Are there secret Red Clay meetings going on with the Wilmington school committee?

Wilmington school committee issues final report Matthew Albright, The News Journal

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.  

So who can tell me, is there plans for city high schools and city middle schools to create real neighborhood school for city children? Or will the out bound busing continue? Will their be choice transportation for high poverty families without adequate transportation? How many board member will be on Red Clays board? Will there be an end to at-large board elections and elections within nominating districts?

Well one thing for sure the breaks on new charter schools will be applied and the current moratorium needs to stay in place until we know which way all of this is going! 

At the end of the day I support eliminating four school districts within the city of Wilmington. But God help us if the like of Rodel has their hands in this and OMG, Jack Markell involved! I see this process taking about three years and there is no reason we can’t change funding to needs-based funding! Only a fool would want to move forward with these radical plans without changing the way we funds public schools    




10 responses to “Are there secret Red Clay meetings going on with the Wilmington school committee?

  1. In answer to your title, yes, there are.


  2. As I said before, these plans were put in place before the referendums and the outcome allowed the state to go public with their plans.


  3. Publius e decere

    Ah Kilroy, you worry too much. All of these things are solvable. The first step is to distill facts from the mess of opinions. The next thing to accept is that “one size does not fit all” when it comes to schools. Then look at the relatively underpopulated schools and have an honest discussion about that unpopularity and the waste it gives rise to. Then look at the elephant in the room — employee staffing levels and compensation and benefits and workplace rules — which accounts for 4 of every 5 dollars spent — and reapportion those dollars before trying to raise taxes further. Then have a fact based (i.e., without histrionics) discussion about “class size”, special needs, high needs, testing, magnets, charters, vo-techs, transportation, unions, buildings, attendance zones, boards and elections.

    Let’s start by looking at what is popular with the public at large regarding the schooling system — and support that. Then let’s look at the elements of the system which are directly preventing improvement — and mitigate that. And let’s do it all without stirring up distractive accusations which have a weak basis and no chance of prevailing.



    • lastDEconservative

      “Then let’s look at the elements of the system which are directly preventing improvement — and mitigate that.”

      Hmm. Mitigate? Let’s make that pastel a bright primary color and your treatise shall be even more meritorious.


  4. Red Clay and DOE both have sordid histories of under-the-cover meetings evading the public eye and FOIA obligations.


  5. lastDEconservative

    Our august host opined, “Only a fool would want to move forward with these radical plans without changing the way we funds public schools”

    I might suggest similarly, that only a fool would believe that changing the way we fund public schools would serve to improve the conditions therein or change the status quo -one- -iota-.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Please note: The Dept. of Ed. and DHSS are two distinctly different departments tasked with DISTINCTLY different missions. Until we divorce the educational districts and the taxpayers who actually pay for them, from the mission of DHSS (which is funded at the State level instead of the District level), this “needs” funding argument needs to be called to the carpet. They are completely different and tasking one district or multiple districts to provide services that they all don’t have to provide is lunacy. Raising taxes on a district to fund DHSS services is double dipping. Get DHSS staff into schools and let educators educate. Stop pawning the cause of many educational problems on educators who are NOT DHSS staff and not trained to deal with the social issues involved. “Needs” based funding is nothing more than absolving our other State Agencies of their responsibilities which we are already paying for with State taxes.


  7. is Red Clay still send a portion of their tax dollars to Colonial???