Monthly Archives: September 2015

Once again DCPA runs $$$ agendas under Red Clay board’s noses

The state auditor’s office has dinged two charter schools for not following rules for spending taxpayer money.

The audits released Wednesday says Delaware College Preparatory Academy could not sufficiently justify almost $23,000 in reimbursements made to its board president and executive director.

More proof  Red Clay’s school board aka the oversight authority for DCPA lacks the capacity to effectively monitor this school. 

At Delaware College Prep, Wagner’s office found the school board president, Yardise Jones, was reimbursed $11,252.87. Auditors called those reimbursements “highly questionable,” saying they could not find appropriate accounting for them. 

Auditors pointed out that most of the reimbursements were made at least a month after the purchases took place. 

Auditors said Jones gave the school temporary permission to use her personal credit card “due to a change in leadership structure and the lack of financial stability in the administrative staff.” She told auditors she was not aware of the “whys and hows” of the transactions. 

The audit also found the school’s executive director, Angela Dennis, received $18,025 in reimbursements from the school. Of that money – like with Jones’ reimbursements – 65 percent, or $11,740, did not come with supporting documentation to justify the payments, Wagner’s office said.

When will there be laws making these kind of transactions a felony? And don’t count on  legislators like State Representative Debbie Hudson.  She is an enabler for this kind of crap! She refuses to support stronger  transparency laws governing  charter schools. Who knows, maybe there is a dark Hudson secret from the days as  Pencader Charter School board member.  

I wonder why Red Clay school board didn’t post DCPA “Update” at their July 08, 2015 board meeting.  But for sure you can hear the audio where some tall-tails were told.

Agenda Item Details

Meeting
Jul 08, 2015 – Organizational Meeting and Regular Session – 7:00
Category
Presentations
Subject
DCPA Update – Sam Golder
Type
Presentation

Look at this from DCPA’s July 2015 meeting;

President also mentioned that a follow-up note was sent to RCCD as to the board meeting in which DCPA’s charter modifications would be discussed and it was on the July agenda. However, DCPA was notified of answers prior to the July meeting and expressed concerns that DCPA was unable to represent our organization. President also commented on the protocol for requests since the response was sent prior to the official board meeting. Also response from RCCD contradicted their recommendations to DCPA.

DCPA pretty much bitched-slapped Red Clay and suggests Red Clay is talking out of their ass re: contradicted their own recommendations to DCPA.

Folks the auditors reports are becoming useless! Time and time again we see concerns with misuse of public funds in regards to personal credit cards. No one goes to jail! No one is required to pay money back! 

As for Red Clay, here again another example of Red Clay inability be oversee charter schools and raises concerns about their capacity to take-on Christina’s most neediest schools.    

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MET to stay open but leadership foundation in question with DE DOE asleep at the wheel

Delaware Met NOT Closing Says Matt Albright With The News Journal by Exceptional Delaware

This story WILL be updated, but Delaware Met is not closing for now as per Matthew Albright with the News Journal who tweeted the following 45 minutes ago:  

If  I were a parent of a MET student I’d get my kid out of there ASAP. Sure all new charter schools start off on shaky ground. However this one is laced with serious concerns.

New charter school considering closing Matthew Albright, The News Journal 11:58 a.m. EDT September 28, 2015

Harrington, the board’s vice chair. “Our primary responsibility is making sure we’re doing what’s in the best interest of kids.”

Harrington said the board will consider two issues in deciding whether to stay open.

First, its members will determine whether the school is financially viable given a loss of students. The school originally had about 260 enrolled, but is down to 227.

Lower-than-expected enrollment is a financial problem for charters because they get funding from the state per student. State rules require schools to be within 80 percent of their enrollment targets; Delaware Met currently meets that requirement.

Second, the board will decide whether the school can get a handle on problems with school climate. Harrington said there have been fights and incidents in which students have been disrespectful towards school staff.

He we go again re: lower state funding! WTF !! These charter school organizations know what they are $$$$ getting into. Yet they  cry the blues!  

“Problems with school climate” isn’t talking about heating and air conditioning! We’re talking safety of children as in discipline issues! Fights and disrespect towards staff! Shit ! The school just opened!

Like I said, if I were a parents of a MET student I’d get my kid out of there ASAP.

To my good friend Kevin over at Exceptional Delaware thanks for raising the red flag on this issue.  So MET isn’t closing for now! However, you lit the flood lights on this school and we’re all watching! As far as DE DOE, you can bet they’ll stay in the shadows and not confront these issue.  Yep! With Valley Girl Penny and South Street Jenny standing guard failure is at hand. So much for the rigorous charter approval process. 

Don’t forget what I’ve been saying about the school voucher agenda. Traditional public schools  had to fail to justify charter schools and charter schools have to fail to justify school vouchers. 

Is Kevin over at Exceptional Delaware talking to aliens? re: MET charter closing

Delaware MET Needs To Return Their $175,000 Charter School Performance Fund by exceptional Delaware 9/27/2015 

First off, I don’t think any charter school that has not even opened should be getting a “performance award”.  They haven’t done anything yet.  Second of all, it is obvious their “long-term” strategy for this school didn’t work as they are closing a little over a month after they opened.  Third, if they don’t, I know at least two legislators who will be screaming foul on this.  And rightly so.  Finally, they should openly, honestly, and with great transparency return ALL unused funds immediately.

Delaware Met Paid $380,000 To Innovative Schools Over Two Years…For What? Exceptional Delaware 6/26/2015

Now that the Delaware Met is closing down a month after it opened them, many in Delaware are asking “what the hell happened?”  Don’t worry, I’m in that same group.  In all my time doing this, I never got a lead that turned into something solid within hours, much less a lead that announced the closure of a charter school that no  one seemed to be any the wiser about their difficulties.  But my big question surrounds their management organization: Innovative Schools.  What did Innovative Schools actually do that warranted them receiving $380,000 since July of 2013?  And why were there employees being paid since July 2013 as well when the school didn’t even open until two years later?

The Delaware Met Down For The Count A Month Into The School Year Exceptional Delaware 9/25/2015 

Today, I got an email from someone about The Delaware Met closing next week.  Usually, I want to get more information on something like this, so I reached out to the Delaware Department of Education and the leaders at the school.  Not one response.  I put out some more feelers, and it looks like this story has some weight to it.  I don’t have specifics, but I’m hearing about multiple incidents of violence at the school, a student brought a gun to the school on the very first day, and students leaving the school in mass quantities.  The school just opened a month ago.

Updated, 5:44pm: This story is gaining traction by the minute.  Multiple sources are confirming, but no official word from DOE or the school.  The only question is exactly when and how many students are actually left at the school….

Updated, 5:47pm: Other sources are telling me this school received a significant student population from Moyer, which was shut down by the state a year ago and closed it’s doors for good on June 30th, 2015.

Kevin come on! What the hell have you been smoking?? Town Square Delaware just published this on 09/24/2015 “Head of New Delaware Met School Enthusiastic about Students’ Futures September 24, 2015 By ”  

TSD: How does enrollment look for this year? What are your 3-5 year goals?

THC: We have about 240 students on roll for this year. Our goal over the next three years is to have 528 students – 132 students per grade level in grades 9-12. This year we have about 150 9th graders and about 90 10th graders. We will expand one grade level per year over the next three years.

Folks I just returned from Nags Head North Carolina after a week’s vacation.  And OMG Nor’easter sat and spun for 5 days straight . However I was able to relax and enjoy myself.

So to date, no news out of DE DOE or NJ’s Jimmy Olsen. But then again you know the Delaware way when it comes to education! Markell owns all information and it can be public until he gives the green light! Well the end of the month approaches! We’ll see! Kevin this better pan-out or else Publius might be sending a straight-jacket for you 😉   

The plight of Delaware Black and White Crabs

blackCrabs

Years ago, someone explained to me a phenomenon called the “crab bucket syndrome.” As crabs are caught and tossed into a bucket, the first crab tries to climb out to save its life. Other crabs, seeing his escape plan, grab hold of the first crab’s legs, which pulls him back into the bucket. Eventually, all the crabs perish. In schools, this is a metaphor for, “If I can’t have it, neither can you.” This is what happens when a group tries to “pull down” any other school that shows success can be achieved.

This is happening in Newark, where a group is trying to stop one of our most successful public schools, Newark Charter School, from expanding. By Greg Meece

(See Delaware Liberal’s Pandora 2012  spin on Ed Meece’s NJ )

In the case of Newark Charter re: 5 mile attendance zone radius, Newark Charter tactfully located their  school in an area of Christina School District that keep the most neediest students outside the 5 mile radius. However as you can see. Greg Meece is crying, others outside his school’s 5 mile radius are the crabs at the bottom of the basket bent on holding back his successful charter school. But doesn’t the 5 mile radius inclusion zone real represent an exclusion zone that keeps out the most neediest students ? The push for public school reform going back to ESEA was all about closing the achievement gap whereas, reaching down to the bottom to bring st-risk students  up. Delaware charter school law fuels racism and far from being equal. Sure at-risk minority children have charter schools fitting their needs by design. But even allowing charter schools that are design to serve at-risk student giving at-risk students preference (d. Students who are at risk of academic failure;) is shameful and fuels de facto segregation. In my opinion all public funded schools should have doors that swing open for all students “equally” and provide education services “with-in” that fits all students academic needs  from AP to At-Risk.

As far as the intended message of the attached cartoon re: Who Built The Barrel. I’d say, the same people who continue to reform public education every presidential cycle,  the white status-quo. But Kilroy, we have black president! Well Kilroy finds it odd that the new public school reform efforts wants to penalize teachers teaching in high-needs schools by holding them accountable to a test created by white elitist capitalist. The best approach would be adding more teachers and paraprofessional in schools with the greatest needs.

Dr. Martin Luther King on the national front led the way out of the barrel and sadly his teachings on how to do so has diminished to a day of celebration of his life. His life should be celebrated each and everyday and his work should continue each and everyday. On the local front, the works of William Hicks Anderson as it relates to his amazing achievements in public education reform has been forgotten and very seldom mentioned or celebrated. Title 1 Section 1118 has become a disgrace and kicked aside by the NCLB Waivers. Title 1 parents “had” unique powers within Section 1118 and they were not included in decision-making on the Teach for America, Race to The Top, Common Core Standards and The Smarter Balanced Assessments decisions. Those so-called reformed measures where handed to parents via indoctrination. Sad to say, there are profiteers in every community.

In the bottom of the barrel are perhaps the greatest leaders and those who can take back the community and dignity of a race of people. No longer people are held by physical chains but they are held back by emotional chains of social restriction. Judgement day will come and we are seeing glimpses of what is to come. But there is danger as who will own the streets, good or evil. 

Who Built The Barrel?  Those who dare not to challenge the status-quo, those who go along to get along, those who stand shoulder to shoulder with profiteers and those who put ego before community. 

Students With Disabilities & Delaware Charter Schools: OCR Complaint & We Need Your Help!

Source: Students With Disabilities & Delaware Charter Schools: OCR Complaint & We Need Your Help!

Delaware Met Paid $380,000 To Innovative Schools Over Two Years…For What?

Source: Delaware Met Paid $380,000 To Innovative Schools Over Two Years…For What?

Back to The Future: Wilmington Year 2020! Fallout from Red Clay / Christina merge!

To Wilmington parents: Red Clay has been failing your children! Proof you say??? Red Clay has just as many Priority Schools as Christina! Red Clay’s high poverty schools are FAILING !  How can Red Clay serve more high poverty children when they can’t effectively serve the ones they have? 

More proof of corporate takeover of public schools

Dan Rich turns a blind-eye to mismanagement of public education dollars and wants to forge ahead with reassessment of properties

Politics could hinder attempts to reform Delaware’s education system By Amy Cherry 

Read entire article here ………………….

One way to fix that, Rich suggested:

“There hasn’t been property reassessment in New Castle County since 1983; there hasn’t been property reassessment in Kent County since 1986; and there hasn’t been property reassessment since 1974,” he said. “And anyone who believes that the value of property along the coast and Sussex County hasn’t changed since 1974, is not paying very much attention to what’s going on.”

Property reassessment would be political suicide in a presidential election year. And it won’t be a magic wand either.

“I don’t know what level of energy there’s going to be to take on tough political battles in 2016, but I’m not sure there’s going to be a way to not wrestle with it in some significant way,” said Herdman.

“I think things like this can be accomplished, but they require leadership, and they require somebody who’s willing to take the hit–because there will be a hit,” GOP Chairman Charlie Copeland said.

He’s proposing a fix that was not included in the Student Success 2025 plan that he said would help fix what he called a “total failure.”

“I bet if a bunch of our students had $15,000 vouchers to go get their education anywhere, there’d be a lot of options, and a lot of schools some of which were internationally competitive that would open up for a lot of those kids that they’re locked out of,” said Copeland.

Over and over we see mismanagement of  charter school credit cards and the lack of criminal charges for the abusers.  Why hasn’t our legislators made it illegal for charter schools and public schools to have commercial credit card that are not in the P-card system of the state? Adding more money to the pot where there needs to be serious overhaul of public funding to public and charter schools is a fools journey.

Why pour more money into a system that every time there’s a new education reform initiative more administration is add and more consultants come selling their garbage? The Delaware Speaker of the House desk-drawer vetoed legislation requiring all traditional,  votech and charter schools to record the public session of their board meetings.

Charlie Copeland’s talk of leadership is a joke! The Delaware Republican Party is so far right it alienates many of their members. Charlie is CEO of a Delaware charter school and when it was in financial stress he couldn’t get a bank loan and had to have a family member front him money for a small interest return.

Rodel pissed away their money on a pipe-dream and now wants to control “more” public education dollars.  

Let’s do it right with one school district per county so we can cut the $$$$$$ fat in over-bloated administrator.  The taxpayers should be required to $$$ back-fill wrongheaded agendas like Race to The Top, Common Core Standards and The Smarter Balanced Assessment. 

How many times and ways does Delaware tell black children “we have failed you”

New test: low-income, minority students still behind Matthew Albright, The News Journal

Delaware students who are minorities, come from low-income families, have disabilities or are learning English all continue to lag their fellow students academically by a wide margin, scores on the state’s tough new Smarter Balanced Assessment show.

All the assessment test going back to 1935  such as the Iowa Test ; “The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), also known as the Iowa Tests or ITBS tests, are standardized tests provided as a service to schools by the College of Education of the University of Iowa. The tests are administered to students in kindergarten through eighth grade as part of the Iowa Statewide Testing Programs, a division of the Iowa Testing Programs (ITP). Developers Everett Franklin Lindquist, Harry Greene, Ernest Horn, Maude McBroom, and Herbert Spitzer first designed and administered the tests, originally named the Iowa Every Pupil Test of Basic Skills, in 1935 as a tool to improve instruction.[1] Over decades, participation expanded and currently nearly all school districts in Iowa participate annually in the program, as do many other school districts across the United States. In a cooperative relationship, participating schools receive ITBS test materials, scoring and reporting services and consultation in the use of ITBS for instructional purposes, and ITP utilizes participation by schools in research and test development.[2] Both the ITBS and Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED) were revised in the 2011–2012 school year. They were rebranded the Iowa Assessments.[3][4] In 2016-2017, Iowa Assessments will roll out their new testing program, Next Generation Iowa Assessments,” has come to the same conclusion!!! Black students’ achievement lags behind that of their white peers.

Honestly, I don’t think the achievement of black children will improve  until some black leaders get their heads out of their asses and of the likes of Jack Markell and Rodel.

I might sound cold and insensitive but, WHAT HAS CHANGED in the way of  adding tangible resources to address the achievement gap? We have feel good laws such as Choice Schools, Charter Schools, Magnet Schools, Neighborhood Schools and the Class Cap Law and all come with loopholes more punitive to poor black children than white. Choice schools does afford preferential busing for high poverty parents whereas they lack adequate transportation. Charter Schools and Magnet School has admission test that measures intelligence as means of primary requirement. The Neighborhood Schools Law has resulted in new school building for mainly suburban more-affluent whites and still no high school in the city of Wilmington and limited middle school space. Red Clay has no high school OR middle schools in the city of Wilmington. Then there is the Class Size Cap law! Try your best school district and if you can meet the letter of the law look closer and use the loop hole call, wavier!   

Why do Wilmington’s black parents think it’s a good thing to merge Christina’s Wilmington schools into Red Clay? Red Clay has just as many Priority Schools which are state takeover schools where the district still keep but must adhere to state transformation guidelines. The DATA reveals Red Clay ins’t meeting the academic needs of poor minority students  and though Christina may have some lower scores, the facts remains, both are failing to move poor black children and other minorities to minimal achievement standards.

Folks. the time has come to stop the Wall Street cash-in of the backs of poor students and end the bullshit PUNITIVE  state assessment test. Taking any student test and using it as the means to evaluate teachers performance without regards to teacher experience and lack of parental involvement when requested is a social experiment that only serves political and Wall Street agenda.

Folks, we get it ! minority children particularly African-American  males are the furthest behind! We need more teachers and paraprofessionals! We need to end the VT (Voluntary Transfer) process whereas teachers receiving poor evaluations via classroom observations VT out. The only place for many under-performing teachers to VT to is high poverty schools where often there are teacher shortages. Do we pay high-qualified with proven track-records more money to teach in high poverty predominantly African-American? Folks it doesn’t always take more money. It might take ending the Markell / Wall Street teacher witch-hunt! We know high poverty schools under-perform (yes exceptions to the rule). So why not add more teacher and paraprofessional that have proven track records and stop pointing the finger and use a growth model assessment test supported by a school level tool box that provides “adequate” resources  on demand.

To my black brothers and sisters friends; I am white and I know I don’t speak for you! Excuse my unintended ignorance but I’ve questioned why is it rich white millionaire and billionaire men control the education reform of black children with predetermine outcomes (agenda and programs) whereas black parents and leaders are invited to the table after the fact only to help sell the agenda to other parents? And do note, this same tactic applies to all parents including white parents. Our predominantly white led PTA organizations who mean well tends to be the mule selling politically laced education agenda thinking they are valued stakeholders. In Delaware, Governor Markell proved PTA has no value as a stakeholder in his administration. PTA supported parent test opt-out of the corrupt state test whereas Delaware Legislators passed such legislation only to be vetoed by Markell. With the stroke of his veto pen, Markell said , fuck you to parents and the PTA. 

The time has come to demand weight-based funding to more effectively address the needs of all at-risk students white, black and all shades in-between. The time to “march” is now! I am hear to tell you, merging Christina city schools into Red Clay is a dangerous path. Red Clay lacks capacity in leadership and funding to better meet the needs of minority children. Yes shorter bus-rides for many! However, nothing will change academically when the buses arrive at the schools. Red Clay turned its back on traditional high school and middle school needs of city children yielding to the charter and magnet school demands of the more affluent.  Red Clay buses city high school students to high school further from home rather than A.I. High School the closest high school. Red Clay adds space to A.I. High school to accommodate Choice but failed to give city students “first choice”. Dare Red Clay to bus students from the suburbs to available seats in Red Clay city elementary schools! No Red Clay doesn’t want to unleash the white beast aka more affluent white parents. Red Clay buckles-under and builds new suburban elementary schools with intent to serve predominantly white students. The reason Red Clay doesn’t address the need for middle and high schools in Wilmington is because they “don’t want to fuel re-segregation.” Why? Because they don’t want to stir the pot that might bring back force-busing for white students! Currently its Wilmington minority children being force to ride the bus to Red Clay suburban middle and high schools.

So at the end of the day, how many years and test does it take to reveal black students are being undeserved? How long is long enough? This shit notion, a piece of pie is better than no pie even-though its no an equal piece needs to end!

Remember this, to keep a race of people down one must start with their children particular male children. We’re doing a good job of that in Delaware via a justice system that lets more whites slide and brothers die!

Violence is not the answers but neither is sitting in the corner being spoon-fed by white masters.    

Leland Ware called it in 2002 re: Neighborhood Schools Act! I wonder what his thoughts are on RCSD and CSD merger?

Delaware Lawyer Fall 2002 

Leland Ware 

REDLINING LEARNERS: DELAWARE’S NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS ACT

THE NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS ACT VIOLATES FEDERAL REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT In 2000, the Delaware legislature enacted the Neighborhood Schools Act, which requires every school district in the state to assign students to schools closest to their residences. If this legislation is implemented solely on the basis of geography, it is inevitable that the students residing in Wilmington will attend racially segregated schools. Ninety percent of the city’s students are African-Americans or Latinos and high levels of residential segregation persist in Wilmington. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that “no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”17 Although Title VI bars only intentional discrimination, the regulations promulgated pursuant to the statute expressly prohibit actions that have a disparate impact on groups protected by the law, even when those actions are not intentionally discriminatory. The Supreme Court has consistently affirmed the validity of these regulations.

Read the entire article here …

CONCLUSION The Neighborhood Schools Act is an unlawful obstacle to the goal of equal educational opportunities. It will reinforce racial and economic isolation by disregarding the effects of residential segregation. Proponents of neighborhood schools did not consider the legacy of racial segregation that is reflected in current residential patterns. They erroneously assumed that families have exercised a choice in deciding where they reside and, therefore, a choice as to which schools their children will attend. This reasoning is flawed since African-Americans and Latinos, particularly those with lower incomes, do not have the range of residential choices that are available to similarly situated whites. Their choices have always been constrained by discriminatory practices. Delaware’s Neighborhood Schools Act will have an effect similar to the one that prompted the court to rule against the state nearly ; thirty years ago in Evans v. Buchanan. The court’s ruling in S Evans was premised on a state law I that purported to be race neutral, but in reality, treated AfricanAmerican students in Wilmington differently, and less favorably, than similarly situated whites residing in other localities. The Neighborhood Schools Act has a similar effect: the law’s attendance limitations will treat Wilmington’s minority students less favorably than students in other areas in the state

Researchers have consistently found that students in many urban schools are subjected to substandard and deteriorating facilities, racial isolation and concentrated poverty

DE DOE Jenny trying to put Kilroy out of business! DE DOE charter school website monitoring!

WEBSITE MONITORING GUIDANCE DOCUMENT

As part of its ongoing oversight responsibilities, the Charter School Office (“CSO”) may engage in website monitoring activities. In an effort to provide clarification regarding those website monitoring activities, the Charter School Office has prepared this Website Monitoring Guidance Document to outline required practices and the resulting website monitoring criteria. This document helps the CSO meet our mission to provide high-quality public school options for all Delaware students and their families through clear and transparent requirements and systems. As a general matter, the CSO will conduct its review during the first full week of each month. In the event that the statutory deadline for posting of an individual compliance item has not yet passed at the time of the CSO’s review, the CSO intends to issue a rating for that item once the deadline for posting has passed. This document does not constitute legal advice but is intended to clarify key requirements to foster high-quality charter schools.

Yep! Looks like we’re going to see some busing in Red Clay after the CSD & RCSD merger!

 WEIC Update:

 8/17 – Red Clay WEIC Team met with John Laznik from UD Center for Applied Demography and Survey Research to begin looking at attendance zone impacts

 8/26 – Red Clay and CSD Operations teams met at Christina to begin discussions across district on logistics

 9/1 – DOE circulating data sharing agreement with Colonial and CSD so that UD can share student data related to WEIC with Red Clay Consolidated School District

 9/4 – RC Transportation reviewed/refined initial questions/concerns and provided to CSD Transportation office

 9/9 – RCCSD and CSD Transportation teams meeting 9/9 to collect data, propose resolutions to open issues

 9/10 -Ted met with Kelli Racca to review process for departments continuing to work through open issues and coordinate CSD and RC plans. Redistricting Committee met for the first time.

Parent Strike: What Is It? How Can I Help? What If I Can’t Come?

Source: Parent Strike: What Is It? How Can I Help? What If I Can’t Come?