expect some modicum of proof that you are motivated for school, and high school should be very direct in allocating its resources based on what a student has spent the prior nine years doing. Grow up, this is the way the world works.

      As for my “veil”, Mike sorry to disappoint you but I don’t wear one. I don’t roll that way. I post under a pseudonym for the same reasons that our Founding Fathers did — to express ideas and concepts without having them discounted or attacked because of my race or disability or clan or creed.

      Publius

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    • The Founding Fathers used that veil because of the revolutionary ideas they sought to bring to the rest of the colonists. To compare your relatively mild spin on charters and traditionals to what they did is simply absurd.

      Not that it’s much of a veil anyhow. 😉

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    • Are they anecdotes, Publius? Again, I would LOVE your presence at the SB 147 Task Force. Bring in those super special creative strategies that CSW and NCS use. Bring them. Share them. And then we can perhaps replicate the magic. Here’s the thing: The super-secret awesome strategies don’t exist, sir. Your success is guaranteed based on the quality of student that goes into that building.

      Bring. The. Strategies. Bring. The. Methods. Bring. It. This is what the task force is for. Share it out.

      I will say this a gazillion times. Create all the charters you want. I’m fine. But pull down the “there’s-magic-going-on-here” bullshit. Just stop it. Comparing NCS/CSW to other district schools is stupid and offensive. Reverse CSW’s low-income numbers. Instead of 1.6% make it 98.4% low income. Then see if the magic works. It won’t because CSW does not have a replicable model, which is what the original charter law calls for — to be replicated back into traditional schools.

      CSW’s model is — pull the best and brightest, concentrate them in one school, and be heaped with the highest praise in the world as if there is some super-secret formula within. There. Isn’t.

      I can’t say this enough. We have AMAZING teachers in some of our highest-needs schools in the city. I’ve seen them in action. However, they and their schools are repeatedly slandered at the whim of a Department of Education that would prefer to label them than to assist them. This is an issue of equity, Publius, and I’m afraid you don’t get it. It’s simple. When a certain segment of students enters the public school system with such a vast deficit of skills and resources, then there must be a better formula to equalize those deficits so they can be brought up to speed with their more affluent peers. Until we start having a real discussion surrounding funding formulas in this state, then that won’t happen.

      And all your griping about the union has nothing to do with the issue. Take over one of the city elementary schools. Change NOTHING about enrollment. Take the kids who are feeder-patterned into that school. Hire new teachers if you want. You can’t kick out IEP/504/BIP/FBA students. You can’t kick out students whose parents don’t sign a participation contract. I guarantee you you’ll get the same results. Some charters in the city have worked because they require parents to sign on to a host of contracts. If they don’t, they don’t get in. If the contracts are broken, they get kicked out and sent back to the District school (this happens A LOT). And, if it’s after Sept. 30, that school district gets SHIT in way of funding. You hear that Publius? The charters in the city that WORK are rigging the system. They’re kicking out the “rotten” blueberries, something traditionals can’t do. And they’re keeping the money for the rest of the school year.

      All I’ve asked for time and time again is for the comparisons to stop. It is unfair to compare charters with traditionals when the rules are different for both. And that was on full display last night when Rep. Williams masterfully went down the list of bullshit questions some charter schools get away with asking. You all play by different rules. I suppose that’s fine. But don’t go degrading our schools that try our best to deal with the MOST challenged and challenging students in the state.

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    • Publius e decere

      I’m pretty sure that my approach is about giving people choice, not denigrating non-charter strategies. You might be overly defensive.

      Are you seriously saying that Prestige and Thomas Edison are doing something fundamentally unfair? Really? I would like to see a structured debate between you and Jack Perry — no one can introduce ideological opinions, only fact-supported points. I think you would be bested. Schooled.

      Look Mike, I get your frustration. But people who choose charter schools, or magnets or votechs, are not your problem. You are fundamentally frustrated by families who don’t choose to actively parent and who don’t invest in parenting. I know, parenting is hard work and there is no guarantee that the resulting adults will be anything like the aspirations we held at their birth. BUT upon distilled analysis, the families which invest their efforts in parenting are probably going to have more accomplished outcomes than those who don’t. Like it or not, maybe the mission of feeder public schools should include the provision of education and motivation to the disaffected who did not choose to be there — or anywhere. It is a valid mission, and should have proportionate expectations.

      If I have said traditional-bad, charter-good then I apologize because I surely did not mean to. I personally believe that the things “I” want from public education are best served by charter schools and I assert the right of people to choose the charter model. But I also fully respect everyone who chooses –or defaults to — traditional district-managed schools. I know you do aim to do good work as a teacher in the traditional model. I’m also clear on my opinion about unions. If I haven’t differentiated the two, it is in part because neither have you.

      We can agree to disagree. What we should also agree on is to improve education without taking anything away from others. People who choose charters are not enemies of your model, they simply don’t choose it.

      As for collaboration, it is a two-way street. If you ever hear of a traditional school asking to meet with a charter school to learn from them and being denied the meeting, let us know. And the same in reverse. We can deal in reality, not in hypotheticals.

      Publius

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    • Publius going for co-location a la NYC.

      DISASTER.

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    • Publius has indicated regular attendance at RCCSD school board meetings.

      Here’s some folks that also show up there:

      Yvonne Johnson commented on CSW program
      and supports renewing charter.
      Cheryl Potocki (CSW teacher) commented on programs at CSW
      and their collaboration with Red Clay schools.
      Ray Seigfried (CSW Board former chairperson) thanked
      Red Clay for their collaborative efforts and urged support of
      charter.
      Robert Fry asked for approval of CSW charter for the next five
      years.
      Leland Cross (Red Clay resident) urged board members to reauthorized CSW charter.
      L.W.Buxton thanked board members for their support and urged
      reauthorization of CSW charter.
      Public Hearing (CSW) and
      Regular Session
      Wednesday, June 17, 2009
      Henry Clampitt (Red Clay resident) talked about the partnership
      CSW has with Cab Calloway School of the Arts. He urged support
      of CSW charter for next five years.
      Henry Moncure is proud of CSW students and urged support of
      CSW charter.
      Steve Satalino (CSW teacher) spoke about teaching at
      this school and how students are challenged.
      He requested support of charter.
      Cathy Thompson (CSW parent) spoke about the benefit of
      CSW and urged reauthorization of CSW charter

      One of the above is Publius. No Doubt about it.

      Closing is sir. Too many tells

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    • As for collaboration, it is a two-way street. If you ever hear of a traditional school asking to meet with a charter school to learn from them and being denied the meeting, let us know.

      Yep. we got you now.

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    • “Some charters in the city have worked because they require parents to sign on to a host of contracts. If they don’t, they don’t get in. If the contracts are broken, they get kicked out and sent back to the District school (this happens A LOT” – You had no problem naming CSW and NCS in your comment, Is there a reason you didn’t name the schools in this part? Can you please name the schools that do this?

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    • I don’t know who he/she is, but I read ‘please let us know’ as the readers of Kilroy. but, who knows

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    • Publius e decere

      John, you need to provide solutions as a board member or step down. I advocate for smart use of public buildings and you criticize? Sam Rayburn would call you a donkey’s cousin. I’ll call you a monkeys uncle.

      YOUR district which you are a board member of is sitting on an idle and vacant industrial property which is not being used and which is costing taxpayers money in upkeep. How exactly us your inefficient use of idle public resources to be considered in thus debate? I know, you will say you object to the purchase before your time yadda yadda. Who cares. What are YOU doing about it now that You are on the board? Nada?

      You are also presiding over district declining enrollment while population is steady to increasing. Your neighboring districts are encountering increasing enrollments. The market is telling you you are a day short. But do you listen to the public or only to your little internecine circle of zealots? You my man are NOT serving the public, you are serving special interests. Plain and simple.

      The public would be far better served by sidelining ineffective ideologues like you and getting uber-pragmatic about PUBLIC buildings. Cut the fat and the waste (you). Give the public what they reasonably demand. NCS has 2000 applicants for 130 kindergarten seats and all you do is criticize them? As an MBA you should be ashamed at your abject failure to meet market demand. You should turn in your MBA degree as invalid. CHOICE is what the public wants, who are you to stand in their way?

      John, you are a 1950s guy living in a 21st century world. Get with the tines or get off the dais. Embrace choice, accountability and mass customization. Or —- leave.

      Publius

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    • Publius e decere

      John,

      Nice quote from Red Clay. What year was that?

      Publius

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    • YOUR district which you are a board member of is sitting on an idle and vacant industrial property which is not being used and which is costing taxpayers money in upkeep. How exactly us your inefficient use of idle public resources to be considered in thus debate? I know, you will say you object to the purchase before your time yadda yadda. Who cares. What are YOU doing about it now that You are on the board? Nada?

      Putting it up for sale, unlike the misguided purchasers. That is to say, more than you, Hank.

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    • Mike Matthews,
      Contrary to popular opinion here, CSW & NCS are not the same school. CSW is a Math & Science focused high school with a curriculum designed for advanced course work in those subjects and, maybe, others. NCS, at least at the K-8 level, uses the Core Knowledge Curriculum. I don’t think it claims to use any spectacular new teaching methodology. The curriculum is available to anyone who wants to use it. All one has to do is look for it.
      Mike, look up the curriculum. Propose trying it out in a TPS ( or several) in your district. Make some modifications to the curriculum, if you wish. Until a district is willing to attempt this, all attacks on NCS’ success are based on assumption and bias.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      “Pencadermom, I don’t know who he/she is, but I read ‘please let us know’ as the readers of Kilroy. but, who knows”

      Publius is a friend with opinions and views as respected as all others.It doesn’t matter who he/she is as any debate or support for or against his/her position is the object. The governor I mean he/ she is protected he like anyone else.

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    • Publius:

      Allow me to make an analogy. It may be inappropriate, but I think it is actually quite good.

      Charters and traditionals. It’s like picking teams on the playground. You line up the class. Pick two captains for the two teams — charters and traditionals.

      The charter captain gets to pick HIS half of the class for his team first. He picks all the amazingly skilled students. The other captain gets whatever is left. The game starts. The charter captain learns that two of his players just aren’t cutting it. They are slow and can’t make it to the base without getting called out. So, midway through the game, the charter captain gets the rules changed. Switches out two of his weaker players and gets two of the stronger players from the other team.

      In essence, this is what the debate is. Charters get the best of the best and then they can change the rules mid-game if they don’t like what they’ve got: Kick out challenging students.

      Again, not a perfect analogy, but I think it’s kinda on target.

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    • pencadermom, I’m going to guess that Mike was referring to Kuumba, in his ref. to high parent-involvement requirements–but he can confirm if he wants to. Go to their website and click Parent Handbook under “parent information.” p. 15 says “parents must commit to a high level of involvement…” P.16 specifies that 30 hrs annually of parent volunteer hrs is REQUIRED per family. How would a TPS possibly do that? What do you do with the children whose parents won’t or can’t comply? The foster children are almost certainly out (and they often present esp. high ed. and behavioral challenges to their schls, no surprise)–etc. The point is that if Kuumba is the “model,” and we replicate it, we’re left with TPschls containing nothing but kids with the most abysmal family situations. That’s a policy choice we’re free to make (until someone persuades the courts to take interest), but at least we should own that this is the plan: extract kids into publicly funded communities of children with similar levels of privilege and/ or ability, and let the kids at the bottom fester in TPS carcasses.

      Publius, note that this is more or less a 1950s concept (though with an even more refined set of segregating mechanisms)–since you seem eager to tar Jn Young with that brush. That world was very nice for some kids, but disastrous for others, esp. poor, urban blacks. We got away from that mode for a while, but we’ve been backsliding since the ’90s. CSW has led the charge, in DE–and as in the ’50s, some privileged families are deeply satisfied with the outcome, for themselves and their children. Please be honest about what it is that pleases you, re: charters.

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    • Sorry for the accidental name changes, Kilroy–will stick with my own (formerly “Citizen”)–just wanted to note the change, in recent posts. From now on, will post as Eve Buckley and stop making you moderate! My mistake 🙂

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  2. Ok, so this will apply to Vo-Tech too, no? Does this remove 5-mile circles, founders preferences and all other bullshit rules?

    “But I want a golden ticket now!”

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    • kilroysdelaware

      sorry my bad does apply to all

      Elizabeth one would “think” this application would be used until the child is “selected”. However, we know better and if the same old information is collected with this application than it’s a sham!

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    • Precisely Kilroy. This a sham. The legislators got taken. Markell had this crap up his sleeve the whole damn time. So much for education/choice “reform.”

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  3. LOL yes there it is at the top of the application for NCCVT! It’s late and apparently I’m a headline only reader tonight. Thanks!

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Bait and switch ! That’s how I hook them in 🙂

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    • However while districts can only ask for additional information if they ask it of those in their feeder pattern as well, charters, Votechs, and magnets can ask it and can also have their own supplemental application to add to the common application. Those three can still ask for grades, test scores, discipline, special Ed info as they have in the past.

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    • Publius e decere

      All I want to know is if they read Kilroy’s blog, it would surely be grounds for immediate rejection as a clear sign of a misspent youth.

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    • Yeah, Pubby, that was low.

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  4. Joanne Christian

    And the taskforce work continues…….they are gathering questions for modifications to the application after this year, and the input/legalities are established—but watermelon pickers’ children could be on the chopping block 🙂 this year.

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  5. Is this going to make choice available to poor children?

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  6. “Has a parent or guardian worked on a farm, in the fields or in a factory with fruits, vegetables or animals; has the parent or guardian every worked with watermelons, potatoes, mushrooms, corn, applies, chicken, or shellfish; has your family changed homes in the last three years?”

    This use to be on the DMA application. It has been removed from the new 2014-15 DMA application:

    http://www.demilacad.org/index_htm_files/DE%20Standard%20Application%20for%20Educational%20Options%20-%20DMA.pdf

    The DMA application still asks:

    1. What sports/clubs are you interested in participating in at DMA?

    2. Parent’s place of employment and occupation.

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  7. CSW is a Math & Science focused high school with a curriculum designed for advanced course work in those subjects and

    This is just the smokescreen they use to justify an admission test, sorry I mean a “specific interest” test, which is how they achieve a 1.6% low income population. The fact is, STEM is now the default general honors curriculum. There are no liberal arts charters.

    There is no reason the CSW curriculum requires a separate building. Charters can certainly be decentralized with charter programs offered in every neighborhood school But then charters would no longer be able to offer their main selling point – separation from the main population. The reason charters are in demand is because we insist on putting them in separte buldings, there is finite capacity and we create a situation of artificial scarcity. But if the charter programs were distributed among schools, they would lose their demand among families who are seeking white flight or some other kind of flight.

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    • Bingo.

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    • Can I double bingo?

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    • Damn, Mike O. You just owned Publius’s ass.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Come on Mike! Make him squeal like a pig! 🙂

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    • Just like choice schools. People who choice out of their feeder are fleeing something too or they wouldn’t do it. right?

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    • Okay, I’ll say this one more time. Choice isn’t a choice if you have to choice.

      You do realize that people can recognize something wrong with a system a lot of people, including them, are using? You do realize that people can say, “Whoa, this system hasn’t turned out equitable education for everyone. We need to change things.” You do realize that there’s a bigger picture here?

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    • Pmom, the big diff. btwn district choicing and charters/magnets is that district schls HAVE to take any student in their feeder area who wants to come (and they have a helluva time getting rid of problematic students–for better or worse). So, yes, one could choice into a TPS for a wealthier area, and thereby change the demographics of one’s child’s class (w/o having to move to that neighborhood). But VERY few district schools have the filtered demographics of the elite charters, and those that do (e.g. North Star) don’t usually have openings for choice. And of course the poorest kids often can’t opt into the TPSs of wealthier districts, b/c their parent(s) can’t reliably transport them to and from that school.

      So it’s rare that choicing among TPSs offers the demographic quantum-leap that some charter choices present. I’m sure the families’ motivations are often similar (wanting to escape a troubled environment for a less troubled one). But for the most part, we haven’t structured district schls to offer the kind of ultra-filtered classrooms that we offer via a few (coveted) charters. And the only way we can produce those charters, given our actual student demographics, is to pack the higher-needs kids into increasingly poor TPSs.

      On that note, when should we expect the DOE schl profiles for this year to post? I’m waiting to see the CSD 9th grade vs NCS 9th grade demographics. Should we start an “office pool” on what that will look like? I’ve heard a few interesting figures indicating how NCS expansion shifted area schl demographics, including:
      -Downes lost 63 kids to NCS this year. I understand that CSD is allowing a number of Wilm. CSD kids to be bused to Downes, as a special aspect of choice (with busing) offered to students in the poorest schls. If the students lost to NCS were non-poor, that’s one redistribution of the burdens of poverty–accommodating NCS’s privileged refusal to fully serve the poor in its radius, which is largely what draws the middle class into the schl, from public and private environments. (Note that you don’t see the white middle class clamoring to access Kuumba, whatever its impressive test results may be.)
      – St. Marks’s freshman class is said to be down 40% from last yr. That’s a transfer of formerly privately-funded Ed. to publicly funded–w/o any increased tax revenue to accommodate this. Great, financially, for those families (staying at NCS rather than opting for private HS)–but the cost will be born by students at the increasingly poor CSD high schls, esp. Glasgow & Christiana. Much of what NCHS families & students like about their HS (ditto CSW) is that it feels equivalent to private schl.–there’s an unsavory reason for this, of course. We would do better to invest their “tuition” in our genuinely high-needs HSchls, aiming to create env’ts there that are good for current students and draw other, more privileged families in (the Dickinson model).

      These are policy choices, folks–we’re producing this landscape of extreme public schl segregation deliberately. The likely outcomes and inequitably shared costs/benefits were predicted by many area tax payers well in advance of the relevant votes. Anyone who doesn’t like where we’re headed (and that should be a good 80% of families, as well as any local property owner) should vote out the public “servants” who gave us this train wreck. We need fresh thinking on these issues, after a series of costly wrong turns.

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    • Publius e decere

      I believe that Charter Wilm (charter managed) shares a building with Cab Calloway (district managed). A few years ago also shared the building with Groves until they chose to move out to larger available space. The critics here might want to go visit the Wilmington High School campus before thumping about more uninformed accusations.

      In a fundamental way, Pandora is right. If we had a functioning TPS system which met the expressed needs of students and families there would not be such high demand for chartered alternatives. Montgomery County MD comes to mind. Until we get past Mike’s union-first mindset, past Kowalko’s and Street’ s grandstanding, past the reality that TRA is a positive disruption to an ossified tradition, and past the accusations that charter schools are doing something unethical at every turn, then we will never get to a Mont Co outcome.

      Charters and magnets and vo-techs are meeting various micro-demands within the overall system because uni-TPS dogma does not work. Maybe one-size-fits-all TPS will never work, ever consider that?
      Look at the themes of these schools whether past present or future: science, music, military, business, public safety, fitness, at-risk, Core Knowledge Curriculum, etc. These are things which people choose.

      The real solution is not to stop these schools of choice. It is to introduce REAL choice into the traditional system. Way beyond Kim Williams’s common application. REAL choice will be evident when people choose it for their kid AND the overall system of public education delivers it. If you want people to choose a model of education, make it attractive to them. If your view is that people can only get what they want by denying choice to others then you are doomed to mediocrity and abject failure.

      Publius

      P.S. Kilroy, you are losing control over some bloggers here who don’t respect the rules. You in fact have a “charter blog” in a sense — one with a strategy for participation and rules which you telegraph through daily conduct as well as written rules. Keep in mind that if you lose focus on your charter, people who value those rules might stop choosing to blog with you. Just a word of advice.

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    • I’ve said for a while that charters should be programs offered in public schools and should contain a porosity that allows kids to enter them at any time. They should not be located in separate locations. (Also, this nonsense that NCS spews about having to be in the program from the beginning is just that… nonsense. Convenient nonsense, but still nonsense. Either that or I’d have to question the capabilities of the teachers. Come on, it’s a flipping K-8.) All this does is hurt public schools, including many charters. There are public schools losing valuable programs due to certain charters pulling certain kids. Is it fair for public high schools to lose AP courses, among others, due to charters taking only a certain kids?

      Hey, it’s great if your child gets into CSW, but what if they didn’t? Is it fair to them to be denied programs (we’ll stick with AP, here) because public funds have been drained? And if the end game is college, with a scholarship, then your kids have better be in AP, etc. But public high schools are losing those programs, and some charters offer no AP or only one or two. Sorry, that won’t cut it.

      As far as parents making educated choices about education… please. Most parents make choices based on anecdotal evidence. For example, choicing into Moyer or Pencader – at any point in their existence was not a good educational choice – unless you want to say something crappy like, “Well, it was good enough for those kids.” That’s unfair, but it seems to be the way we’re rolling. Anyone who knew anything about education never considered Moyer or Pencader. This is where choice fails. It makes parents believe they are making the best choice when they aren’t.

      I haven’t read this entire thread… what blogging rules have been broken?

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    • oh wow. Maybe I’m overtired from working 12 hours on a freaking Sunday but wow, kinda mean!!

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    • Also, college isn’t the goal for everybody. We need more vo-tech. Without electricians and plumbers you’d be sitting in the dark in a pile of shit. lol, ok I need to go to bed.

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    • Not mean, just horrible, ugly facts. Charters, Choice and the NSA have resulted in a segregated, tiered system of education. It has separated our kids into us and them.

      I’ve questioned (as Eve did above) why kids who didn’t get into NCS, Odyssey, etc. didn’t simply go to Kuumba? That’s a high performing charter, right? So why aren’t parents, who didn’t get into NCS, Odyssey, etc., flocking there?

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    • Kuumba and Odyysey are elementary schools. I, and many other parents I know, choose NCS because of the middle school.

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    • I, and many other parents I know, choose NCS because of the middle school

      zI can only speak of Red Clay, but I think the middle schools should be phased out and replaced with K-8 schools. Elementary schools tend to do well everywhere, but my impression is standalone middle schools are problematic. The only hign-performing middle schols I know of are K-8 at BSS or NCS (did I miss some?) I was very disappointed when the new Graves Road schoo, which was originally planned for K-8, was converted to K-6.

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    • Mike, I completely agree. there can be a lot of benefits. two might be, 1. teachers from middle school can work directly with the teachers from the elementary school. 2. kids from middle school can work directly with kids from elementary school (tutoring, reading to/with them, mentoring, etc.) that would benefit all of the kids, not just the ones being mentored/tutored.

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    • lastDEconservative

      pmom, engaged in a hopeless attempt at gigging one or several of our hopeless leftists, queried in a deliciously sarcastic tone, “how many decades must we wait?”

      The responses, sadly for all our kids, and their futures in the once proud US of A, are correct on one level.

      For ex., ” … Pick a small problem you think you have a handle on and propose a fix. Ten parents who conslstenly speak at the board on an issue WILL cause change to happen.

      You don’t even have to go to the board. Find the smaller committees where the REAL action happens, and show up. Make sure the top three poeple in the district office know you by name. Follow the meetings and the topics and pretty soon you will learn where the levers are.

      And if you want to “up the discipline,” state your solution. What do you want – to bring back the whiipping post? To kick kids out of school? And then what? This is public policy and you are constrained by the law. So figure out exactly what you want and lay it on the table. But don’t be surprised the stats don’t support your fears.”
      ______________

      This is why we have the unimaginably unfixable morass we have today. The evil represented by the left has spent DECADES, generations, creating what we have, in most cases, incrementally, acting as acolytes of the master, Alinsky, and others like him. They are happy to direct you to THEIR system to lodge complaints, demand answers, lobby for changes, and so forth, because they long since rigged the system to ensure you will not only NOT have an impact on the leviathan, but that you will be ridiculed in the attempt, isolated, cowed.

      Good luck, pmom. Your, our, only hope is to dislodge the parasitic Mikes, pandoras, Eves, Newtons, et.al., by defunding them, by removing their hosts, the Sokolas, the Streets, the Kowalkos, the Markells, by REMOVING what they have created *NOT REFORMING* it, and starting from scratch. And in so doing, follow the pattern that worked so well before this lot, writ large, figured out they needed to control schooling (not education) in order to control us all. You remember Komrade Lenin’s remark, don’t you? No?

      “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” The parents (and their parents) this lot so insidiously manipulates today are the product of the sown seed. That’s why the reversal of the Lenin mentality will be so difficult, impossible? None are starting from 0,0, they’re starting from -3500, 0.

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    • LOL, LDC has no answers so he cries Commie. So predictable.

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    • lastDEconservative

      I looked up “re-li-a-ble” and found your moniker (no photo). My solution is clearly stated. Your denial is reliable, predictable, and shameful. Carry on.

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    • What LDC wants is a network of private schools, prisons, and orphanages. No public schools, except for the rebadged private schools know as charters.

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    • Mike, why do you read LDC’s posts? I haven’t read them in over a year. Too much more valuable things to read & do, IMHO.

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    • “too many,” rather

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  8. When you set out to create a desirable choice school, you improve an existing public school. But when you set out to create a new charter,. he first thing you do is get a new building, and set up your filters to mke sure you get the population you want

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    • Reliably, Mike says what I said in 1/10th the space.
      There’s a reason I don’t tweet!

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    • Are you talking about Dickinson? Is it desirable because of the IB program? The program that you have to qualify for? How is that different than CSW? It looks a lot harder to get into than CSW actually. The application is 10 pages long. Is that not a filter?

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    • Pmom, what distinguishes Dickinson IB from CSW is that kids in the IB are also part of the larger Dickinson group. They take some classes and extracurriculars with all Dickinson kids. Their parents volunteer and fundraise for Dickinson. Their loyalty (or schl spirit) is to Dickinson, and their parents’ political advocacy ( when it exists!) should be for that HS and its district.

      It’s no utopia–I’m sure the IB kids are disproportionately white/Asian and non-poor. I bet many of them consider themselves superior to the non-IB kids, and I hope the school works against that culture of superiority as best it can. But as a way of mtng. parent demands for rigorous and varied public schl programs (Publius), that approach is SO MUCH more conducive to building a strong public schl system across the board, for everyone–b/c it makes the voting middle class feel invested in and supportive of (politically and financially) their public schls–schls that are ALSO serving kids with needs quite unlike those of their own offspring.

      The worst approach is the NCS model. Draw a lottery ticket when your child is 4.5 that opts your entire family out of your public schl district forever. You keep taking that district’s funds, and you stay in its geographic area, but you’ve effectively seceded (WITH the money–that’s state-sanctioned theft, in my book). You absorb a narrative, fostered by the NCS culture, of having been “saved”–from attendance at schls that you fear but will probably (now) never set foot in. Your children, sad to say, learn that they are selected and special, better than neighbors who have to attend those scary schools, where there are fights and kids learn less (and become less smart & successful). Families who “win” the full-family K-12 tax-funded opt-out have zero investment in their local public schls (the real ones) or the children those schls serve. They won’t volunteer there or fundraise there, and politically they’re now working in opposition to those schls, in a battle over public funds.

      This craziness is by DESIGN. Our politicians (Sokola and Scott, also Jaques and all legislators who have been supporting this circus) gave taxpayers this system. We will NEVER generate a decent, publicly supported schl system that way. We will only strengthen local public schls by rejecting that model and doing things like what Dickinson does, as a “middle road” to meet the varied demands and needs of a diverse population–w/o short-changing one group in favor of another.

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    • Dickinson’s renaissance is far more than (B. Ad Eve points o ut, if you get kicked out of IB you get kicked down the hall into the regular honors program, which is not too shabby. You don’ get kicked across town.

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    • ” You absorb a narrative, fostered by the NCS culture, of having been “saved”–from attendance at schls that you fear but will probably (now) never set foot in. Your children, sad to say, learn that they are selected and special, better than neighbors who have to attend those scary schools, where there are fights and kids learn less (and become less smart & successful).” — OMG are you kidding me?? My kids do not think they are better than anyone. Never have and never will. Between my three boys, in the last week we have had kids at our house from the following schools: Hodgson, Glasgow, the safety charter school I don’t know the name of, Pencader, and a middle school in Colonial school district that I don’t know the name of. Give me a break, my kids don’t think they are better than anyone and none of their friends think anything negative of them.

      By the way, I never ‘feared’ Glasgow… I feared the path my kid would possibly take if he went there. I didn’t think he would get bullied, I thought he would go down the wrong path. I grew up with a family member who had a bad drug addiction and it has always been my biggest fear my boys, yeah I know there’s the word ‘fear’. I don’t care if I am fearful when it comes to my kids, it is a motivator to work hard and get it right (and pray a lot, lol) I know all of my kids personality types and I wanted that son in a small setting.. yeah, where they can kick kids out!

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    • This may not apply to your children. It applies to SO many NCS families. Ask anyone you know with kids only in CSD schools if they have ever had a conversation of the kind I describe (or if their kids have had this conversation and come home to ask why they don’t attend the “good” public school). I’m glad you don’t teach your kids this attitude, or allow them to absorb it, and I’m sure you’re not alone. But I don’t think you’re the majority, either.

      Just yesterday I was at a party and talking to a guest (apparently we’d overlapped in pre-K with this family several years ago–I have a lousy memory!). The subject of K came up and they asked where my son goes (me: “Downes.”) The mom said her son is at NCS. me: “Oh.” (you wouldn’t believe how hard I try to maintain a neutral tone & expression in these situations–I really do try!) The mom: “Yeah, we were SO relieved when he got in. I don’t know what we would have done otherwise. He’s really happy there. We were just so relieved.” Husband nodding.

      This is so common! I don’t know what their feeder pattern would be–most people at this party live in W Park or Downes/Shue/NHS feeder, but maybe not that family. In any case, it apparently did not occur to her or hubby that this narrative of being “rescued,” at public expense no less, is a bit odd to share with people who apparently weren’t (I didn’t put my son in the NCS lottery, but most people do–she had no reason to know that I wouldn’t have.) This is a frequent experience–and truly bizarre. I’ve heard parallel anecdotes from many CSD parents. The ones who get REALLY angry are those with kids in CSD middle schl, hearing that other families would have “died” if they’d had to send their precious children to a CSD middle. Politest possible response: “Have you ever been in X school? What do you know about it? My child goes there. We’re quite happy with it; we like X, Y, Z….” etc. (Less polite response: “Yes, there are challenges in public schools that don’t discriminate against poor children.”)

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    • “I know all of my kids personality types and I wanted that son in a small setting.. yeah, where they can kick kids out!”

      Here’s the thing with this type of thinking. Everyone’s kid is on someone’s kick out list, including your kids and mine. Some even get kicked out of charters before they get in.

      FYI, a place where they can kick out kids is called a private school.

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    • “FYI, a place where they can kick out kids is called a private school.”
      Yep. And the only chance any community has of fostering strong public schools is if it encourages a sense of investment in those schools by all families (and other taxpayers). If taxes are used to foster a caste system of “rescued” and “non-rescued” kids–winners and losers–then you have a big cat fight. This is not good public policy and it does not produce improvement. Politicians who encourage this kind of division among taxpayers should be replaced, by voters, with people who have better ideas about how to build and maintain strong communities.

      pencadermom, I don’t think you disagree with us on this. My position is: stop following the NCS route and start replicating the Dickinson route. The latter is a much better plan for public school improvement.

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    • Public schools are here to educate all the kids, not just the easy ones.

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    • yes, that certainly is what they are supposed to be doing

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    • “pencadermom, I don’t think you disagree with us on this. My position is: stop following the NCS route and start replicating the Dickinson route. The latter is a much better plan for public school improvement.” – so how many decades do we wait?

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    • “so how many decades do we wait?”

      I guess you can start counting from the first time you write a letter to your district board or speak on the issue at a district board meeting. What are you waiting for? You are the change you are seeking. Remember you actually VOTE for you district board. You get a say.

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    • I do vote now. I admit I didn’t used to. As far as talking at a board meeting, what would I say? ‘Can you please up the discipline a little please?’ 🙂

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    • “As far as talking at a board meeting, what would I say?”

      Are you SERIOUS?

      Here’s a tip – it’s not enough to say “District schools suck – what are you going to do about it, and how long do I have to wait?”

      Look at all the people you are talking with on this blog. They have all spend years educating themselves on how their districts work, and exactly what they think the problems are, and are full of proposals and solutions. Pick a small problem you think you have a handle on and propose a fix. Ten parents who conslstenly speak at the board on an issue WILL cause change to happen.

      You don’t even have to go to the board. Find the smaller committees where the REAL action happens, and show up. Make sure the top three poeple in the district office know you by name. Follow the meetings and the topics and pretty soon you will learn where the levers are.

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    • And if you want to “up the discipline,” state your solution. What do you want – to bring back the whiipping post? To kick kids out of school? And then what? This is public policy and you are constrained by the law. So figure out exactly what you want and lay it on the table. But don’t be surprised the stats don’t support your fears.

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    • I’d add, to Mike’s posts: don’t operate alone. If you’re concerned about the health of your district schools (the opportunities they offer to kids, the class sizes, the discipline–whatever it is) try to find other parents in the district with similar concerns, and pressure the elected board and your legislative reps. to take action on the items that matter to you. Do it together, consistently–show up in person (ideally in a group) whenever you can.

      As an example–another CSD (Shue) mom and I are trying to organize a group that we’re provisionally calling “Friends of CSD” (FOCSD). We’ve met with some board members and legislators, corresponded with others, and talked to local and state PTA officers. We hope to have a facebook and web presence soon, and an initial meeting–we’re in contact with parents and teachers (district school advocates) at Downes, W Park, Maclary, Shue, Gauger, and NHS. We could use more contacts at Glasgow, if you have them. That’s a start. If we can get an “advocacy” officer in each of those PTAs, to begin with, and a good system for disseminating politically relevant information to them (what’s being discussed and by whom, where & when, who will be voting; what SHOULD be on the state legislative agenda–etc.) that is a start. One lesson district parents should take from charter families’ recent political successes is that organization and mobilization matter. There are more of us than there are of them. If Delaware’s democracy is remotely functional (big “if!”), that’s a crucial advantage. Ultimately, elected leaders count votes.

      Red Clay has similar mobilization underway, perhaps Brandywine as well. Where applicable, these groups should begin working together. Social media is remarkably useful in these cases. I’ll post info about FOCSD as we develop it. But yes, don’t wait!! That won’t help.

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  9. Joanne Christian

    Why thank you Mike Matthews at 8:35. Can I come to your Summitt? I’m not finished yet!!!

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  10. fyi, data geeks–the DOE has posted 2013-2014 data, except for the low-income numbers. I took a quick look at NCS, Downes, W. Park, Newark HS, Glasgow HS. I think the low-income numbers are the important ones to know, but in terms of racial/ethnic demographics, the significant shift (among those schools) seems to have taken place at Newark HS, esp. its 9th grade. This was predictable. Glasgow seems to have been less affected in terms of those demographics, so presumably the NCHS is drawing more heavily from NHS feeder areas than from any other part of its radius.

    Someone should confirm these figures (Mike?!), but here’s my quick back of the envelope calculation of the demographic shifts underway in Newark’s public high schools. I’ll use the combined African-American & Hispanic student % as a proxy for low-income demographics until we have those #s, since student poverty in this area is most heavily concentrated in those racial/ethnic groups:

    Newark HS was previously 52% white/Asian, 46% black/Latino (and 45% low-income, the figure we don’t yet have for 2013-2014)
    Newark HS is now 48% white/Asian, 51% black/Latino

    Newark HS 9th grade (the grade affected by Newark Charter’s addition–which will become grades 9-12 in the coming three years) was previously 48% white/Asian, 51% black/HIspanic.
    Newark HS 9th grade this year is 35% white/Asian, 64% black/Hispanic

    Newark Charter HS (9th grade only) is 80% white/Asian, 15% black/Hispanic
    note that there is a multi-racial category for all schools that I didn’t write down, and I was rounding–someone can do a more precise charting of the demographic differences.

    Those two public HS, the one with 15% black/Hispanic kids and the other with 63% black/Hispanic kids, are three miles apart and draw from heavily overlapping enrollment zones. The demographic difference between them is a result of several irresponsible policy choices by elected leaders, including Sen. David Sokola, Sen. Darryl Scott and Rep. Earl Jacques (but many others as well, who voted with them). Anyone who doesn’t like this outcome should talk to them about it.

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    • I don’t think a big portion of Glasgow (or Christiana) feeder area falls within 5 miles radius preference of NCS.

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    • where are you finding these numbers? when I go to the state page and look at the profiles, they are still last years numbers

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    • You have to click on “details,” under the two summary data columns for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. Then you get a page of data for last year, but on the upper left there is a selection menu–THAT lets you scroll down to this year.

      At some point they will post this year’s data to each school’s main page, as I recall from last year–they’re not quick to do this!

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    • thank you. will try that.

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    • Hmm. Well, the NCS kindergarten this year is 79% white/Asian and 16% black/Latino. We’ll see where the low-income #s fall, but that doesn’t suggest a major shift so far. Maybe they threw an outreach party and no one came.

      There is the sibling factor, which will make demographics hard to shift for a long time. There is the K-12 roll over, which means any significant shift among incoming kindergarteners won’t have repercussions across the grades for a decade or more, if most students choose to stay through HS. I would assume most families will elect to stay in the 15% low-income public HS, since the other three public HS in the district are now ALL roughly 2/3 low-income students–given the challenges that typically accompany that demographic profile. We appear to have turned NHS into Glasgow/Christiana, which is the wrong direction–we should have trie to do the opposite!

      It’s hard to see the Newark side of CSD retaining many middle class families who don’t attend the charter school unless something about this picture changes. That’s my take-away. Maybe I’m wrong.

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