Rep Kowalko weighs in on Gov Carney’s overreaching intrusion in Christina’s School District’s local control

These are my remarks re the Carney/DOE proposed MOU being voted on tonight at the board meeting.

Rep. Kowalko

In anticipation of your vote tonight on the DOE/Governor proposed MOU I felt it was my responsibility as a State Legislator to thoroughly study the proposal and make my opinion public. Drawing on my twelve years as a State Representative, nearly a decade serving on the House Education committee and almost 30 years of attending hundreds of board meetings I feel fairly comfortable in my ability to judge this proposal for what it may or may not be worth to the educational opportunities of the Wilmington school children and their parents.

Unfortunately I’ve been unable to discern practical and provable advantages for students or educators in this MOU. I find it frighteningly sparse on monetary investment going directly into the classrooms and more likely to disrupt the lives and community of the Wilmington students and their families.

Ripping young children from the smaller and more welcoming neighborhood schools and herding them into two monolithic structures better suited as barracks can hardly contribute to a welcoming atmosphere for young students and integrating them with older and unfamiliar classmates would probably be an intimidating experience. This sleight of hand portion of the MOU has been portrayed as a $15 million injection of funds into Wilmington schools and while not even guaranteed has been viewed as such even by the News Journal’s editorial board and other inexperienced and naïve members of the business community.

The case is often presented as “we have to do or try something” and I take offense at that cynical approach. Do we propose that the kids in Wilmington see $15 million unnecessarily flushed down the drain while they are forced to endure unwieldy and over-crowded classrooms with no money for more teachers and smaller classrooms or Reading specialists or Math specialists?

If this MOU is not hocus-pocus or a hoax about to be perpetrated on the children of Wilmington than I would expect that some proof, any proof, that removing these kids from their local and easily accessible schools and warehousing them in these two unattractive and formidable appearing buildings has a record of improving educational opportunities or student proficiencies for any students anywhere.

I can show you proven and indisputable evidence that smaller classroom ratios and Reading and Math specialists assigned to schools positively impact students and achieve significant proficiency improvements in all children’s’ performances.

If this board wants to partner with DOE and the Administration to honestly improve educational opportunities for inner-city public schools than I suggest that you counter with an MOU proposal that would take that $15 million and spend it in the classrooms. Hire more teachers and aides to reduce classroom sizes, hire Reading specialists and Math specialists and invest in necessary structural improvements in the more welcoming neighborhood schools that are being threatened with closure.

No gimmicks, no propaganda for media to chew on just plain and simple better education for the children of Wilmington.

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4 responses to “Rep Kowalko weighs in on Gov Carney’s overreaching intrusion in Christina’s School District’s local control

  1. Enter, yet again, the JK world of illusion and misdirection. He and Pelosi must discuss talking points on how to package their responses because both miss the forest for the trees. Christina does not have the capacity to manage a non-contiguous district with dissimilar needs and demands (no district does). Consolidating is a step towards addressing a need that has been out there for decades. I wish he would fight for his district’s residents as much as he fights for perceived injustices outside his district.

    Doing something even if it doesn’t work, never stopped JK from just doing ‘something’ before. Why is he now offended by the association? He wants proof but simple financial math isn’t enough. 5 schools and their maintenance vs. 2 schools and their maintenance. Not hard to add and subtract. Concern for ‘unwieldy’ seems pretty funny when the real unwieldy issue is non-contiguous districts separated by a chasm of socio-economic issues. His “decade serving on the House Education committee” failed to give him more clear insight into the root cause of the problem.

    Christina and NCC districts NEED consolidating. It WILL save money. It WILL benefit communities. It WILL help students because it WILL save money. It WILL consolidate resources which WILL help students. It WILL show how the schools administrations have skimmed too much money away from students. It WILL grant residents better choices. It WILL eliminate waste.

    Now I will just wait for the predictable derogatory and insulting retorts from the ‘esteemed’ individual. It is his compulsion to retaliate in an effort to attain some form of personal aggrandizement. I wonder what that is a symptom of?

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  2. Just too show you the respect you’ve earned and deserve I will be concise. “you are an idiot”
    John K.

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  3. What would christiana do any different than what they have done during the last 10 years? no action is just as negligent as bad action.

    you say that ripping the students from their neighborhood schools will be terrible as they are sent to monolithic warehouses. yet, everyone wants BSD to take over the city schools (which they have wisely said no) but have you seen the size of PS dupont? there isnt a larger school in the state and that houses a much smaller number of students than it is capable. is that harming them?

    again, i ask what real plan christiana had for their overwhelmingly failing schools?

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  4. M. Ryder, I agree. We do need district consolidation. But we know which groups are represented on that task force in HEAVY numbers. Those who stand to lose the most are the ones calling the shots on that task force. That’s because if the districts did consolidate, all the bones would come rattling out of the coffins. They do NOT want that. Including the biggest scandal of them all.

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