Delaware public K-12 schools were forced closed due the Coronavirus crisis gripping the nation. To everyone’s surprise, the Delaware Department of Education nor the local public school district had a uniform emergency contingency plan. Each school district is scrambling on how to deliver education materials and services to their students. However, many of Delaware charter schools have employed online learning applications for their students.
Delaware’s public schools in northern New Castle County are in crisis mode long before the Conronavirus Pandemic. Charter school though serving the “desires” of many parents has helped fuel de facto segregation via discriminatory admission preferences that allows charter school to have admission test and only permit high performing students in. Delaware allows charter school to specifically serve at-risk student creating a near 100% high poverty school. The Delaware charter school laws created a, charter school for you (whites) and charter school for you (black).
In comes Delaware’s Choice School Law that allows student to choose their schools. Sounds good on paper, however, only if the school has space and parents can get their children to and from the Choice school or to a school bus-stop within that Choice school. Obviously many poor parents don’t have reliable transportation that furthers the divide.
In comes Delaware’s Neighborhood Schools Act that requires to students to be assigned to the closest school to their neighborhood, Earth to McFly ! The city of Wilmington does not have a traditional high school forcing Wilmington students to be bused to suburban high schools. Also, because Wilmington is divided by four public school district an antiquated system as result of court ordered school desegregation going back to the 1970’s
In comes Delaware’s public school funding system. The local public school districts are required by law to hold school tax property referendums which historically cause community divide forces district to keep coming back with referendums after adjustments to request to appease many in the public. Delaware’s public vo-tech local property taxes are set by the Delaware general assembly. Meaning, no referendums for Delaware public vo-techs.
Delaware public education is in crisis and now with this pandemic its be revealed how dysfunction the Delaware Department of Education is and how clueless state legislators are.
At the end of the day , the children of the greatest needs often high-poverty African-American get the short end of the stick when it comes to fair and equitable public education. Many understand there is a digital divide in American impacting public education whereas once again it is the neediest children on the short end of the stick.
In comes digital online learning with or without a pandemic. I can support online public school option but I am very skeptical of for profit online charter schools. When it comes to public K-12 public education there shouldn’t be an element of profit within the delivery of learning instructions.
With the need for online k-12 learning in times of crisis I think the time has come to readdress an online option in Delaware. Many of Delaware’s old public schools are in need of complete replacement and the demand for more one on one teacher to student interaction is needed. Online K-12 public option may alleviate pressure on funding particularly buildings. Surely if enough students take advantage of online learning some schools would be closed and consolidated. HOWEVER, though the Delaware Department of Education key leaders lack the skills sets and vision to see the future needs of public education we need to explore options. There is no reason we can’t use union public school teachers whereas they can move back and forth for online to classroom. Online learning would also provide real-time achievement data and the ability to tailor individual education plans based on achievement data. This could help break the cycle trying to keep all students on the same page so to speak. Furthermore, more advance student could advance in grade level when obtained back on achievement. Call me a dreamer but, we’re in the 21st Century when information and processing information is moving faster and faster.
Facebook AI making it’s rounds laying the ground work for government censorship.
Delaware Governor Carney ordered all public schools closed for two weeks due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Do you honestly believe schools will reopen in two weeks ? I say those two weeks will be extended. I don’t want to yell the sky is falling but WHAT IF !
Governor Carney nor the Delaware Department of Education are not communicating honestly with teachers, school staff and parents of school children, WHAT IF Governor ?
Surely, the public school districts will put outreach plans together to provide some level of education services to a lock-down community children and I have a hunch public school teachers within will be playing a major roll. Surely we’re talking online education services with e-mail exchanges between teachers and students.
Red Clay and other districts appears to be getting their heads out of the asses and are mobilizing idle school buses to bring food into areas where those students eligible for free and reduced lunches live.
As far as teachers pay during this crisis while schools are closed, the money needed to pay them have been collected from the taxpayers and budgeted. It appears teacher and school support personnel are in the dark as to whats going on. I sat teachers should get paid but EPER funding meant for extracurricular programs and activity should be withheld and unitized during this crisis for resources needed for this outreach.
The children of greatest need , special needs and at-risk students will present challenges. The technological barriers need to be address and Wilmington where a great percentage of high needs students live should find a way to network with their internet providers to open up some free WiFi hot-spots and the business communities to kick in Chromebooks. As far as special needs students, YES make house calls. Even if it is for an hour. Many of these kids have no clue as to whats going on other than something is wrong with their daily routine,
I don’t claim to have all the answers but the what if conversations need to take place. For sure Governor Carney doesn’t want to cause panic or stress but you can bet the farm he knows its going to get worst before it gets better. And sure it might not be the time to plan for the next crisis but, perhaps it is and the foundation can be laid.
As far as school boards, don’t be mushrooms in the dark. You are the people who governors your school district! YOU ARE THE BOSSES ! NO EXCUSE to not to start developing policies addressing such crisis and more.