Daily Archives: January 3, 2015

What are the odds the flu epidemic in Delaware will spike once schools open Monday?

Yep! That’s what Kilroy see happening come Monday! Schools open and the flu spikes! I can’t remember when I seen so many sick people with colds, bronchitis and flu like symptoms.   

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Here is an interesting solution to Moyer Charter school crisis @washingtonpost #edude #netde @dedeptofed @destateboarded @usedgov @EducationOIG @huffingtonpost #neatoday @NSBAComm @NatlGovsAssoc

Once legislative session opens for business modify Delaware’s charter school law to allow the City of Wilmington authority to authorize charter schools within Wilmington. Once that happens Moyer files for a transfer of charter.   We always hear about the call for mayoral control over public schools. So this would fit the bill. Surely the state representative serving Wilmington could get this legislation moving. 

Open message to all Delaware state legislators re: Delaware public education

Radical change in addressing problems plaguing Delaware’s public education isn’t going to occur overnight. However, the foundation for that change needs to start 2015 legislative session.

Last year H.B.#23 that would of required all traditional public school boards, votech school boards and charter school boards to record the “public” sessions of their board meetings and place online within 7 days was held hostage and fell to a desk-drawer veto. H.B. #23 successfully passed the House Education Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. The Speaker of The House refused to move it from the ready list to the House Agenda. I am asking legislators to pick up the pieces and pass this critical piece of transparency legislation. Currently Red Clay, Christina, Capital, Brandywine, Delmar, Colonial school districts voluntarily record the public sessions of their board meetings and place online within 7-10 days of their board meetings. These recordings do not represent the board’s official minutes but rather enhances transparency and communication to the parents and public.

Current without such requirements school board’s provide school board meeting agendas and hold their monthly meetings. The public must wait until after the following month’s board meeting to view board minutes often up to 10 days or more. Therefore, what took place at monthly meetings don’t reach the public until 40 days later. Because of the one meeting rule, before a board votes on an action item the community has no way of knowing what the action items will be until the next meeting agenda is public usually 7 days before the meeting. The current method is inefficient and outdated. With recordings provided 7 days after a board meeting, parents and the public can listen to board conversation and discussions on action items to follow re: following month. This way parents and the community can be better informed and have the ability to weigh-in on the issues more informed

Board recordings will not only benefit the public but also afford state legislators whom many can’t attend every traditional, voctech and charter school board meeting in their districts the opportunity to listen to board meetings at a convenient time. As for the Delaware Department of Education, these recordings with enhance their oversight ability as would it for the Delaware State Board of Education. The concerns about cost of digital recording equipment are over-exaggerated. Many of us view the online state checkbook registry and P-card expenditures and can all bring into questions some of the expenditures. Why keep the public in the dark in regards to school boards?

Delaware cannot effectively move forward without meaningful school reform if transparency isn’t the foundation towards change. Legislators, we are in the information technology age! Our smart phones can communicate with the thermostats to our furnaces at home and even turn on lights! A day will come textbooks will be a thing of the past where E-readers will replacement. We have the tools to advance transparency! 

Another big concern that needs to be address is the “specific interest” admission preferences to charter schools. It comes down to this, charter schools are public schools and charter school doors must swing the same way for all public school children. Once inside a public school academic offerings can require specific interest such as honors and AP programs. However the school is still obligated to provide services to at-risk and special needs students. Currently the discriminatory factors and creation of at-risk charter schools by default is fueling civil rights concerns. The lid is boiling and without addressing these concerns charter schools that are part of “choice” will fall. 

Choice public school: The City of Wilmington is divided by four school districts, Red Clay, Christina, Brandywine and Colonial school district.  Red Clay for an example doesn’t have a traditional middle or high school in Wilmington. Therefore children living in Wilmington are force to ride a bus to suburban Red Clay middle and high schools. Force busing still exists and it’s out-bound Wilmington. The Choice school law is part of the equalizers of the Neighborhood School Act district plans and those plans were not to circumvent the intent of NSA that was to ensure the intent of desegregation wasn’t defaced. However, without preferential choice transportation poor often African-American Wilmington students are being held hostage to forced busing as their parents can afford adequate transportation to meet the transportation demands on parents. Requiring school districts serving Wilmington to offer free preferential choice transportation will defuse some of the de facto segregation elements. Also, consideration must be given to students living in Wilmington without traditional middle and high schools like in Red Clay’s case. These middle and high school students must be given first choice in suburban Red Clay middle and high schools over out-of-district and in-district choice students including their sibling preference. The other option is for in Red Clay’s case is to offer traditional middle and high school services within the city of Wilmington stand-alone or in joint cooperation with other school districts serving Wilmington. Would it be far-fetched if Red Clay and Christina or Brandywine partnered to create such schools? We can’t turn our backs on such a civil rights issue. The pot is boiling and what I suggest could at best help to release some steam! The alternative could be far more demanding!

Best of luck to all of you during the upcoming legislative session. 

Delaware Charter parent OD’s on Kool-Aid

Charter schools best choice for children /Letters to The Editor / News Journal

Charter schools provide choices for children who want to join the military, specialize in music, or pursue a career in finance or science. Charter schools can identify a child’s skills and enhance those skills while simultaneously instructing them with the basic educational needs every child should receive. Charter schools provide parents with alternative choices for school in case a parent does not agree with private and public schooling. Charter schools allow children to be more diverse and interact with people from all over the country and world.

Jared Davis

Newark

First I want to say,  charter schools are a valued option in the scope of school choice. I support concept of choice school in Delaware 100%. However choice can also be provided internally in all traditional public schools.

As far as the charter comment about the military. Long before Delaware Military Academy, JrROTC was available for public schools. In fact the amazing Chuck Baldwin formal commandant and founding member of DMA  lead the JrROTC program at Christiana High School. Also, in the community there are programs such as The Young Marines founded by The Marine Corp League with full support of the United States Marine Corp and The U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Corps founded by the Navy League of The Untied States with full support of the United States Navy. These organizations including DMA aren’t about training tomorrow warriors. The are about helping building character and discipline of our youth.  School district and all charter schools need to consider exploring expanding JrROTC in their high schools and reaching the The Young Marines and Sea Cadets that do operate in Delaware for elementary through high school age students. The Young Marines start at the age 8 and I believe the Sea Cadets at age 11 for both boys and girls. 

Music and Arts: Creating a “magnet” school such as Cab Calloway see fine. However, every school should have drama, band, and enhanced arts. There is zero need for even a magnet school.

Fiance and Business: The programs can be offered within existing high schools and even middle schools. 

“Charter schools allow children to be more diverse and interact with people from all over the country and world.” No charter schools hinders diversity and because of certain admission preferences well crafted into the law by racists it fuels re-segregation via de facto segregation. The landscape of America is changing and the world is coming to America as it did from the birth of America.  To pigeonhole children in schools “designed” for them is dangerous and counter productive to promoting diversity. “America” is on the edge of major civil unrest because broken promises made in regards to education and advance in equal rights have stalled. The election of an African-American president is only a short-term high and a milestone for African-Americans. And speaking of diversity, our president is of mixed race black and white.

Again, charter schools are a welcome option but end the racially seeded admission preferences forcing charter schools to have open admission with a “transparent” lottery system free of “counseling out techniques” they popularity will dwindle. Public schools with internal choices even in academics can exists. Honor and AP programs have been around long before charter schools. And yes specific interest did apply to honors and AP. However, the schools that housed those programs did exclude at-risk student and special needs students. School vouchers will be a game changer and are feared by both charters and traditional public schools.