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WTF is a micro charter?  It is a charter school that makes craft beer worthy of Rick Jensen’s Thirsty Thursday….. not…….

Ok.. Really…  It is a charter school with 100 students….  and less than 200 students…

Currently three new charters were approved this year… Law states they have to have 200 students by May 30th to be approved…. They don’t.  Thus it is necessary to change the law to keep them opening as scheduled…   If the law doesn’t change, these schools can’t open.

So if this bill passes, we can open 3 brand new charter schools of 100 students apiece…. There will need to be  3 new principals; 3 new secretaries, and 3 times the number of teachers… that one school of 300 students each would need….  So how will these three fare?

Let us look at some failed charter schools…   Pencader  failed because of financial insolvency.  All its students had to be sent elsewhere, completely disrupting their education…. Pencader opened with 350 students… (200 freshmen and 150 sophomores)   Pencader had one principal, one secretary, and teachers for 350 students… As of 2012, it had 410 students, yet it failed because it didn’t have revenue to meet it’s obligations…. One must ponder how it would have fared were it also supporting  3 principals, 3 secretaries, and 3 times the number of teachers it had…… as this bill 234 is wont to do for 300 of New Castle County’s students?…..

Moyer Academy which has never met AYP, had 182 students last year and 227 this year…   It has struggled and is currently fighting the option of being closed by the DOE… Imagine if they had to support 3 principals, 3 secretaries, and 3 times the number of teachers?

Reach Academy opened with 390 girls last year, and 468 this year?  It is being closed down by a bill put forth by Dave Sokola.  His objection?  It is too small to be economically viable.  Yet at the same time, he is promoting changing the law to allow schools with one fourth that amount to be approved……

Let me tell you what is going on here….

He is trying to help friends of his who invested in Charter Schools, and are about to lose their money because no one wants to send their kid to a creepy charter school when Delaware’s public schools all have better scores and spank the charter school’s asses….   What happens to those children to get stuck in these 3 hellholes is of no consequence to him….

But closing schools IS a really big deal… And these three schools just like the Delaware Racino’s that are currently siphoning money out the state’s gazoo, must one day be closed….

It is better to close them before they ever get started…..   People lose money all the time… But ruining a kid… that’s a big deal…

There is no way in hell that a 100 student charter school can compete academically as well as a large public school….   And they are taking money away from that public school just by being open!  Those public schools will now lose money to these three new schools all destined to fail, for no reason other than Dave Sokola changed the law he put in place last year because apparently no one wants to send their kid to a charter school.  These Charter schools have failed!… Surprise trivia question: what what was the original argument for establishing charters? It was that if they failed to attract students,…  you could close them….   But here in SB 234, we have 3 charters that have failed, …. having the law changed so they can stay open and ruin even more kids?

So now, only because of Dave Sokola, every single child in New Castle County will now suffer somewhat, by allowing these  schools to remain open at student levels far below those failing schools of Pencader, Moyer, and REACH….  

100 students is absolutely unsustainable….

Every child currently living in poverty, counting on, depending on either these charter schools, or the financially shorted public school system to pull them out… will suffer even more…

The Delaware House of Delegates needs to kill this bill.   Either that, or agree to fund all charters as we do vo-techs, right out of the state budget, and not rob public schools of their most precious and necessary resources….



All Courtesy of NAEP Click on each to enlarge.


The NAEP is the nation’s Educational Report card. It is the definitive standard which will determine whether RTTT or Common Core is working. Against this all things are measured. The long term trend assessment is given every four years. This data is for 2012 and can be compared to 2008. The Main NAEP Assessment (compare the two assessments here) is given every two years. It will be taken this year in 2014. If 2014’s scores are consistent or go down, the curriculum like some have said here, is the problem.

But one can see that those who support Charter Schools (Jea Street, are you listening?) who claim education is terrible, just terrible, these days. have nothing to stand on. Education has increased in segments little by little since it was begun in 1973. (The starting point for Hispanics as a separate classification was 1975). The old curriculums with all their problems did their job. What is interesting is how growth stopped at 2008. The 2012’s reports showed mostly flat scores from the previous session, although they did not go down. The biggest outside change affecting lots of students was the advent of charter schools, and implementation of standardized testing. As in Delaware, Charter schools tend to drop test scores underneath what public schools would have been able to attain. This negative influence (from Charters) and the positive gains in public education may have canceled each other out giving us the flat results we see here.

These results are too soon to apply to Common Core, because Common Core was piloted in 2012-2013 and begins this year in full effect.

But what these charts do convincingly show, is that the institute of public education has functioned very well over the past forty years. It remains to be seen, if the sledgehammer now being applied in the name of corporate reform, or translated into “give me all your money,” will do more damage than the good we’ve gotten used to.

Courtesy of Transparent Christina

During the 2008 Gubernatorial Debate, Jack Markell expresses the absolute exact opposite of the bill he proudly signed today: HB 165

This YouTube clip shall haunt his future Campaigns Forever.

Shades of Romney?

,,,says the irascible Mr. Potter in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” who then continues…. “you can come and borrow money. What does that get us? A discontented, lazy rabble instead of a thrifty, working class.”

That seems to be exactly what is happening within the Markell administration in regards to Charter schools.   For in normal loans, Mr. Potter implies,  you have strict rules and guidelines to follow, unless one chooses, again as Mr. Potter is insinuating, to ignore them to assist ones friends….  Gee.  What happens when you do that?  …. (Wilmington Trust).

Charter Schools are given more leeway because they are “private” enterprises.   Thanks to John Kowalko, we now know this ….

By law, public schools if they do not use the millions in their transportation budgets for that very cause, must give it back…  Now with an few words of code inserted into Delaware Code, Charter Schools in the same framework, do not have to…

Why is this there?  The obvious answer is that it is being put in as a way to   s–l–i–d–e  some extra money into the hands of charter schools.

It is like you have a family of five.  You have to make appearances that your are treating all your children equally, but you really do like one better than the others…  So you give all of them the same allowance but to your oldest who is driving, you give them a very large transportation budget to pay for their gas.  They need $100 dollars.  You give them $200…  The other children don’t drive so they have no idea that $200 is too much to spend on gas for a weekend….  That is what is going on with this push for charters.

According to John Kowalko, here are the facts.

Charter Schools get (per pupil) in New Castle County -$908.75
Kent County——–$843.85
Sussex County—–$964.88

Traditional public schools get (per pupil) ——————$579.30…  (Why are Kent County Charter Schools the Redheaded Stepchild?)

Now, if public schools can contract to run on $579 per pupil, who is to say Sussex County Charter schools cannot do the same?  If they did,  they would now get to keep $385 extra for every student they transport.   That extra is 66.59% of another public school student….

It’s a gold mine I tell you. Scrooge McDuck would be proud.

Why the favoritism?  Charter Schools are private entities who receive state money to stay in business.  The state money comes into their doors, and they get rich off of that.  Some of that richness goes back into the campaign funds of those on the JFC who allow this to happen as a matter of course….  In truth, that is why this is happening.

So let us take that total of the extra per each Sussex County students:…  listing the one charter school in Sussex County, with 413 listed students, that amount over a public students cost is $159,000.

One school gets $159,000 for being business efficient, and the public schools have no incentive to do the same; for if anything is left over, they send it back with not even a thank you coming down from the DOE for their thriftiness.

It’s simply about “who you know.”

Why is this even important?

Granted.  If we could tax the wealthy whatever it might cost to educate our children, this wouldn’t be an issue.  However some members of legislature are still in dream world, and think austerity in public education will make all of us better.  Therefore, with limited funding this misdirection of money, is important.  Remember in the analogy above, that child who got the driving stipend?  That extra money is less the other four will now have with which to meet their expenses.  If they were to question why it was fair to give charters more money, they would have a valid point.

Second.  It violates our goal to educate our worst students.  That money would be better spent in a Wilmington District, where bang for buck, it could be used to actually educate a child who needs it, and not be spent on taking every Charter School student in Sussex County out for a movie.

Third.  It takes away from public schools.  Throwing the wealthy’s money at Charter Schools would not be a problem,  IF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS WERE FULLY FUNDED FIRST.   But funds for public schooling is in disarray.  Public schools are running budgets far less on what they used to be.  This bill to slide more money into charter schools, takes that money away from those public schools hurting already.   Again, we have to look at results.  Which is better?  To give public-school funds to millionaires to help cover their children’s schooling in a private school, or, to instead use them to educate our inner city children who already have two strikes against them and their only home run available is through a good education?

Obviously the latter.  So why is Jea Street not screaming?

Point is. We are all human.  We can scream, point fingers, call out prejudice, wail, gnash our teeth, and say giving Charters extra money at the expense of public schools is corrupt and immoral…

But all of us take care of those who take care of us.  One can’t really fault the JFC for wanting to do this… even if it is wrong.  These Charter School owners, or the people the schools will be renting from, are these legislator’s friends.  We’re supposed to help a brother out?

The problem is not the money.  It is the principle of fairness…. So let public educational entities keep their money too.  Education?  It is a good cause…  let the public schools compete with charters (for that is what they do) on a level playing field, not one stacked against them.   Let the public schools keep their funds too..  And let’s move on.  There are many other important matters to attend to…  Just let public schools, who are responsible for handling the education of all our society, not just the rich cream of the crop who can get into exclusive charters,… have the same rights and resources as we have bestowed upon our charters…

Then, send the bill to the wealthy.  While everyone else suffered, they’ve done well.  They deserve to pick up the tab for a change.

Before anyone gets bent up over the Christina School board turning down the fight to keep $2.3 million, there is something you should know.

This money was strictly tied to starting a habit for which there would be no money next year…If the board accepted the money, at the end of funding which is this year, the board would have to pay for this extra little thing we have to do just to get our state RTTT funding.

It would be like taking up heroin because it was free.  Then you got to pay for it after you are addicted.

The Board of Education made a shrewed and very smart business decision. Many who do not have a clue will yell at the headlines.  However those of us who appreciate the power of money, who understand money, who know that money works on rules of its own and is not subject to the whims of popular opinion, KNOW this was a very smart choice.  

One that clearly was the right thing to do, even though emotionally it may be hard to bear because after all it was the right decision and not the “easy” one.

There may be criticism for awhile, but by next year, when every other district is debating whether to cut this  RTTT program or fund it with another referendum,  the Christina School District will be focusing on education… as it should…

I for one, am always glad when someone, anyone, is clear headed and makes a tough decision based on what is right.;;;

Now lets see who’s stupid and self serving as they line up to criticize the board for turning this down, and who will say…”Oh, this is a stupid decision..  Who passes up free heroin!” ..

Mr. Street:  The floor is yours.  The line starts here. 





Jea Street says of school board elections::… “It’s the teachers!  They have a lock on it! They control ALL the school districts.  You gotta give the unions credit for being aggressive, assertive and effective. But on the other hand you can take the position that it is counter productive. If they control the board, is the board acting in the interests of the students, or the union?”

He then points to Christina School District. WHERE THE STATE WILL LIKELY REVOKE 2.3 MILLION IN RACE TO THE TOP MONEY because the administration and school board refuse to implement a teacher incentive program that matches state requirements. The state wants to promise the money and then find reasons not to give it; they can get results and pay nothing for them, whereas the Christina Board wants to break it down and give it to all the teachers inside those good schools meeting requirements and use it to improve the technology in struggling schools.

Jea Street was the character who wrote a letter demanding the superintendent and members of the school board resign, because they didn’t capitulate to his wishes…

The district responded with a letter of their own, to the parents of all district students, explaining how the boards use of money was infinitely superior to the use proposed by Markell and his toady, Jea Street.

Now I’m generally too busy to deal with the pomposity of those whose function in life is to be noticed…   However, they are often used as was Samuel Jackson’s character in Django, to do the bidding of others.  So they try to pretend they are independent actors, I find it very interesting to trace the strings back to their puppeteers, to see who is pulling them.

This was no mystery.  It was rather easy…   I’ll walk you through….

Notice how the tone is anti- union?  That is your clue.  Who hates unions?   The Delaware State Chamber of Congress for one.  Governor Markell and Alan Levine for two.  Wall Street for three…  i think it is safe to say, particularly in today’s economic climate, that if one is making under $60,000 a year, he or she is probably pro union….  The only people who hate unions, are those with money…  Whether Jea Street does or doesn’t matters little..  He is obviously a toady for one who does….

Jea Street has sold out.  He no longer represents the people in his town. He is looking for his golden ticket…  The true golden ticket for Wilmington’s inner city children, is a good education.  And if teachers didn’t have to test so damn much, those students could be getting a good education right now.  If there were no “strings” attached to RTTT money, those kids in Christina’s city school, could be on broadband today.

I used to think Jea Street was misguided.  With these words almost the exact parroting what one would hear around a Chamber of Commerce dinner, I know he is selling out.   He no longer represents any school child in Wilmington.  He is interested in his own survival.   Good luck to him, but the  children of Wilmington, as all of the Christina Board would attest, are far more valuable to Delaware, than whether Mr. Street hits or misses the “big time.”

Everybody knows that teachers are the front lines of education. No matter what tests RTTT funnels our way, without teachers nothing gets done.  Education completely shuts down.  There is nothing anyone can ever do to start it up, unless the teachers agree to be a part of it.  Jea Street, Governor Markell, Secretary Murphy, and Rich Heffron of the Delaware Chamber of Commerce,  are all working against teachers teaching.  Which means, they are working against the only one thing that can make things better,

Not a very smart strategy.

What is a great strategy, is to put enough teachers giving us an 11 to 1 student teacher ratio.  Then watch the results come in….