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As anyone who has engaged charter supporters in their quest to determine what is best for education in the long run, knows these myths are false…..
- Charters teach better.
- Charters score better on standardized tests
- Charters have few discipline problems
- Charters have a high demand for seats, you can’t argue against high demand.
None of these hold up under scrutiny… One quickly finds that in Delaware, whenever anyone argues for the continuation of Charter Schools, they are arguing for the continuation of one single charter school: The Charter School of Newark. or CSN for short.. (One almost wishes they would add Yorklyn to their title so we could experience fond memories whenever we called it: CSN & Y…)
There is only one argument for charters that has any merit, and that merit is not logical, but a strong one politically… People want to send their children to charters so why get rid of them…
True, Newark Charter (sorry Yorklyn) does have a waiting list, and so does Red Clay’s Wilmington Charter…
But what about the great and prestigious Academy of Dover?
Mr. Blowman noted that the school’s enrollment has declined steadily over the years, from 308 students in school year 2013-14 to 247 students this school year.
Their approved charter enrollment is 300 students. Charters can’t go below 80% of that, so their magic number is 240. How bad is it? To put things in perspective, they decreased their Kindergarten classes from 3 to 2 this year because of lower enrollment. That is their bread and butter for future growth….
So… Here is the bottom line….
- Charters can’t teach better.
- Charters can’t score better on standardized tests
- Charters can’t have few discipline problems
- Charters can’t have a high demand for seats,
Why do we still have this failed policy in place??? For just one school protected by the legislator who wrote the original legislation allowing Delaware to expirement with the then new innovation then called the Charter School theory? He is, after all the head of the Senate Education Committee and he will have to be voted out or overridden by all other members to effect any change…
Why are we letting one person run the rest of Delaware’s public schools into the ground? Even with one fifth of their income stolen from them, Delaware public schools are still the main choice of Delaware parents… Charters can’t even keep the minimum required number of seats filled?
This is why all need to send a donation to Dave Sokola’s opponent, Meredith Chapman. If you live in the eighth, which runs the western border from Newark Charter School up to Hockessin, you lucky few get to vote to replace him.
In a battle of hearts and minds between the lobbyists of reformers and the advocates for making young black lives truly matter, the NCAAP just resolved to call for the end of Charter Schools… The significance being: that the truth is growing daily inside people’s brains that the only reason to have two separate and unequal school systems (one for the affluent and another for the poor), is to segregate.
There is absolutely and unequivocally no other reason.
Final Rules on Teacher Preparation — page 91-92; US Department of Education.
As the Rogue Ones all gather their forces to defeat the dark monstrosity being built on the edge of their star system, they got a much needed assist from the Feds coming to their rescue.
It was anticipated that teacher colleges would need to provide proof of their graduates’ classroom skills in helping advance student learning, under proposed rules issued Nov. 25 by the U.S. Department of Education…
Programs that failed to do so could eventually be blocked from offering financial aid to would-be K-12 teachers in the form of federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education, or TEACH, grants, according to the long-delayed proposal. The rules are the Obama administration’s attempt to toughen what have long been considered ineffectual requirements left over from “No Child Left Behind”, for teacher-preparation programs in Title II of the Higher Education Act…
The U.S. Department of Education yesterday released its long-awaited final rules on teacher preparation.
Under the rules, states will be required each year to rate all of its traditional, alternative and distance prep programs as either effective, at-risk, or low-performing….
The annual ratings will be based on several metrics, such as a) the number of graduates who get jobs in high-needs schools, b) how long these graduates stay in the teaching profession, and c) how effective they are as teachers, judging from classroom observations as well as their students’ academic performance...
This is in direct opposition to the thrust of Dave Sokola’s educational policies which have had the direct consequence of destroying public education, thereby elevating and illuminating Charter Schools as the more desirable. His policies preclude running off teachers, they preclude closing schools, and they preclude holding public schools to low ratings while providing Charter Schools with high ones…
As of today, the thrust of all those policies now take us in the wrong direction to get Title I funding.
- Instead of running teachers out of high needs schools, we need to get them to stay in high needs schools.
- Instead of helping the state achieve it’s educational goals, TFA (Teachers For America) now hinders the state from achieving its goals.
- Instead of making life hell on teachers in high needs schools, the state needs to all it can to maintain, grow, and prosper all those teachers in high needs schools. Every teacher in a high needs school who quits, now endangers the income the state receives from the Federal Government. Free money that would need to be made up, if it were ever lost.
In a major change from the proposed rules—which were subject to heavy criticism from the field—student learning will not have to be based on test scores or the proxy of teacher evaluations based on student test gains; rather, states will have the flexibility to use other measures deemed “relevant to student outcomes” and determine how various components of their systems are weighted…
This is the exact passage which will require the tweaking of SB51 or now it would just be reworking Title 14, Chapter 12…Subchapter VIII – Educator Preparation Programs.…
e) Educator preparation programs shall collaborate with the Department to collect and report data on the performance and effectiveness of program graduates. At a minimum, such data shall measure performance and effectiveness of program graduates by student achievement. The effectiveness of each graduate shall be reported for a period of 5 years following graduation for each graduate who is employed as an educator in the State. Data shall be reported on an annual basis. The Department shall make such data available to the public.
(f) The Department shall promulgate rules and regulations governing educator preparation programs pursuant to this subchapter in collaboration with Delaware educators.
And here is the proper tweaking necessary to put Delaware’s Empire of Education, back under Inter-Galactic Law….. 🙂
e) Educator preparation programs shall collaborate with the Department to collect and report data on the performance and effectiveness of program graduates.
At a minimum, s Such data measures performance and the effectiveness of educator preparation program graduates by student achievement. The effectiveness of each graduate shall be reported for a period of 5 years following graduation for each graduate who is employed as an educator in the State. Data shall be reported on an annual basis. The Department shall make such data available to the public. State mandated student test scores which have been proven to be ineffective determiners of teacher effectiveness, cannot be part of the evaluation process.
(f) The Department with the approval of the General Assembly, shall promulgate rules and regulations governing educator preparation programs pursuant to this subchapter in collaboration with Delaware educators.
I look forward to these being put on the table in the first days of the new legislature…
For the timeline is thus… Under the rules, states must establish their reporting systems in the 2016-2017 school year, and can use the following school year to test out their systems. All reporting systems must be in effect by 2018-2019 school year.
In another change from the draft rules, states will no longer be required to ensure that programs only accept top-performing students, as long as all students are held to a high bar by the program’s end. The aim here is to ensure that prep programs can recruit diverse candidates into the teaching profession.
Requiring another change in Sokola’s SB51 which is now
Title 14 Chapter 12…
Subchapter VIII. Education Preparation Programs
(b) Each educator preparation program approved by the Department shall establish
rigorousentry requirements as prerequisites for admission into the program. At a minimum, each program shall require applicants to: (1) Have a grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or a grade point average in the top fiftieth percentile for coursework completed during the most recent 2 years of the applicant’s general education, whether secondary or post-secondary; or (2)(1) Demonstrate mastery ofgeneral knowledge, including the ability to read, write, and compute, by achieving a minimum score on a standardized test normed to the general college-bound population, such as Praxis, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), or American College Test (ACT), as approved by the Department.
Each educator preparation program may waive these admissions requirements for up to
1020%of the students admitted. Programs shall implement strategies to ensure that students admitted under such a waiver receive assistance to demonstrate competencies to successfully meet requirements for program completion.
Never underestimate the power …of the Force…..
As tiny pieces of evidence slowly matriculate like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle which slowly begin to show the image of what is to come, another critical piece of the puzzle became available to the public today….
What a full blown audit of Newark Charter School would give us, would be the equivalent of looking at the image on the box the puzzle came in, as opposed to trying to guess blind what the puzzle would look like when finished…
We can either do the audit now, or we can do it later. But as the pieces of the growing puzzle now show, there is a very strong oder of malfeasance emanating from the structures off Elkton Rd., just this side of the Maryland State Line.
A well-esteemed state auditor was pulled off the investigation of this school by her political boss. Instead of the investigation going forward, it was halted. Letters to the charter schools were sent privately outlining what had been found. You can see some of those letters here….
Newark Charter School is in violation of the IRS mandated law that all charter schools file IRS form 990. Newark Charter School has never filed… Doing so would leave a track record allowing one to track money disappearing from year to year. One can see why there is a lot of political heat applied to anyone attempting to investigate the insides of that furnace….
Furthermore, under the new audit law passed last year… any Charter School failing an audit, can be audited by the State Auditor. Otherwise they can employ their own auditors who they can control….
“The State Auditor of Accounts office would also be audited for that fiscal year by the Auditor of Accounts. By making the petty cash audit turn into letters instead of a full-blown inspection report, those five charter schools will not get a full financial audit by the Auditor of Accounts office this year.”
Which would make signories of the lawsuit against Christina School District for even more funding than legally required, all guilty of a gross mishandling of money they already have….
In other words, the thieves did not want it known they were stealing money, until the money was first delivered into their hands…
So… if you really want to fix this, what do you do?
First and foremost: cut the head off the body.. Defeat Dave Sokola in his Senatorial Election for District 8 in North Newark to South Hockessin. If you live there, vote for Meredith Chapman for State Senate. If you don’t, please go here to donate… Meredith Chapman for Senate.
Why is this critical? Because in the Senate this year a tough audit bill on charter schools was winning and Dave Sokola, the more senior of the legislators and one to whom many legislative favors are owed, substituted the bill allowing guilty charters to “hire” their own auditor. This left no doubt for all to see that any attempt to make public schools better and charter schools more accountable, will be shot down as long as he is in legislature…
You HAVE to take out the gun doing the shooting… Please donate… Please vote for Meredith Chapman…
Secondly and more to the point. you need to began the clamor of an audit of Newark Charter School. Why do they need more money than public schools when they are the largest Charter in Delaware? How are they financing the two new buildings they have built and staffed off the per student funding from Christina? Why are they charging parents for their child’s field trips and student activities to the tune of $440,000 and then billing the state for at same amount (Delaware Checkbook) ? What are they doing with that extra money? Is it legal? Is it extortion of the parents? Can public schools also charge parents of their students $440,000 per each 2000 students? Is there a double standard? Why did they continue to flaunt the IRS standard requiring they file a IRS 990, even when explicitly warned by the IRS not to do so? Is everything really “ok” there, or are they in very huge deep trouble and are simply moving the same shell around to whomever is looking next?
All these demand a full audit of the Newark Charter School and obvious from the release coming from one of our own state legislators elected to Delaware’s House of Delegates, we cannot trust the Republican Tom Wagner to fulfill society’s obligation and tear into the financial labyrinth that obfuscates Newark Charter School’s accounting. The number one reason for doing any audit, is that is always cheaper to find a problem early on and then correct it as opposed to let it go unattended, finally costing millions to correct damage that could have more cheaply been nipped in the bud….
Delaware taxpayers need to demand a full audit of Newark Charter School … and hopefully will be able to do so when Dave Sokola is no longer there to squelch it….
Thirdly: if there is nothing wrong with Newark Charter School, and everything is on the up and up, a full blown audit going back to 2008 would certainly do very much to dampen the anti-Charter movement growing like a flash fire in this state… “Ok”, all would say, “so the biggest charter is NOT corrupt, we can move on then”… It would be the best thing that could ever happen to the entire Delaware Charter Network….
So then…. With what they know…. why are they fighting it so stringently? Why did they ask that the State Auditor of Accounts not investigate their finances though required by law to look at all public entities? Why did they lobby for a bill to allow their own auditors, ones they can direct and force to hide things is necessary, instead of impartial ones? Why did they demand and get a very awesome public servant pulled off the ongoing audit of all charters, and have her removed from the force and kept under a gag order?
When one is doing wrong, they always telegraph by their actions exactly where it is they do not want you to look…
All signals point that place to be Newark Charter School… That is where all the dirt is hidden… That will either bring down the entire charter myth that they are indeed good institutions, or it will exonerate many of doing their best under the hard circumstances they encountered…
What we need is a bill passed thorough legislature, ordering the Christina District to hire the auditor and receive the report of Newark Charter Schools finances from 2008 to now… After all, it is all Christina’s money keeping that Charter School afloat; it should be them to whom the auditor must answer and appease…..
Although not named as the primary litigant, for all intents and purposes, this lawsuit will herein be referred as the “Newark Charter’s Lawsuit Against The Christina School District”, or “Newark Charter’s Lawsuit” for short….
Those who know,… know why. No further explanation required or will be given.
The lawsuit seeks to do several things.
First, it wants to freeze the $7 million of Christina’s Current Funding it disputes. This is to prevent it being spent before the court can deliver a verdict. Doing so would have a negative effect on Christina’s 22,000 children by depriving their district of funds needed for operation of specific tasks pending the court trial.
Second, it wants those funds to eventually go to charter schools because that was the certification as of September 1st. You may remember that certification was reversed when the public got outraged and …. well, basically after the DOE got caught with their pants down, and really, had no choice, other than change the certifications back to their original levels.
Third, it wants the Christina District to pay all of its legal fees.
Fourth, it wants to add other monetary damages it discovers during the trial, or makes up on its own…
That is basically it. The suit does include the DOE and the state superintendent for overriding the certification originally made which the court must now decide either was a legal correction, or one made outside the law. The lawsuit of course also includes the Christina District and its financial director.
The bone of contention is whether or not, a levy approved by voters in a referendum for one specific item, can be used for any other item later at anyone’s future discretion… The Christina District passed a levy still in effect for four specific things… That money is collected separately and is separately paid to the exact penny for that single group of items. Brandywine District just recently passed a levy to put artificial turf on its field… It was on the ballot specifically for that single item, and was approved by the voters of that district for that single item. Charter schools say they are entitled to part of that payment under per student funding. District schools say that is unconstitutional because the voters did not approve of that money for anything other than that single item… The DOE has always sided with Christina District since 2003, even during extreme pro-charter administrations. .All this attempted lawsuit appears to be,… is an ill-defined attempt to get charters’ fingers on funds they are not entitled to..since those moneys are not part of regular operations of the district, but are allotted instead for a specific function that was “over and beyond” the regular operations of the district. Expect the court to rule it to be unconstitutional to go against voter’s wishes….
As to the holding of the money, most of it is for a specific function… Holding the money would put that function in jeopardy. Switching funding from future use to augment those programs could be accomplished by the district, but it should be unnecessary because the voters themselves said this was their sole reason for voting to be taxed that amount. .. The proper court decision would be to NOT invoke an injunction upon using those funds, because that would be unconstitutionally violating voters’ directives; later, if the court decided to favor those charters making the lawsuit, the district would then pay the amount from different funds and the Charters could still get their money. There is no harm in denying the injunction, and there is harm to innocent parties for honoring it. Expect the court to rule not to allow the injunction.
The principle legal claim by those suing is that equity is not being provided to those students going to charter schools… Their claim is that since Christina is not allowing that specific funding to be split up and follow each Charter student to their school, those students going to Charters get less per student money than do those remaining in public schools and therefore it is not equal… The correct argument against that, is that these moneys are not going to Christina’s students either… Just as the turf money at Brandywine does not go to augment those public schools’ educational expenses, nor should it go to those fleeing to charters… Since none of that funding goes to either public or charter (private) school students, equity is preserved.
The plaintiffs counter argument will be that whereas grass is on the field, these payments are for programs in the classroom and therefore are part of the expense of running a school. The obvious counter to that, is to point out that since Newark Charter has a new school building, that too is an “extra” they can provide their students. That is also an external form of “non-equity” that enables Charter Students to have a better environment than those public school students in Christina’s older buildings. Should some form of equity revert back to Christina for that? Of course not, and neither should it go the other way… Some advantages are endemic to certain entities. and these programs supported by the Christina District’s voters, are a perk these voters of the Christina District insisted on paying for…
Furthermore the Charter Schools are alleging they were harmed by Godowsky’s reversal of their allotment. They were promised one thing, and given another… To some extent this is true. Two operatives (with or without Godowski’s knowledge) changed the allotments by raising them for Charters, then informing the Charters their allotments had been raised, but neglected to tell any of the Public Schools about the changes. The public schools got walloped by the surprise, and had this decision not been properly reversed on September 7th, the public schools most certainly would have sued the DOE on the exact same grounds these Charters now are…. The ineptness of the DOE and its leadership (done either with or against Godowski’s knowledge) may have caused some future funding shortages in some charters… If those claims are real (ie charters hiring additional staff) then the party responsible for repaying the damage should rest solely with the ineptly run DOE, and not with the Christina School District.
Judging by the weakness of the claims, and the huge mental stretches at the complaint’s beginning in trying to establish legal precedents for pushing the suit forward, it appears that the law firm Saul Ewing is simply taking Charters on an expensive ride…
Get back!… Opt out of taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment until that teacher is reinstated… If not reinstated.. don’t take the test…
A) The test is stupid. (literally)
B) The test has no bearing on your abilities. Schools look at GPA’s.
C) The test is one thing you control that Meece doesn’t… You choose not to take the test, he is the laughing stock of the entire Charter Network..
D) The peace of mind that comes after you’ve opted out is incredible, probably one of the nicest feelings you will ever feel… it’s like being on a white sandy beach, with aqua waves periodically pounding the surf, a cold drink in your hand, a breeze across your well oiled skin, feeling neither too hot or too cold… just right… Oh, and did I mention the palm trees over you to shade you from the excessive sun? This vision is almost as great as the feeling you get when opting out of the Smarter Balanced….. It’s literally amazing…
E) If you Opt Out and change your mind (like when they reinstate your teacher whom who love and adore and who will do more than Meece ever could to help you succeed in college) they are so desperate to have you take the test, they will probably give you bonuses of over thousands of dollars each (j/k but they will certainly let you in with complete forgiveness)…
Opt out of the test this week, and see, see just how much power you have in your hands … Opt out of the Smarter Balanced…
Data shows tests like the SAT are biased against students from low-income households.
Poorer students tend to perform worse on the test. The difference might be the costly prep courses, books and tutors, some experts say. Blacks and Hispanics also consistently score lower on the SAT than whites.The new thinking is that dropping the SAT requirement might encourage more low-income students to apply. But does it really increase diversity among enrolled students?
We have have the first trials…. Here are results of minority representation in each of these 4 year colleges before and after the test score became optional for admission…………
In 2011 Wake Forest dropped the SAT test as a requirement to entering their colleges. Before Wake Forest made its admission process test-optional for freshmen entering in 2009, about 18% of the students were non-white. The following year, the number jumped to 23% and it now stands at 30%.
The share of students from low-income households who are eligible for Federal Pell grants also shot up to 11% last year, compared to 7.5% the year before the policy was implemented, according to data provided by the school.
In other words the inherent bias of the test was preventing many students from achieving Pell Grants and being accepted into a school in which they could otherwise succeed….
At Marist College in New York, which dropped the requirement for the freshman class enrolling in 2011, the share of minority students has jumped from about 14% to nearly 18%.
At Franklin & Marshall College there has been a more modest increase in the share of minority students over the past decade. The school, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was one of the first to go test-optional. But it has seen a bigger jump in enrolled low-income students than some of the other schools: from 7% to 18%.
None of these schools had to water down their curriculum due to people entering schools based more on both their GPA’s and teachers’ recommendations, and less on a standardized test score that was inherently biased against them due to environmental factors of their upbringing…
The ability of poor and minorities to succeed in college is independent of their SAT test score…
If fact, these test scores were preventing good solid citizens from achieving their dreams ….
One would assume the Smarter Balanced Assessment actually takes that one step further…
Instead of simply limiting college choices, it now carries this same stigma right down to the tests in lower 3rd grade where these biased results now insist one must be dumber and not on par with those students with whom one in class equally competes, who all happen to be lily white and have rich parents…
Opting out of the Smarter Balanced should be mandatory for every poor and minority child in Delaware… It is the ONLY way to achieve your dreams it appears……
Just released from a top secret Charter meeting between the principal players in this state as well as several larger corporations and the US Department of Education, is a new tactic that may actually be worth keeping Charters afloat in order to run this course to see if it would make a difference….
The plan is to allow pot smoking at all charter schools. I know, but this is crazy enough to work… Follow the logic first and then make up you mind at the end.
A) Charter’s Don’t Have To Follow Any Rules
Charter Schools are not bound by rules that public schools must follow. This would make them the perfect laboratory in which to mix the placid effects of THC and the brilliance of unlocking the most powerful computer in the world, the human mind.
B) Charter Schools Can Have Independent Financial Sources Other Than State Funding…
Originally designed so religions could put money into them, and later could investors as well, Charter Schools are allowed to have other funding methods than that of the taxpayer in that district. So Charter Schools could fund themselves by selling marijuana on the open market, even becoming dispensaries of the medical version. As we have seen in Colorado, this generates huge amounts of income… Period… Did I say HUGE? The amount of money that goes towards marijuana is phenomenal and could certainly be tapped at Charter Schools to educate little children. They could even sell to parents and offer in-school discounts just too keep enrollment levels up….
C) Almost Everything Learned By Everyone After Baby Boomers Was Learned Under The Influence Of Marijuana.
Whether as they retire these days, they were doctors, lawyers, policemen, government officials, priests, pastors, engineers, architects, MRI operators, Tractor Trailer haulers, fast food managers, grocery store cashiers, or DOE picks by Markell, the likelihood that everything they know was learned “under the influence” is remarkably high…
This means that it worked before, it can work again. People remember stuff when they take THC… Most children go through a whole day’s schooling and when you ask what they remember of it… they say… “nothing”… That can change instantaneously… if we are truly concerned about retention, then we need THC-taking students absorbing full lessons.. immediately. Charters are the best vehicle to accommodate that….
D) Marijuana is cheap... when you take out the taxes and carrying costs for its former illegality. it is essentially as cheap as grass… You know all those grass clippings you sweep up all summer? Well, just as cheap as that to produce… Schools could even grow their own and teach agri-economics to toddlers in a way even they could understand. If one measures the profit that can be gleaned from something that costs nothing to produce, but will sell at stratospheric prices, one can readily see how Pot Producing Charters can pay for themselves and full per student funding can remain in the resident public school districts as originally intended…
E) School Should Be Fun.… grownups as well as children learn best when there is an emotional contingent enhancing their learning. Play is important for small children because that is where 99% of their learning comes from… The other 1% is from Mom or Dad scolding them. THC learning is pretty fun… At least from the stories Baby Boomers have been circulating since the early seventies, and the Beatniks from before that, one would think THC learning is the way to go… Although public schools have too many restrictions and would require extensive political conditioning of the populace, as mention in the first section (A) above, charters not being bound by any rules could implement it immediately….
Bottom line should be about improving education… Charter Schools have completely failed America over the past 25 years of their implementation… They are in the process of being shut down nationwide along the same way one would turn out the calvary to pasture once assured we were in the age of mechanical warfare. Anyone who has faith in Charter Schools as they currently are these days, is probably smoking something… And that ironically could be the saving grace of Charter Schools in America today… And if, hitting up the THC hookah before every class, benefits American education overall, making us all wise beyond the capacity of Yoda even, then the real reason is…. why not?
And Wall Street which has so heavily invested in Corporate Run education? They could invest in hemp farms instead…. It’s a Win, Win, Win situation where no one can ever lose, Lose, Lose….
It has my endorsement. This is not satire. It is a serious proposition thought up in a late night meeting Saturday night and early Sunday morning by Delaware’s principal educational players and its Charter School Network… who for whatever reason, may have gotten a good “hit” on the right solution….