Gov Carney’s swipe at teachers go unanswered by DSEA.

Christina to Carney: Give us until 2019 to consolidate Wilmington schools , The News Journal

Last week, parents at a public meeting said they didn’t understand why the state would want to crowd some of the Delaware’s most troubled students into two buildings. At Tuesday’s night meeting, state Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, also expressed doubts, calling Carney’s plan for Christina a no-win situation for the school district, school board and Wilmington’s children.

The sums of the entire conversation! PARENTS HAVE SPOKEN !! F U John Carney !  

Carney has made it clear he is not in favor of needs-based funding like that outlined in the last bullet point, in part because it gives extra money to school districts serving at-risk kids without holding them accountable for how they use it. 

And by consolidating  at-risk student population compounds the difficult task of teachers. Data supports school with poverty levels 30% or more have a greater chance of failing.  Carney wants to hold teachers accountable but does nothing to hold parents accountable. Children fail because adults fails starting with parents. If there is to be a comprehensive accountability plan it should include parent accountability. 

I am surprise DSEA sits in the dark and no step-up  and call out Governor Carney’s Trojan Horse plan to unjustly hold teachers accountable for student achievement when the baseline funding of at-risk school is inadequate from day one.

Governor Carney tipped his cards! This plan is about finding ways to hold teachers accountable with consequences. At-risk schools k-12 needs more teachers and lower class-sizes across  the board! If Carney want to  re-engineer  Christina School District and not offer the same for all at-risk student across the state he is defacing civil rights for all students. Why is an at-risk student in Christina more important than at-risk students in Red Clay or Brandywine? Delaware has a problem serving at-risk student statewide and it needs to be addressed statewide! Fund all public schools and charter schools the same way votechs are funded! That’s a start!

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4 responses to “Gov Carney’s swipe at teachers go unanswered by DSEA.

  1. Here is my statement made at the CSD board meeting last night and followed by my challenges to the Carney/DOE plan presented, in person, to Governor Carney at a meeting he called about a week ago.
    Rep. Kowalko
    I and 9 other legislators attended a meeting called by Governor Carney less than a week ago purportedly to discuss the proposed Wilmington school reform plan and MOU proposal. Since we weren’t given copies of the MOU and it doesn’t seem to be available any longer at the link the Administration provided I cannot offer or challenge some of the specifics. At this meeting the Governor suggested that the MOU draft submitted by DOE would be changed and this board is not bound by it and should draft its own MOU proposal. The deadlines for Board action that the Governor and DOE appear to be imposing are substantively unrealistic and impractical for such a complex consideration with so many unanswerable questions.
    Having examined some of the initial proposal and the details and expectations it held has led me to conclude that this is not a well thought out plan, that raises more questions and challenges then it has answers for.
    I distributed some of my points of concern to the Governor and DOE and have copies for you that I will distribute. Due to time constraints I will try to focus on only a few of my concerns that I hope you will consider at this time.
    I find it particularly harmful and hurtful to the “Southbridge” community, families and children to propose closing Elbert Palmer, one of the true neighborhood schools in walking distance and accessible to this Wilmington community. I hope that this Board’s counter-proposal would support closing that tired old monolith known as Bancroft and refurbish Palmer, Pulaski and Bayard to use for the suggested K-8 reconfiguration.
    I also implore this Board to pay heed to the massive costs (which the Governor personally refused to speculate on) in refurbishing or renovating in order to make these consolidations. You should be acutely aware that any promise of funding cannot be guaranteed. In fact I would urge you to recall this Administration’s recently passed budget with concurrence of this current General Assembly cut traditional public school revenues by more than $36 million. Restoring that $36 million in cuts and adding even a small percentage of the proposed renovation costs would be much more beneficial and effective for Wilmington students if allocated to create smaller classroom ratios and hire reading and math specialists.
    As I’ve looked at this reform proposal and its details and drawing upon my 11 years of experience as a legislator I am forced to conclude that this is a no-win situation for Christina, this Board and the children of Wilmington. Its predisposition to fail will be used to scapegoat the district and further stifle opportunities for Wilmington students and their families.
    Finally I would suggest that this Board consider that traditional public school funding has received reduced funding since 2009 now totaling over $65 million per year. Ask the DOE and Governor:
    Who is going to pay for the renovations?
    Who is paying for longer school days and school years?
    Who is paying for vacation academies?
    Who is paying for after-school programs?
    And why aren’t Reading Specialists and funding for them part of this plan?
    Points of disagreement to Carney:
    1) If CSD does not approve MOU, more money will be taken from the District further harming prospects of Wilmington students and families. (“If it rejects the plan and fails to come up with an acceptable alternative, the agreement would be terminated immediately, resulting in the loss of any additional financial support for the district”).
    2) Bayard/Bancroft are not appropriate buildings for little children even if renovated. Bancroft too old to make usable with renovations.
    3) Trauma Training not necessarily (research?) effective but investing/funding 1 to 15 class size ratios would effectively improve the learning environment and outcomes.
    4) Palmer became the first equity lawsuit in Delaware when Christina District (at Lowery’s behest) tried to close it 10 years ago.
    5) Leaves no “Neighborhood Schools” for city children and in fact may violate the “Neighborhood Schools Legislation”.
    6) Bancroft is far away from Palmer and Southbridge children who now walk would be unable to continue that practice.
    7) Distinguish more specifically between renovate, refurbish and reconfiguration.
    8) Why don’t we do things like “successful” districts? The most successful programs such as in New York and Massachusetts fund “reading specialists” and lower class ratios.
    9) When the plan refers to “potentially” establishing “early childhood education” and “centers for students and families learning English” at a vacated Palmer are the planners aware that there are no ESL students at Palmer?
    10) Have you considered neighborhood “gangs” being integrated from across Wilmington into the same building?
    11) The suggested “Co-leadership” model re principals and assistant principals belies the reality that these two jobs have never had the same duties and have always had designated responsibilities and functions.
    12) “Loan forgiveness stipend” to young and “inexperienced” teachers does not reflect any benefit to already established teachers who have devoted their careers to inner-city education and “Who” is paying for these loans?
    13) “Who” is paying for “longer school days/year”?
    14) “Who is paying for “vacation academies”?
    15) “Who is paying for “after-school programing”?
    16) Why aren’t reading specialists part of this plan and therefore WHO IS PAYING FOR “READING SPECIALISTS” SO THAT CHILDREN ACTUALLY LEARN TO READ?

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  2. We keep hearing of random governor’s plans for CSD, but what major overhauls does CSD have planned?

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  3. Pingback: Delaware State Rep Kowalko puts Gov Mar-Carney in the corner re: Gov’s over-reaching Christina School District Plan | Kilroy's Slower Delaware

  4. Why does Mr. Kowalko have concerns of perceived hurtfulness towards members NOT of his voting district when he has no problem being hurtful to those he directly represents? CSD is not in compliance with the intent of the NSA because of the incongruent non-contiguous border. Why is compliance with the NSA a Kowalko concern? So now we are worried about Gangs in elementary and middle schools? That’s kind of like, why do we need to suspend elementary school students. What type of violence and endangerment do 3rd graders commit which necessitates suspension? (BUT IT HAPPENS IN OUR CSD ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS) Are there gang hits in 3rd grade / elementary schools? Why are capital improvement concerns even on his lips when all the schools in CSD are barely maintained and all them could use renovation. Hard to get support for that kind of expenditure when the return on taxpayer investment is a 30% pass rate on standardized tests.

    CSD is most definitely in a no win scenario. All related to a non-contiguous district with dissimilar communities and dissimilar problems. The clear and most immediate correction is;
    1. Reconfigure and consolidate the districts. Placing resources and facilities in close locations to facilitate some level of efficiency.
    2. Make the State establish a Wilmington district which addresses the unique problems associated with an urban community.

    I do agree, Gov. Carney wants to do ‘something’ for these failing schools but the ‘something’ has to involve the state addressing the money dilemma. That is not CSD’s job to fix the State’s money problem. Democratically controlled & run State has run out of other people’s money to operate. They are trying to come up with a shell of game of where to make transfer payments. The current Governor has no grand plan to spur the Delaware Economy (i.e.: increase revenue) and increased taxes would be regressive towards growth. You cannot use Massachusetts and NY as models with their sky high taxes. It is irresponsible to compare PA, NJ, NY, & MA to DE unless the residents of Delaware want to be further tax burdened. People are leaving NJ and NY because they can’t shoulder the taxes. PERHAPS an actual revamping of the spending is in order. Consolidating state vendors??? Consolidated districts which WOULD reduce costs. ELIMINATING PREVAILING WAGE (union appeasement)?? Free up more of the revenue they currently receive to fund the real needs of Delaware students instead of funneling graft into the hands of a few.

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