Greater transparency is the only way to save Delaware’s charter school movement and public education!

Many Kilroy visitors see Kilroy as a charter school obstructionist.  Over and over I stated I am pro school choice which includes charter schools. However, I take issue with Delaware charter school laws under student admissions. I feel charter school doors should swing the same way as traditional public schools! Also, I take issue with magnet school admission practices.

The turmoil Delaware charter schools have seen over the last few years with charter school closures and modifications of some charter school regulations were a result of failed charter school leadership, not charter school naysayers.

Two of the most successful charter schools ( open for interpretation) Charter School of Wilmington and Newark Charter School has taken the brunt of some negativity from those who question charter schools in Delaware. And yes from me on the selective admission practices. These schools had nothing to do with recent turmoil in Delaware charter school movement! What has brought the charter school approval and review process to chaos is the Delaware Department of Education, the Delaware State Board of Education and unqualified near corrupted leadership of charter schools ordered closed by the state. Also, Governor Jack Markell must bear responsibility for the charter school mess.

Kilroy takes pride in the one man battle to require the Delaware Department of Education, traditional public school school ,votech school district and all Delaware charter school board of directors to record the public session of their board meeting and post online for all to hear. Its be about a 7 year battle for me to make it happen with the  help of many friends and supporter with a special shout-out to John Young. I may have laid the foundation for the recording law but John Young laid the foundation for board member to cut across the grain and stare the like of Rodel in the face and the corrupt Markell administration. The recordings are about greater transparency not a game of gotcha! They are about bring communication of school leadership into the fold of today’s technology and to those parents and legislators who are consumed in responsibilities preventing them from attending school board meetings.

Parents of failed charter schools were blindsided when the announcement of closure of their child’s charter school. Many were mushrooms in the dark as failed charter school leadership where in many cases leaders we consumed in self-serving egos trips. Their were a few charter schools placed on probation where I communicated to their leaders to voluntary record their board meeting and put online for all to hear. Maybe I am a dreamer but I felt it would force those boards to get their shit together and allow legislators, parents and even DE DOE a peak at leadership in action. We all know high poverty schools often fail to meet the standards of school with low poverty levels. The progress for high poverty schools is slow but as long as their is positive improvement we need to re-think closure. When a charter school fails they are order closed. When traditional school fails, school leadership within the district is rotated in and out of those schools. At the end of the day parents must take some responsibility for entrusting school and district leadership in away they feel they don’t need to engage! As for the righteous Wilmington leaders, they too have failed and feel allowing one failed school district (when it comes to inner city children) be taking over by another failed school district is the best course of action. The best course of action for all schools is “transparency” that leads to better communication and access to real-time information. From the beginning of the concept of school school boards the community had to wait a month plus about 10 days for board meeting minutes. However, action items discussed at the previous meeting took place before previous meeting minutes were released. With new legislation recordings are to be posted within days of the meeting. This way parents, community, legislators and the clueless Delaware Department of Education have greater insight of the governance of these schools. The Delaware Department of Education’s charter school unit are pretty much cluster-fucks on some kind of authoritarian power-trip whereas, they should be partners helping all schools correct deficiencies!  At the end of the day, schools don’t fail! The leadership within and the support structure from school district leadership, school board, the Delaware Department of Education,  state legislators and even parents are responsible for failures.

Reflecting back, I could not of accomplish what many said an impossible goal without State Representative Debbie Hudson. She took my rough draft of the legislation and introduced it to the Delaware House of Representatives. And yes I turned on her with my obscenities. This in not an apology for my actions! My persistence even to the point of obscenities kept the the dream alive and finally signed into law for both recording of the state board of education and all local school boards including charter schools. Hudson is a Republican claiming to be for open government and through a long rough and tough process she delivered!

Delaware public K-12 education is a drunk hitting rock-bottom! Funding for both traditional and charter schools are in shambles. meantime back on the ranch Delaware Votech are sitting $$$ secure due to the fact they are financed via legislation not a referendum process!

I do not wish the failure of any school and my mission has always been noted at the top of my blog under Kilroy’s Delaware; “Dedicated to transparent public education”. 

A shout-out to Charter School of Wilmington ! Your recordings are 5 by 5 (do the math:)

Hey Bec ! Now that you have some free time would you like to be co-host of Kilroy’s ? Good luck and I know for 20 years we haven’t always looked at public education through the same glasses. However, we are determined in our own respects! Thank you for tactfully telling DE DOE to kiss your ass on the Race to The Top board vote! If every board member and the sell-out union took the same stance we wouldn’t be funding those initiatives with local funding. You and the uni-brow man that sat on Red Clay’s board with you gave me a gift a long time ago! “PERSEVERANCE” Right or wrong, I feel transparency to the extent of recordings are beneficial to forward progress of school improvement!  Merci Beaucoup                  

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16 responses to “Greater transparency is the only way to save Delaware’s charter school movement and public education!

  1. Honest question – since you’re a fan of choice but not of school admissions practices, how would you propose to have schools be open to choice yet not become too full?

    I would also be interested in your thoughts on expulsion practices where students are returned to their feeder schools after the money to educate them has already been sent to the choice school and is not returned to the home district when the student is returned.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      I support the feeder pattern! However with magnets and charter schools there are no feeder patterns. Magnets and charters do have set capacities and once full with open straight forward lotteries the of course no room at the inn! Traditional school can be closed to choice due to capacity. Pretty much what I like to see is no admission test or request for current transcripts to be part of a charter school application. Or allow traditional schools us same practices and of course that won’t happen! People would be yelling they are public schools! Well Charters claim to be public schools!! And that’s their cry for capital funding! Every traditional school should have honors /tag and intervention for those who need it. Yea I know I am dreamer !

      ” I would also be interested in your thoughts on expulsion practices”

      What applies to traditional schools should apply to charter schools. If the districts are required to provide alternative services so should charters. As far as choice out mid-year TFB , NO!

      At the end of the day, we need choices within each school! Honors and AP should be in all high school! Music and Art should be in all schools!

      The odds are the number 1 reason parents send their kids to charters is, the perception they are safe and have less distraction that don’t interfere with education! and OMG they want to do away with out of school suspensions! I see the merits but no more money for space and interventionist.

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  2. I have to laugh when you call out those who complain every time you tell the truth about how bad charters are…

    it’s like you paid $50,000 for a new truck, and the motor freezes up and it’s complete junk… The dealer calls you up, cusses YOU out, and says, “hey, how come you’re telling everybody my cars suck? ”

    The right answer (as always) is “because they are a piece of junk…”

    Anyone this day and age who still thinks Charters are a possible solution, and not snake-oil that was created and advertised just to steal our money, is probably demented beyond hopelessness….

    They deserve our pity… but not any effort on our part to argue them right or wrong…

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    • kilroysdelaware

      “Anyone this day and age who still thinks Charters are a possible solution, and not snake-oil that was created and advertised just to steal our money, is probably demented beyond hopelessness….”

      Sad to say is , why don’t we say fuck it and allow cyber charter schools like K12.inc. That would end the whining for capital funding. But perhaps alternative programming for disruptive student should be online!

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    • Kavips- I have to laugh when you spout things out, thinking you know something. Tell me how much we spend on our Delaware TPS’s and then show me how ‘high’ performing the DELAWARE schools are. Our “$50,000 trucks” ARE the TPS’s and you keep telling parents they’re great even though they get 5mpg and don’t turn. LOL
      http://www.whyy.org/tv12/AppropriationsGraph.htm
      Most TPS’s have <50% pass rate on state assessments. If your response is that the charters skimmed all the 'smart' kids then the next question is; if our TPS's were doing such a wonderful job addressing ALL students' needs, why would smart kids be susceptible to 'skimming'? Bearing in mind, most charters start with FAR fewer resources, FAR fewer staff, and FAR less support from governmental entities/ agencies, the charters must be absolute geniuses to convince parents to send their kids there. Some are so bad even their special needs kids pass at a higher rate than the TPS non-special needs kids.

      Here's the solution to the Charter/ TPS impasse, insure all TPS students are educated to the appropriate level (not to the lowest common denominator) and insure behavior is appropriate (no fighting, no classroom disruptions, no making the teacher the disciplinarian, just allow them teach) so that all students can learn. Kilroy nailed it. TPS's don't do this (because Jea and the social justice mavens refuse to hold students accountable- aka Amy Joyner's killers) BUT if they did, kavips' whole vitriolic, overly derogatory, mis-informed, bottom feeder charter outrage would become meaningless. Because parents wouldn't choose them, they wouldn't need to because their children would be getting appropriate education and would not have to fight with delinquent parents/ children. Fix this and all the charter arguments go away. Fix this and you get support for TPS's. Fix this and businesses want to come here. Fix this and people want to come and live here. Don't fix it and keep blaming charters for the mess…. well you can't fix stupid can you? Kavips, I'm sure you'll spout some other derogatory names and blame alternative schools for the mess of our TPS's but spending nearly 40% of state finances on our schools is hardly a minor investment. Never mind the union appeasement, prevailing wage, the relocating district offices over 16 miles away from the central part of CSD, district mismanagement of buying the astropower bld'g and letting it sit vacant for 10 years. That's all the charters fault, right? How much money could have been utilized FOR CHILDREN if the school buildings' construction costs were 1/3 less (no prevailing wage), the district hadn't misspent millions on non used buildings (astropower), unnecessary office relocation (from Newark to downtown Wilmington), teacher development junkets or nationwide superintendent searches? Again, that's charters stealing resources??

      Kilroy- "The odds are the number 1 reason parents send their kids to charters is, (the perception [in most cases it is NOT perception]) they are safe and have less distraction that don’t interfere with education!"
      Ding, ding, ding!!! Give that man a prize. Now why can't TPS's address that? Probably because Kavips doesn't want normal behaving kids and semi responsible parents to get an 'advantage'. They're too elitist for their own good.

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    • @ M Ryder.

      Glad I made you laugh, although it is sad listening to it because like Hamlet laughing in his last soliloquy just before dying, there is a tragic catastrophe underlying your laugh.

      I will address each retort with it’s own single comment to make things clearer.. The first retort is to your claim that public schools are bad because of their low scores. and with that, the implication that Newark Charter is great because of its higher scores.

      Essentially your argument is flawed because you put the plow in front of the horse and said it didn’t work. You are comparing public schools that have their top students skimmed, with the skimmed students at Newark Charter and then basing your interpretation on that…

      The basic math (and I’ll simplify) is that if you have 50% smart students and 50% not smart students in a public school, and you skim all the smart ones out of that public school, that school will be left with the 50% not so smart students…

      Your sole claim to the benefit of Newark Charter School being in business is that: people still want to go there…. well, duh…

      If I were in a public school that was all dumber than I was, I’d want to go to a school where people were more like me too… But that does not account for the 50% of really good students, condemning the 50% of bad students to piss poor education… Which is exactly what happens when a Charter skims the top students.

      Your constant argument has consistently been, that one or two students benefit from charter schools so therefore they should continue… The counter argument is: what is the cost to society for your treating that one or two to an enriched educational opportunity? The cost is too high. The actual cost is that you are taking money from the majority of students to fund a tiny small minority…..

      And to what benefit? They would probably learn more and better in their public school… Let me put it this way… If I robbed you at gunpoint, I’d be saying, “Hey, this works pretty well… Why is stuff like this illegal?” I would be doing EXACTLY what you do every time you try to answer me… I would be saying that all that matters is me, and damn any costs my actions have upon any others… They don’t matter.

      Bottom line, is that they do matter which is why Charter Schools must be discontinued. Period.

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    • @ kilroy on his why don’t we say “fvck it” comment..

      There is a good reason not to go virtual learning… Children don’t learn that way. The need human beings for learning to be successful… Regardless of method, it is generally agreed that academic achievement is linked to students’ being motivated to learn.

      A students’ sense of relatedness is a key factor in their motivation. “Relatedness” refers to their emotional ties. It involves their basic need to feel connected with, and be acknowledged by, others.

      Young peoples’ attachments and dependencies on adult figures have long been considered to be the prime key factor in their growth and development.

      Think back on high school. You had a favorite teacher; (we all do)… Just think if you had someone else you didn’t care for in that spot at that time… would you be on the same path you are today? Perhaps, but then… probably not…

      This is why all students, parents, teachers, administrators, scientists, researchers, bloggers, and opinion writers, must fight against virtual learning replacing teachers… It already happened in Florida due to budget constraints… AND it is proving to be very unsuccessful….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The charter schools HAVE alternative schools already. They are called public schools.

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  4. Talk about “beginning with a flawed premise”, how about the flawed premise that charters skim from the top? My son, who is a 12th grader at NCS, and the majority of his 12th grade classmates have been together at NCS since they were in the 1st grade. We entered the school’s lottery and ended up on the wait list but got our kid in after others decided NCS was not for them. How do you reconcile 1st graders leaving TPS for NCS with “skimming the smart kids”? You must have a damn good crystal ball. Also, the majority of the new students entering the school begin in kindergarten, so again how do you reconcile this with “skimming”? I think what you are trying to say is a lot of middle class parents are moving their kids, money, support and parental involvement out of TPS to charters, and that is what is causing the issues at TPS. That’s debatable (many would argue they left because of the issues in TPS), but can you blame them? To use your humorous truck analogy, If I had a choice between a truck that doesn’t work consistently and a truck that runs great, why would I chose the former? You are advocating that since everyone cannot have a truck that runs great, nobody should have a truck that runs great and everybody should settle for a truck that doesn’t consistently work which makes no sense. As M Ryder said, address the issues in TPS and everybody would have a “nice truck”. And why no mention of supporting school vouchers? Surely you don’t condone using the property tax dollars of people who decide to send their kids to private school and receive no benefit, right? Arguing that charter school parents benefit at the expense of TPS parents while advocating against school vouchers would be the height of hypocrisy given TPS parents benefit from…wait for it…the tax dollars of private school parents. You can’t have it both ways unless you start with the flawed premise that TPS is fine and therefore everyone’s tax dollars are being utilized effectively. If you believe TPS is fine, I’m not sure we can have a reasonable conversation.

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  5. @ Patriot

    I so sorry you put your son in an inferior school … No wonder you are angry.

    But it is pretty easy to game the lottery to get results one wants…

    Meece: How many blacks we go in the lottery now?

    Secretary: Fourteen…

    Meece: Holy sh/t…. pull ten of them outta there… Right now!….

    —–

    Now you understand, Patriot?

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  6. @ Patriot… your rant confuses many of us here…. Could you please explain these discrepancies?

    You say: “My son, who is a 12th grader at NCS, and the majority of his 12th grade classmates have been together at NCS since they were in the 1st grade. We entered the school’s lottery and ended up on the wait list but got our kid in after others decided NCS was not for them.”

    From what you said, your son in 12th Grade now, will graduate class of ’17, meaning he started September 2004 in first grade….

    Newark Charter School’s charter was initially approved by the Delaware State Board of Education in April 2000, and the middle school opened in September 2001. The elementary school was opened in August 2007…

    How do you expect us to believe you when your child started first grade at NCS two years before it existed?

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  7. “Snap”. That was the sound of the rat trap closing as you took the bait, LOL. Of course you focus on the insignificant details of my post (as I exected), but as to the actual point…Crickets. how do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you can’t contend with sound logic but instead try to are you with in a flawed set of parameters? Sorry, we’re all stocked up on stupid here.

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  8. “argue within a flawed set of parameters”. I had to make sure I corrected that, because I wouldn’t want you to attack my word choice, grammar and spelling as well instead of addressing the point, LOL.

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  9. Gotta agree with Kavips here Patriot. Outright lying to make a point gives your credibility factor a big fat zero.

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  10. Says the guy who tries to use teenagers to do his dirty work and attacks a school leader because of his “serious incident” word choice, lol. And we’re supposed to take your blatantly biased agenda driven joke of a blog seriously? I think I’ll survive without your “credibility” endorsement, lol.

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