On Thursday Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell will force charter-ship on these 6 schools.  Never mind that the only charters not serving a student body of almost all white students, are, have, or will be slated to be shut down as failures: Pencaderand Moyer 

Here are the words of Kendall Massett

“Charter schools have gotten a lot of bad press over the last year. School closings. Teacher videos. Investigations about school leader qualifications. Financial crises. Governance issues.

It hasn’t been good….

Charter schools always under-perform public schools.  Furthermore, charter schools depress an entire district’s scores even further, as was shown last year by a study of Philadelphia’s school system, which showed a 50% reduction in the proficiency of all of Philadelphia’s students from before and after charters were allowed in. 

These schools will be told they failed….  “you failed the students” will be the News Journal quote in the early Friday morning hours… If you don’t know these schools, let me introduce you to them…..

Warner:  Is a Red Clay school and is located on 8 and 18th in Wilmington. It has 559 students. 73% Afro American, 18% Hispanic. of which 85.1% are low income. 15% are special ed. 60% of its budget is spent on instructional services. Warner continues to receive Instructional Support with a Literacy Coach, and IST facilitator, and family Interventionist. This federally funded reform provides for a reading coach, extensive teacher training in reading instruction, and the purchase of reading materials for kindergarten through third grade. During the 2008/2009 school year Warner celebrated the fact that they were above the state percentages at each grade level (K-3) and 82% of our students remained at Benchmark Status… Warner has 14 students per teacher. It has 186 students per administrator. 67%of its teachers have over 5 years of experience. 79% of its budget goes to instructional and 21% goes to support. 48% of third graders, 32% of 4th graders, and 57% of 5th graders are proficient in reading. 38%, 19%, 34% respectively were proficient in math.

Stubbs:  Is a Christina school and is located on 11 and North Pine in Wilmington. It has 325 students. 87% Afro American, 9% Hispanic. of which 89.2 are low income. 9.5% are special ed. 57% of its budget is spent on instructional services.  As Delaware’s first STEM model school, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are integrated across content areas. In addition, Stubbs has dynamic partnerships that include, but are not limited to NorthBay STEM Adventure Connection, Big Brother’s and Big Sister’s of America and EastSide Community School… Stubbs has 13 students per teacher. It has 163 students per administrator. 36% of its teachers have over 5 years of experience. 78% of its budget goes to instructional and 22% goes to support. 40% of third graders, 37% of 4th graders, and 31% of 5th graders are proficient in reading. 28%, 38%, 39% respectively were proficient in math.

Highlands:  Is a Red Clay school and is located on 21 and Gilpin Ave. in Wilmington. It has 383 students. 54,3% Afro American, 30.3% Hispanic. of which 68.1% are low income. 11.5% are special ed. 60% of its budget is spent on instructional services.  During the school day, students can participate in TAG (Talented and Gifted), be a part of the Creative Mentoring Program, work in the school Safety Patrol program, play in the band or strings, sing in the school show, and attend a variety of field trips and assemblies. After school, students may participate in extracurricular activities, such as the coed RBA (Reading Basketball Association), cheerleading, Girls on the Run, ASAP (After School Academic Program), Saturday School, Chess Club, and karate. All students must maintain behavior and academic standards to participate. The Boys and Girls Club of Delaware offers a before and after school program on-site at Highlands. Finally, the PTA is actively involved in the school, offering parents a chance to be active participants in their child’s education.. Highland has 16 students per teacher. It has 192 students per administrator. 58% of its teachers have over 5 years of experience. 83% of its budget goes to instructional and 17% goes to support. 38% of third graders, 43% of 4th graders, and 58% of 5th graders are proficient in reading. 34%, 35%, 35% respectively were proficient in math.

Bancroft:  Is a Christina school and is located on 7 and N Lombard in Wilmington. It has 415 students. 78.6% Afro American, 7.5% Hispanic. of which 79.0% are low income. 14.7% are special ed. 57% of its budget is spent on instructional services.  In addition to the exemplary academic programs, Bancroft has established a variety of community partnerships. J. P. Morgan Chase and Children and Families First, our lead partners, have joined together to establish the East Side Community School Partnership. With this partnership, Bancroft has been able to strengthen the community ties resulting in postive community relations that have a direct effect on student achievement. In addition they have sought resources and support from many other businesses and community organizations. Bancroft has also gained much support in obtaining mentors from the community resulting in close to 100 mentors volunteering their time to and for the students of the school.. Bancroft has 10 students per teacher. It has 208 students per administrator. 42% of its teachers have over 5 years of experience. 80% of its budget goes to instructional and 20% goes to support. 28% of third graders, 26% of 4th graders, and 34% of 5th graders are proficient in reading. 29%, 24%, 28% respectively were proficient in math.

Shortlidge:  Is a Red Clay school and is located at 100 W. 18th Street in Wilmington. It has 329 students. 93.3% Afro American, 4.9% Hispanic. of which 85.4% are low income. 14.0% are special ed. 60% of its budget is spent on instructional services. There are many exceptional programs that enhance and support student learning at Evan G. Shortlidge Academy. Project CHANCE; Mentor Me; Early Intervention K-3 Unit; Safety Patrol Squad. Partnerships with the following businesses, institutions, and organizations have helped to provide these programs: Delaware Division of Social Services; Wilmington Trust; Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Project CHANCE offers one hour of before and two hours of after school care support. In addition to providing students with homework assistance, the program offers a balanced program of enrichment activities beneficial to both parents and students. The Mentor Me Program and the Early Intervention K-3 Unit are programs that meet regularly with selected students who demonstrate need for additional social, emotional, and/or academic support in order to help them improve their academic performance at school. The AAA Mid-Atlantic Safety Patrol Squad is a peer leadership program for 4th and 5th grades students… Shortlidge has 13 students per teacher. It has 165 students per administrator. 81% of its teachers have over 5 years of experience. 82% of its budget goes to instructional and 18% goes to support. 28% of third graders, 42% of 4th graders, and 53% of 5th graders are proficient in reading. 29%, 36%, 54% respectively were proficient in math.

Bayard:  Is a Christina school and is located at 200 S Dupont Street in Wilmington. It has 463 students. 71.1% Afro American, 23.8% Hispanic. of which 79.0% are low income. 19.0% are special ed. 57% of its budget is spent on instructional services. Bayard Middle School has an excellent array of daytime and evening programs that showcased their students’ talents and academic skills. Their evening programs focused on highlighting their students’ academic successes and bringing the school and community together. Their students demonstrated their Bulldog Pride while putting together Bayard’s Annual Talent and Fashion shows. The efforts of their students, staff, community partners and parents were applauded in their daytime Awards and Move-up Ceremonies where they celebrated over 125 individuals for their academic achievements and commitments to Bayard. They also commended over 90 students in our growing A.V.I.D program which allows our students to get the tools necessary to be successful in rigorous course loads as they prepare for college. Bayard has an excellent PBS (Positive Behavior Support) program that gives our students and staff incentives for positive behavior in and out of school. Programs include BPA, AVID.. Bayard has 13 students per teacher. It has 232 students per administrator. 75% of its teachers have over 5 years of experience. 79% of its budget goes to instructional and 21% goes to support. 35% of sixth graders, 41% of 7th graders, and 44% of 8th graders are proficient in reading. 31%, 26%, 20% respectively were proficient in math.

Now that you’ve been introduced to these schools, you probably saw that they were well run, all the numbers are good, quality of teachers is superior, low student teacher ratios, not too much being spent on administration, in fact, everything looks good on paper, except for the scores… 

Children in poverty are environmentally behind. At age 3, a child of welfare parents only knows 500 words.  A suburban child of affluent parents knows 1100.  IQ’s closely correlate with vocabulary. averages in the 70 IQ’s for poverty raised children; averages of 117 for affluent children, By age 3, the average child of a professional heard about 500,000 encouragements and 80,000 discouragements. For the welfare children, the situation was reversed: they heard, on average, about 75,000 encouragements and 200,000 discouragements.  It is not rocket science that these two will not test the same. A child of affluent parents comes home to a family that provides its basic needs. 70 -80% of Inner-city poverty children don’t have that luxury. Often their only meals are at school, breakfast and lunch. This corresponds to 80-90% of these school’s student population. At these schools only 50% have one or more parents. The other half is kept entirely by relatives.  As early as 2010, we knew that inner city children do not learn the same as affluent suburban ones. This is some basic background required to push back when jack Markell tries to blame these failures on the staff and teachers… Just say ain’t no way.

Another question:  Low scores do not only dwell in Wilminton.

Take N. Laural Elementary.  53% White. 59% Low Income. 18 students per teacher of which 82% have over 5 years experience.  Math in fourth grade at a 56%., Shortledge was at a 54% in one grade….

Woodbridge Middle has a 45 reading in 7th Grade. Bayard had a 41% in 7th Grade.

East Dover:  32 and 50 (3-4th) in reading.  40 and 64 in math.

And replace them with what, Charters?  Charter schools?  Charters which cannot compete with public schools when weighted equally based on poverty, special education, and minorities?  

Majority of U.S. charter schools perform equal or worse than traditional schools….

Nationwide, just 25 percent of charter schools show significantly stronger learning gains in reading than their traditional school counterparts. The remaining 75 percent of charter schools showed either no significant difference or were significantly weaker than traditional schools.  There remain worrying numbers of charter schools whose learning gains are either substantially worse than the local alternative or are insufficient to give their students the academic preparation they need to continue their education or be successful in the workforce,” the study’s executive summary states.

Scores in Delaware…

Moyer:  Is a Charter school and is located at 610 East 17th Street in Wilmington. It has 227 students. 88.5% Afro American, 7.5% Hispanic. of which 78.4% are low income. 31.3% are special ed. 40% of its budget is spent on instructional services. Moyer Academy continues to grow its academic and extracurricular programs. We have our National Honor Society (HS/MS), College Opportunities (college assistance programs) Student Assistant Program and Success Program (for older students). Moyer Academy has partnered with Del-Tech College, where students who qualify will be able to take college courses during their 11th and 12th grade years with financial assistance from Moyer Academy. We direct students to Del-State University’s Early Bird Program. We are partnering with local medical service provider for career pathway opportunities..  Moyer has 16 students per teacher. It has 57 students per administrator. 36% of its teachers have over 5 years of experience. 74% of its budget goes to instructional and 26% goes to support. 22% of sixth graders, 22% of 7th graders, and 33% of 8th graders are proficient in reading. 6%, 3%, 15% respectively were proficient in math.

This is the problem with Charter’s taking over public schools…  The students are the same, yet they perform worse than do public schools.  It’s not about effort.  It is about design.  Notice the 20% fewer resources allotted to instructional use, and more towards administration. Notice the fewer teachers who have experience. and finally notice the scores… These are the same type of students who are in the schools being closed or switched to charters by Markell..  Charters don’t have the resources that public schools do and it is impossible for them to do as good a job, as do public schools.  Replacing a public school with a charter, is like replacing scores of 30% proficient, with scores of 5% proficient. 

Reach has the same problems.  Less money than public schools is spent on instructional.  Only 36% of teachers with more than 5 years.  Higher student teacher ratios, and math scores in the 20’s and 30’s.  It is the structure of charter schools that cause them to be weaker; not the people running it.  When you siphon off 20% of expenses for profit, you have less to teach.

So how can someone with less money, teach better than public schools?

They can’t. 

These public schools did not fail. They held ground in the most extraordinary of situations.  Those who failed are the ones who flinched at raising taxes on the wealthy which would have brought prosperity to all, and by reducing poverty by finally putting people back to work, it would do a lot to alleviate the underlying problems that poverty forces on education…..

They failed. not the schools.  What this is really about, is trying to get people who don’t want to sign up for Copeland’s Charter World, to finally sign up…  

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