Philadelphia has really screwed up a lot of kids. So has Milwaukee, And Chicago.. And DC…. all places where education reform has bulldozed down the existing public school structure, allowed for charters, then walked away of all accountability…. It is about to happen here in Wilmington, as well.
It starts with the Chamber of Commerce. Then the Newspaper and media jump on. Then a mysterious foundation materializes and begins issuing communiques that miraculously always land on the front page or the editorial pages of the most read journals… The theme is the same. Our public system is failing and we have to go private…
And the question never gets asked… who is making money off of this? For when it does and the trail gets followed, it ends at the Chamber of Commerce… types, I should add. In this case, the Longwood Foundation stands to get (if all tenants come on line) at bargain rates, $1.6 million per month in rent….
Remember the entire building was donated to them. Remember the state is paying for the capital improvements (which is fine if only Delawarean out-of-work laborers are hired to do the renovations) and the foundation of which the head of the Republican Party, Charlie Copeland, is the treasurer, gets to collect $1.6 million each month…. $19.2 million per year. Free money
Even I would be in favor of such a system if it worked. But as we can see from studying the effects upon those who left Pencader Charter School, on those who will be leaving Moyer Charter School, on those who are to be leaving REACH Charter School… not only does that concept not work, it actually plays with people’s lives towards the negative…. It’s bad. And the public systems already in place are systemically better….
The Southern Education Foundation reveals that nearly half of all U.S. public school students live in poverty. Secondly, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, reveals that poverty — not race, ethnicity, national origin or where you attend school — is the best predictor of college attendance and completion.
Delaware has 51.9% of its students classified as low income…. To gain some perspective, ride the elevator up to the Morris and James office in the WSFS tower. Step out of their copper colored elevators and look south, then draw an imaginary line straight south as far as you can see. Everyone on the left is affluent, and everyone on the right is in poverty… New Castle, Delaware City are affluent. Middletown, Newark, Glasgow are in poverty… THAT… is the reality we are dealing with… THAT… is about as bad as the stories I’ve heard about the Great Depression….
But we’re not in a Depression! And some districts like Christina School District, have 61.7% of its students low income!! That is over 6 out of every 10 students! Is this really America? Why does the News Journal fail to report this most significant factor in Delaware’s entire being?
Because they are in bed and loyal to the Chamber of Commerce types. Who never deal so never care about those of low income levels… Certainly not enough to pay a penny or two extra on the dollar to help a brother or sister out…. Actually they are very generous to causes they patronize… so this is not an ad hominen or anti-wealthy attack.. It is just a push to show all that our priorities are in the wrong spot….
The donations and lip service are indeed well intended, and in their small way, certainly appreciated… but the problem has grown beyond receiving free cases plug-ins and Febreez to spritz up the room. it is time to figure how we are going to get the elephant and all it’s dung, through a door that is now too little for it to pass…..
We need to take out a wall, pull out the elephant, clean out the dung, rebuild the wall, and then, use the Febreez and plug-ins to make it smell nice…
That elephant is poverty. The only way that 51.9% of Delaware’s children EVEN HAVE A SHOT OF ESCAPING POVERTY!!!! is through a good public school education……
Yet every year with Charter Schools, we are taking tons of money out and away from public education….
We are closing the door on half of Delaware’s children… SLAM, Lock, throw away the key…..
We need to start working on that elephant problem now!