One of the first things they ever teach in Management 101 is to look at someone else doing what you propose to do, and see if what you want done is viable…   If it is working, do what they do.  You can improve on it later.  If it isn’t working, wake up to reality.

Charters propose making education better.  They say they will pump education into children’s heads and therefore those children will do better…   However they say they will do it at a cost to society… and that cost is that THEY must keep a large part of the money public education spends on students for themselves, in order to make this happen.  Less money therefore gets spent on your child in a charter school, simply because most of it gets siphoned off into pockets of investors….

But, since money talks more to legislators than common sense, illogical policies across this nation, like all charter districts have been put in place.  It would be wise to look at these places before embarking our state on a similar path…

One such place is Memphis, in our sister RTTT state…  In order to bolster their education of their inner city schools, Memphis went with an all charter district.   Here is what was found.

  • The Achievement School District inappropriately charged the School Improvement Grants program for expenditures incurred before the award was effective and failed to adequately review invoices paid to Charter Management Organizations, resulting in federal questioned costs of $193,241 (p.32-33)
  • The ASD Failed to Adequately Review CMO Invoices (p.33-34). 
  • The ASD Accounting Manager and Accounts Payable Clerk processed 5 invoices, totaling $477,166.14, without the documented approval of the Public Grants Manager. (p.34)
  • $66,366.18 in unsupported expenditures charged to School Improvement Grants, resulting in questioned costs for personnel, textbooks, travel costs, benefits overpayments, and salary miscalculations. (p.34)
  • On 2 invoices, a CMO billed ASD for expenditures before the vendors were paid. (p.34)
  • The ASD blamed some of these errors on “high turnover in its Public Grants Manager position during the fiscal year.”  The State Comptroller determined that “when the position was vacant, no other employee assumed the role of reviewing and approving invoices in order to mitigate the risk of paying inaccurate, unsupported, or fraudulent invoices.  By not ensuring that invoices are properly reviewed, approved, and adequately supported, ASD runs the risk of paying CMOs for activities that are not allowed under federal program requirements.” (p.35)

That was financial.  With no one overseeing Charter Schools, which was also the prime sticking point in the local Priority School battle, (ie, who would get to write checks and make the financial acquisitions), obviously the sole purpose of Charters was to make their owners rich.

The TCAP scores for these charters are in fact, lower than when tested as public schools the previous year. Some blamed Common Core for the precipitous drop of 50% in proficiency.  Regardless, public schools performed better than charters, Considerably better.  The equivalent would be like turning the priority schools of Wilmington over to Charters because only 30% of those children were proficient, and then having the charters at their best be only able to kick out a 15% proficiency while neighboring schools continued putting out 30%… Same schools, same students… Scores cut by half…  This is the lasting legacy of charters across the globe.  They FAIL when forced to do what public schools have to do.,

And now…. this charter group is pushing new legislation in their Tennessee State legislature which will let them forcibly remove good students in from some schools and force them into other bad schools to raise up those  bad averages... No joke…

This gamemanship of trying to raise scores by moving students is exactly why charter schools need to be banned in Delaware…  The idea of education has always been to benefit students. Not Charters… Taking a good student from a good school harms that student.  It certainly doesn’t raise the scores of other students… So greater harm is done… What it does do, is raise the collective scores of that administrator… The good schools perform less well but still pass, and the poorer schools hopefully perform better and still pass so the administrator can say. all my schools pass…

This would be the equivalent of Christina taking all students from Red Clay’s Charter School of Wilmington and disseminating all those students in its worst schools, and then bragging their policies raised up the average scores in all their schools without doing one other thing different from what they had done previously.  It is Idiotic. Yet supporters were found to put it on the table in Tennessee’s legislature..  Probably to counter another serious bill which would abolish the Charter District entirely and return it to the public fold.

No student learns any more than they did previously. Some learn less. Overall, students lose..

This is why parents need to stop the charterization of Delaware immediately… The easiest and most effective way of doing that, is to opt out of the Smarter Balanced Test now being undertaken in schools across this state.    With no test scores, there can be no closings, and with no closings, there can be no charters…

To charter operators it is only about money… Your only defense against this, since Delaware’s legislators seem to be lost in space, is to opt out… 

Don’t let your child take that awful test.