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Choice enrollment reform resolution making the rounds

March 25, 2014

A resolution promoting diversity policies in choice schools, including Vo-Techs and charters, is making the rounds of all the Delaware school boards:

In order to bring socioeconomic, racial and special needs equality, fairness and balance to our public schools, we resolve to support policy, regulation and legislation that would require choice or receiving schools to mirror the demographics of the sending school district […] Once adopted, this regulation, legislation or policy, would apply to every public school in the state of Delaware including vocational, technical and charter schools.
(full text of the resolution)

(Hmmm… reminds me of The Lowery Doctrine.)

The resolution was authored by Seaford board member Frank Parks, and has already been adopted by the boards of Seaford, Cape Henlopen, and Christina. According to the resolution, the Delaware School Board Association has made it a legislative priority.

Apparently cherry-picking and white-flight academies are alive and well in Sussex too. The Cape Gazette lays it out:

Frank Parks, a Seaford school board member, says charter and vo-tech schools cherry pick top students from traditional school districts, leaving high numbers of minority students behind while creating an exclusive education for high-performing students. […]

While Sussex County student population is about 24 percent African-American, only 2 percent of Sussex Academy students are African-American. Sussex Tech is somewhat closer to the county profile, but still, only 17 percent of students are black.

The gap is even greater for low-income students – 62 percent of the county students are considered low-income while Sussex Tech has a low-income students population of 33 percent and Sussex Academy has 18 percent.

More food for thought for the Enrollment Preferences Task Force as it begins to form its recommendations. I know this resolution was on Brandywine’s agenda last night… How’d it do? I can’t imagine this being adopted by Red Clay.

  1. John Young
    March 25, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    CSD passed this 6-1 at our March 11th BOE meeting.

  2. Eve Buckley
    March 25, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Thanks for this post, Mike. Maybe RCCSD parents could push for the resolution’s adoption, if/when it comes up for board review in their district, and see if a majority of board members would sign on. True this would be hypocritical, given red Clay’s internal demographic disparities–but maybe it would accelerate that conversation!

    You might forward to Adriana Bohm and Kenny Rivera, as a RCCSD parent–see whether they’re aware of this resolution.

  3. March 25, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Hmm. since Newark Charter School is in Christina’s district, is this only a wish list of sorts, one that is non-binding? Jumping ahead to Red Clay, particularly considering Wilmington Charter School, wouldn’t such a policy just make it like any other public school? It could no longer then consider itself among the elite?

  4. March 26, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Red Clay also has BSS, CAB and Conrad.— CAB and Conrad have over 600 children from other districts, costing millions for capital improvements while 7 of the 10 lowest 3rd grades reading scores last year were Red Clay schools. Wait until the new K-5 school opens.

  1. March 25, 2014 at 10:39 pm
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