In a final report issued Tuesday, the group re-affirmed its previous recommendations, the biggest of which are removing the Christina and Colonial School Districts from the city and giving students and schools there over to the Red Clay School District and changing the state’s funding formula so that high-poverty schools get more resources to tackle the problems their students face at home.
Just amazing this committee is recommending handing over Christina and Colonial school to Red Clay when Red Clay wasn’t part of the decision process. Furthermore, Red Clay rebuilds a post-re-segregation era school system with expansion of suburban schools with set feeder-patterns to ensure white majority at the same time busing city middle and high school students the suburbs. Red Clay continued to take class size wavier at school like Warner and Highlands until “parents” rose to the occasions to say enough is enough. Red Clay designed and charter Wilmington Charter School that purposely alienated at-risk student via an entrance test based on serving overachievers.
I agree there needs to be a solution to Wilmington education “crisis” but the real crisis is, Wilmington rather pawn their responsibility as a community and a voice for their own children off on a district that historically has met the objectives of fair and equitable education.
Expanding Red Clay would do more damage than good for city kids and burden the district with a mission beyond their capacity.
Our schools need need-based funding particularly to add more teachers and paraprofessional to our most neediest schools. This needs to be done before radical shifting of district boundaries.
Markell and some lawmakers are pushing for exactly that kind of urgency. The governor and his legislative allies want to pass a bill this year to have the State Board of Education with re-drawing district lines, though schools wouldn’t actually change hands until the 2016-2017 school year at the earliest.
Folks allowing Jack Markell to have a hand in such a move is dangerous! The next thing you know Rodel agents will work their way in the mix.
While Markell and some legislative allies try to move quickly, others caution against haste. Red Clay officials point out, for example, that many questions, like how the district can afford to take on new high-poverty schools when the tax base in the city is weak, need to be answered if such a big transition is to happen smoothly.
Obviously the tax rate must be reset and no doubt local Red Clay school taxes will go up bu 10-15% for starters.