Monthly Monitoring Pilot (February to April): -Audited Financial Statements -Monthly Financial Statements -Approved Board Meeting Minutes Posted New Compliance Items: -Current Bylaws -List of All Board of Directors Meetings -Board of Directors Meeting Agendas -List of All CBOC Meetings -CBOC Meeting Agendas -Approved CBOC Meeting Minutes
School websites are windows to transparency and should have enriched data on school operations and oversight by the school boards. Charter schools lag far behind many school district in meaning for data.
Charter school board members are not elected and are recruited from local businesses / corporation. Though the get school board training there mentality is aligned with the corporate world and Delaware charter school law sends mixed messages.
(a) A charter school shall be organized and managed under the Delaware General Corporation Law.
(b) The board of directors of a charter school shall be deemed public agents authorized by a public school district or the Department with the approval of the State Board to control the charter school. No person shall serve as a member of a charter school board of directors who is an elected member of a local school board of education.
(c) A charter school shall be considered a public school for all purposes.
Talk about big loopholes, Delaware’s charter school law loopholes are the size of the Grand Canyon.
When you put non public elected charter school board members together with non public elected state board of education members you have a very disconnected process. And the sad part of this equation is, the Delaware Department of Education has politically shifted in the pecking order placing it higher than the state board. The state board has become a rubber stamp factory for DE DOE and near irrelevant.
In Delaware education agenda, data data data is the driving force when it comes to teacher quality and student achievement. However, when it comes to critical structural changes in regards to data needs in charter school oversight folks like Publius play the “we’re corporations” cards. The truth is many charter schools are playing a game of Where’s Waldo with the facts aka transparency as Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy looks the other way.
All the charter school naysayers combined don’t do as much damaged to the charter school movement as those charter schools lacking in transparency. The call for changes seems to be on the heels of each failed charter school and struggling application. Pencader was a clear wake-up call. No Publius, Pencader Frank wasn’t at fault. However, under his leadership he failed to takes steps to move Pencader into the sunlight. He should of called for a complete top to bottom audit! What he did was recruit a former district superintendent that drove a district into bankruptcy and a former board member who was asleep at the wheel! But he knew!
You damn right I am going there, H.B.#23. The state board recordings are amazing an I think has helped legislators see how state board members hands are often tied by DE DOE. Red Clay, Christina, Capital, Brandywine, Delmar and Colonial school district record their meeting and put online voluntarily. These communities don’t have to rely on vague board meeting minutes. Charter schools fear this kind of transparency because the truth would be told!
What’s stopping Governor Markell form making an Executive Order mirroring H.B.#23? Well it’s the likes of Rodel and the Delaware Charter Schools Network! H.B#23 is heading for a desk drawer veto by the Delaware Speaker of The House and his little partner in political crime Rep Longhurst! H.B.#23 key sponsor Rep. Hudson cowards in the corner fearing the power of Rep Longhurst! These are the legislators parents and taxpayers need to oppose and we will!
The only way to improve public education is to reveal the truth! Matt Denn who chairs the Worker Compensation Task Force records all those meetings and makes available to the public. Folks were are in the information technology age and there is no excuse for any public boards not to record their meetings and share with the taxpayers.
As far as DE DOE’s new pressure on charter school’s flow of information via the schools Webpage, it’s a step in the right direction and monthly monitoring by DE DOE is NECESSARY! Hopefully after the departure of Sec of Ed Murphy we’ll see a new leader willing to push for transparency such as H.B.#23. Blowing the horn for data, data, data and not demanding the best in transparency is a losing game and signs of a weak leader! Sec Murphy is an intellect but his biggest weakness is needing a corporate politically lace script to follow. He is far from a classic leader and is a typical follower. I can’t see how he can have an honest conversation with the public and educators when the fact is, he can’t have an honest conversation with himself. The talent-base is there but Murphy lacks the capacity and grit to deliver “himself”.