With construction finished and two schools up and running, theCommunity Education Building in downtown Wilmington has turned to a new CEO, Aretha Miller, who has experience in New York City connecting urban charter schools with their neighborhoods.
“The idea behind the Community Education Building, of bringing a whole community together for the purpose of quality education for urban students, is a really powerful one,” Miller said.
“The first phase, as challenging as it has been, is the easy part,” said chairman There DuPont. “Now we’re focusing on trying to improve educational outcomes. We needed a different skillset and different capabilities to do that, and Aretha fits that model perfectly.”
“Urban students” ? So if some of the students within these charter schools within CEB live in the surrounding suburbs they are classified as ” urban students” ?
I get the concept of community togetherness for the betterment of children’s education and building a strong community. But as far as Delaware charter schools, we have the Delaware Charter School Network and Innovative Schools Development Corp. At first glance on would think Ms. Miller is nothing more than a glorified building manager. However, it appears Pete DuPont’s Son There’s ambitions are much larger. Somewhere in the fabrics of this social agenda is The Rodel Foundation and even Delaware’s favorite charter school lawyers.
As far as the DuPont connection, I am a lifelong Delawarean who has not been overly critical of the DuPont family as many are based upon the DuPont’s wealth. However, in recent conversation with grad students at the U of D, I did express my concerns that the DuPont family back in the 1920’s and 1930’s particularly There’s grandfather paid and built many new public schools and even “Color Schools.” Pretty much Delaware’s public school system. I expressed, I found it interesting that with all the DuPont family’s political and financial influence they were enabling segregation in public education not fighting it. Also, with the concerns of re-segregation via charter schools in Delaware once again the DuPont connection involved in funding charter schools whereas though more of de fact segregation they are building (CEB), a system that feeds of off grouping high poverty predominantly African-America students. Ms. Miller’s comment about “Urban Students” reflects some ignorance about Delaware charter schools or perhaps echos my concern of re-segregation. Blunt as I may be, the observation can’t go unnoticed.
Another comment I made to the same class of grad students was, I have deep reservation about rich white million-billionaire males leading the charge in America to reform public education for blacks. What Longwood Foundation and The Rodel Foundation is doing may be noble but the real need for changes in how minority students are being educated must come from the “community” reflective of their being. It appears we are seeing a new mini school district being formed with the help of CEB and oblivious those participating may buy into the over all agenda in-which corporate takeover of public schools is sown deep in it’s fabrics. Many within have blinders on as to the impact charter have on traditional public education and don’t care. The CEB’s handpicking of minorities to be in key positions may not harbor the passion and concerns of civil rights leaders in the community. There are some key minorities within Wilmington that have reservations about creating a charter school district in Wilmington. We all know, charter schools are “corporations” under the definition of the law. Charter school board members are appointed within not elected by the public. The claim “charter schools are public schools” needs to be redefined as schools funded with public tax-dollars but aren’t responsible to answering to those providing tax funding.
Fixing public education for our Wilmington children if you want to use the term fixing, will require greater voice from within “Wilmington” and even down to what’s on the minds of children. Weird analogy, but it appears CED and Rodel is nothing more than a bottle of castor oil as in, take this nasty tasting agenda because it’s good for you. Sadly to say there are a minorities willing to be the medicine men in this corporate sideshow and you can bet greenbacks are being uses to by souls.
So it really appears CEB is overstepping their bounds by going from a “building manger” to charter school leaders. Though for sure they are only the go-between re: the community concept. However, they will stake claim to any and all education success within these charter schools projecting a message the school leaders of these charter schools have weak skillsets whereas, they couldn’t of done it without Longwood and Rodel. Kind of like Governor Markell showing up to dedications of new construction of traditional school buildings whereas, he was not part of the local battle opposing or supporting new school buildings nor did Markell public support referendums. At the end of the day, politicians like Jack Markell and these wealthy business leaders stake claim in all the successes of charter and public schools but on the flip-side make no comments on the failures.
Delaware charter schools are being build on cemeteries and in this case, it’s traditional public schools where children and educators are still breathing. Traditional public schools are being buried alive.