Wilmington’s former mayor takes up ass-trumpet re: failure of traditional public schools

As our schools fail, so do we fail our childrenBy James M. Baker was mayor of Wilmington from 2001 to 2013.

In February, the White House introduced the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. The fact sheet revealed sobering statistics. Data shows that boys and young men of color, regardless of socioeconomic background, continue to be disproportionately at risk.

Former Mayor Baker’s takes data associated socioeconomics and spins it into public school teachers failures.

The impact of a failing public school system has taken its toll on the city and state, and our at-risk children continue to pay the price. The city has seen a 60 percent dropout rate for city students for years with very little improvement.

Notice he said, The city has seen a 60 percent dropout rate for city students for years with very little improvement.” How many traditional public high schools are in the city of Wilmington? NONE! Moyer charter school located in Wilmington had a 27.1% high school dropout rate highest in the state of Delaware. Positive Outcomes another charter school (not in the city) had 14.9% dropout rate and Campus Community charter school (not in the city) had 26.7% dropout rated. There are no other high schools in the state of Delaware with a two-digit high school dropout rate! All are charter schools. 

Here is the most recent Delaware High School Dropout RateThe overall annual high school dropout rate is 2.9% for all students combined. For African-American students, the dropout rate is 4.0% and for Whites 2.1%. I think this is where the former mayor dwells on (60%), 44.8% of all dropouts are African-American. BUT STOP the former mayor isn’t saying African-Americans, he is saying city students and references at-risk. As far as I see, the state report doesn’t breakdown to such an equation but it should. No one can argue African-American students represent the largest pool of at-risk students and poverty students. But make note of that 44.8%! It means 44.8% of all dropouts are African-American and do note 42.5% of dropouts are White and Hispanic 12.7%. The state’s data stinks and appears to be something Vermont would use! Former Mayor Bakers should join me in calling for a reporting system that breaks down the student cells data by race at the high school report level and in the case of the city where Wilmington is served by four school districts, the report should provided a combined report reflective of city student data.

Fourth-graders at Warner Elementary School on 801 W. 18th St. in Wilmington have proficiency rates of 41 percent in reading and 35 percent in math, compared to state averages of 72 percent and 70 percent respectively. Warner is 93.5 percent low income.

Fourth-graders at Shortlidge Elementary School on 100 W. 18th St. are 43 percent proficient in reading and 40 percent in math. Shortlidge is 93.3 percent low income.

And as mayor, what did you do to “empower” parents to take ownership our their public schools? NOTHING! Where were you at Red Clay school board meetings opposing the district taking class size wavier caps? NOWHERE! When did the mayor step up and demand no class size waivers for Wilmington’s Title 1 schools? Never! Warner’s failure goes right back to the mayor’s office! Right back to a weakened Wilmington NAACP! Yet fat ass white-boy Kilroy has been screaming about Warner’s cycle of failure for years! I don’t even live in the city yet I’ve raised concerns for years at a time Mayor Baker couldn’t even walk the shit he talked! 

So why are some lawmakers proposing legislation that will make it nearly impossible for new charter schools to open and well-performing charter schools to expand? This is both unbelievable and nonsensical. Considering the numbers cited above, would you deliberately work to impede the progress of charter schools?

New charter schools do not equate to better than traditional public schools and the three approved to open fall 2014-2015 failed to even fill 40% of the available seats. Mr. Former Mayor, it appears the mouth piece to your horn is attached to a horn the leads to the crack of your ass! New charters were offered city parents and they rejected them! Why? These three charter schools should of had enrollment to “capacity” with waiting-list. Why did they “FAIL” Mr. Mayor? WHY?

I support any method that gives our children the best education and best chance for a successful life. I genuinely believe that charter schools offer that opportunity.

Yea opportunity for gold-diggers hiding behind non-profits feeding of the backs of poor children. Are you looking for a slice of the $$$ pie? And let’s not forget, many believed you as mayor was going to make the city a safer place to live and learn. 

Legislators should be focusing on creating more high-quality education options, not limiting the growth of charter schools.

Wow are you suggesting a school voucher program for Wilmington’s at-risk students. 

The numbers tell the story – charter schools are making a difference for at-risk students in the city and district schools are not.

And the body-bags of young brothers tell the story of a failed mayor! Children will never win when one man can’t fess up to his own failures while covering for the failures of others. End the enrollment preferences charter schools are “rewarded” with and let’s compare apples to apples. However, data many charter schools do fail and now many can’t even get off the ground even after full approval.

13 responses to “Wilmington’s former mayor takes up ass-trumpet re: failure of traditional public schools

  1. Failed mayor? How many times was he re-elected? Those who voted for him thought he did a good job.


  2. Greg MAZZOTTA

    To your point, I’ve been sending news clippings to leaders regarding Quality Education since 2000. Again, look at the progress with graduation rates in Montgomery Cty School District, the 2010 Baldrige/Education recipient.

    I won’t mention names as not to embarrass them.

    If one thinks education is expensive…try ignorance.


  3. Greg MAZZOTTA

    Propel Schools is a Pittsburgh based high performing school; Allow
    them to operate in Delaware?


  4. Drop out rates, like grades given by teachers, are relative. So what if a school or district has a low drop out rate if the kids graduating were passed without mastering the skills needed for college or the work force?
    I wish the whole public school system would focus on real answers and solutions for real kids. For one, we need more trade schools, in fields that are needed in the future, and maybe more ‘advertising’ for 7th and 8th graders, for the huge group of kids who might not be dropping out, but graduate and then say ‘so now what do I do?’


  5. Kilroy,

    The City of Wilmington or the mayor’s office do not run any schools.

    Schools are the responsibility of the school district.

    So saying Wilmington school “failure goes right back to the mayor’s office!” is misplaced.

    But you’re right. Former-Mayor Baker’s belief in charter schools is really blinkered given the stats.


    • kilroysdelaware

      Yes the schools are not run by the city. However, there are social conditions manifested within the community aka city that impacts teachers ability to teach. Baker’s failure to change the culture of those within the city in effort they see the importance of parental engagement and involvement in real shared decision making has been damaging! However, the four districts within Wilmington has gone on long enough and has divided any sense of unified voice! Throw in politicians and the righteous community leaders who have $$$ ties to education we have a relativity helpless community. Baker failed to unify a city against crime and drugs that allowed Wilmington to become one of the nation’s most dangerous cities.

      There was zero reasons for Baker not to confront Red Clay on taking the class size waivers at the city schools.When did he man-up and go to a school board meeting an rip some ass?

      Baker fails to see the “we” in the failure of public education. The Neighborhood Schools Act resulting in de facto segregation and one way force busing “outbound”. There is no Choice when children of poverty have no transportation. Yea we can blame that on parents but parents do run the schools.


  6. Thought occurred for me to ask Kilroy if his photoshop skills were available to make trumpets coming out the head of Baker’s News Journal picture (the ass would be too unseemly for public consumption)… And perhaps while at it… he could make one of Markell looking like Shreik with two trumpets out of head, and one of Mark Murphy too?…. Lol.. Then we could all use them as stock footage…. 🙂


  7. Publius e decere

    James Baker’s comments were accurate. He has credibility to comment, as a long standing duly elected mayor. His point was to support what works. Simple and clear. Stop trying to close down things which work. Instead, get behind things which work.



    • John Young

      I love you man. Brinigng the “James Baker, Mr. Murder Mayor, has credibility” argument: http://www.parenting.com/gallery/most-dangerous-cities-in-america-2012



    • James Baker’s comments were indeed accurate; but he only told one side. He has been rebutted and now, none of what he said as a single bit of merit. Poor man. It was sad it had to be done, but if you don’t tell the truth, the truth bites you. The things he supported, were proven not to work. As in Charters. Charters do not work. The things he dissed, do work.. As in Public schools. Public schools work so much better than charters. Perhaps if Pube would ever look at facts ( you probably don’t know it but there is a Delaware Department of Education website that has real facts on it; charts and graphs too)… before trying to hide behind being glib, he would bruise his nose a lot less from hitting his face on the cement every time he comments..

      Everything Pube says is basically pointless, because he fails to back up his fantasies with links.. All of us roll our eyes as soon as we see his name…Oh brother, here is more hot air. Is there anyone on this thread who even takes him seriously? You need to come to his defense: NOW! lol 🙂


    • http://www.parenting.com/gallery/most-dangerous-cities-in-america-2012

      But isn’t this the “diversity” that is argued needs to be in all the districts? Isn’t this the argument used against NSA and community schools? The “culture” of this wonderful city needs to be shared to improve education right?

      Sorry, I’m confused Kavips. I thought you stated that public schools work so much better than charters. We’ve had 30- 40 years of the current public schools with districts Gerrymandered to prevent “flight” from one district to another. The result hasn’t been one of stellar improvement. I would argue that behaviorally we’ve spread the “most dangerous cities in America 2012” to all the districts and exposed children to things they should not. Sorry, is that “diversity culture”? If so, I’m still missing the benefit.

      THIS IS NOT ABOUT RACE. This is about behavior.
      I don’t care if their green and polka dotted but if they expose my kids to drugs, theft, and violence, then that isn’t “culture” or “diversity” and I challenge you to explain how it would be beneficial.

      Again you’re missing the Chicken-Egg discussion. If the TPS’s were able to do such a wonderful job (given their insurmountable task with the most dangerous city) the Charter efforts would NEVER have gotten any traction. Consolidation of districts and a City district, which Baker AND Wilmington asked for, would allow more appropriate allocation of resources. Instead they’ve spread the dysfunctions and bureaucracy countywide.


    • John Young

      Yes, I want to take the advice of the former mayor of Wilmington is revered for gross institutional dysfunction and horrific murder stats.

      Murder is a behavior.

      He’s juking the stats with his charter argument.


    • If you think your kids will be safe from drugs due to a charter school, you’re kidding yourself. In reality, they’ll merely be exposed to “better” drugs. Get your head out of the sand, daddy.

      And the BS meme that kids aren’t succeeding in public schools is… well… BS. Especially when we consider that you have no flippin’ idea what public schools offer in the ways of programs. Why not just come out and say, “I have no idea what sort of programs are (and have been for years/decades) offered in public schools and I based my charter support on blatant propaganda.” That, at least would be honest.

      Seriously, charter supporters, as a whole, are one of the most educationally uninformed group of people. You want to debate? Get up to speed.