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