What happens to elected officials when turned out of office? They become lobbyists. Prostitutes for hire. The higher bidder, the better. With so much money currently floating among the top 1%, there is currently a very high demand for those former elected officials, who can ply their skills, prestige, and contacts, into pushing “special” legislation down the corridors of change……
Based on his actions back in his twenties, I was expecting more out of the former Mayor Baker. But I guess, everyone has got to eat… And if you are staving badly enough, there is nothing to which you won’t stoop, to get a free meal…..
The check is in the mail, Mr. Baker… Obviously in your new position, facts don’t play a role. Though those were important in your old job, they are the opposite of what your new one entails… We understand that… You are forgiven….
The one factor you forgot to mention; is poverty. Poverty determines proficiency levels; not skin color… and brains do come out of the womb pretty much all the same.
The second factor you forgot to mention, is charter schools under-perform public schools. Of course one can compare a top white basketball player to a poor black one, and say… “see we need more whites on the basketball court”… But there is something missing in your argument. That is all the white basketball players who shoot under 20% under the basket. You failed to mention the proficiency rates of every other charter in the state. And cherry picked only the best two. and cherry picked the worst two public schools….
We understand your concern for black males. Your cause is noble. However there are white males out there who are poor too and they have similar scores. Maine and Delaware both test almost all their students on the SAT… Whereas Delaware is mixed with a high urban percentage, Maine is all white and rural. Delaware scores are higher than Maine’s Both states are poor, with Maine being poorer than Delaware. So you see, it is poverty that is the problem, not the melanin in one’s skin…. It is extremely hard to educate a child who leaves school, doesn’t eat, has no electricity, and has to be wary of being attacked 24/7. To them, classroom is a vacation, and anything said there, is irrelevant to the jungle which is his/her real world. …..
You mentioned Warner. and the figures you quoted were accurate. What you failed to cover was that children in 3rd grade tested at 33,31 and in fourth grade rose to 41,35. Not bad for a poverty level of 93.5%. And they held those gains in 5th grade as well. Net gains? +7 ELA, -6 Math. This comes from the same DOE chart you looked at.
Kuumba which you praise, BEGINS third grade at astronomical levels… Wow… Do they only select rocket scientists and don’t have to take everyone that comes in?…. Their third graders tested at 82,83… then rose only in ELA, while dropping in math at fourth grade to…. 92,76…… then DROPPED both ELA and math in 5th Grade… 85, 61.… Net gain for Kuumba was +3 points ELA, -22 for Math..…
All you did in this piece was the equivalent of taking the Philly 76’rs that are highly selective, and compare it to the pick-up teams on the worn down courts in East Side, who have to take whoever comes on in their pickup games… You further failed to mention the equivalent of the 76r’s track record this year, or that the pickup team elevated itself into a championship round on the intramural courts…. So which team’s structure is better? Tthe team that improves over its tenure? Or the team that falls apart?
It doesn’t take a basketball coach to see that all those smart children in Kuumba, would do much, much better if they had the quality teachers of Warner, instead of being pulled out of class to dance in the streets every time a state official comes by to give their headmaster a plaque….
If the failure rate of Kuumba was applied across all of Wilmington’s children, the negativity would be catastrophic. Which is why, all our smart legislators are saying we need full control over charters…. And mind you, I did this presentation with the very best charter, Kuumba. I could have used Pencader, REACH, or Moyer, (but the performance of those charters would embarrass you too much…). Can you imagine if every black child was placed in a Pencader?
Now you asked, why would anyone want to limit charter and impede growth?
Charters take money away from public schools. If a school like Warner which is forced to take in the lowest of the low, allows a charter to skim off all it’s top students, it loses $3700 for each of those students, and depresses its proficiency level… Which means it has to make do on 85% of what it did prior to the influx of charter, and do so with a higher percentage of its students in special ed and high risk…. Across this state there are 92% of Delaware’s children in Public schools…Only 8% are in charters… Next year it has been approved to jump by 2300 more students with four new charters opening or an 22% jump in the number of Charter students…. That means that even if those charters are performing as well as the current public schools do now, (which they won’t; look at Kuumba above), 90% of the rest of Delaware’s students will have their schools underfunded.….. Now if you are having trouble paying your bills now, how are you going to do it on 15% less? Huh?
You can’t, so you cut back essential goods and services… And those 93.5% of Warner’s children listed as low income, are now given even less of an opportunity to succeed in a world that is so inordinately stacked against them….
What is sad, Mr. Baker, is that you know better. As a young man you stood on the courthouse steps and wagged your finger and demanded equal opportunity for the black folk, (I think that is the nice term we all called them back then… )
So why are you selling them out now, for a paycheck? Of all things?
Instead, what you should be saying is that we need more funding in public schools, that we need higher taxes on our top one percenters to pay for it, that we need charter schools funded as are vocational schools by a line item in the state budget as a luxury, and not a necessity stealing funds away from public schools that currently show more growth than Kuumba… You should be crusadeing for an 11:1 student teacher ration, in every k-5 school with over 50% levels of low income students!
You should be demanding that no charters open and take public money, until ALL the problems are first fixed in the public schools. Because public schools perform better than charters…. when you look at the growth in each child…
If we had your way, we would mediocritize all the best potential the African American community has to offer, and then completely destroy the other 90% of all the rest…Your plan will make us into a Chester, Camden, or Philadelphia. We are better than that.
You are selling the black man out. With your amazing history, that is heartbreakingly sad… sort of like Brutus who fought along Caesar all those years, turning and stabbing Caesar in the back…….