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Posts Tagged ‘enrollment preferences’

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? HELL NO!!

September 22, 2013 8 comments

IMark your calendars; it’s time to get up and get down to the Enrollment Preferences Task Force meeting Thursday Sept. 26 at 6;30 pm! i’t;s at the Buena Vista Conference Center.

Over the summer the Governor dropped the big one on public schools, personally lobbying for the HB 165 bill using a variety of distasteful high pressure tactics and a corrupted public debate which snubbed the public and “may” have been illegal.

The new law relaxes oversight and showers money on charters at the expense of public schools. It is a major setback for for charter reform. True reform in accountability for equity, for local control, for resegregation, for impact on district schools, for transparency, now must start from even farther back.

But the Governor himself offers advice on where to go from here. In his successful efforts to win the support of the Chief School Officers Association (the superintendents),the Governor rreportedly suggested that the superintendents’ concerns could be addressed by the Enrollment Preferences Task Force. And they were deep and serious concerns.

So I suggest we take the Governor up on his offer, and make this task force the new vehicle for charter reform. These meetings are public and public comment is specifically allowed.

If you remember the Newark Charter expansion hearings, the charter lobby cannot stand up to any informed opposition at all. The Newark Charter hearings were the first time the charter lobby had been questioned by informed individuals, and they went whining to the press and to their legislators As one charter drama queen breathlessly put it, “Our state cannot take this divisiveness much longer.” And the legislators obliged by packing the Governor’s Working Group on Charters with charter supporters, and keeping the public out. The charter lobby doesn’t like being knocked off its script by the public.

So do your research and then get yourself down to Buena Vista this Thursday at 6:30 pm!

the task force will meet on the following dates: Thursday, September 26th; Thursday,October 24th; Wednesday, November 20th; Thursday, December 12th; and Wednesday, January 22nd. All meetings will be held from 6:30pm-8:30pm in the Buck Library at the Buena Vista Estate (661 South DuPont Highway New Castle, DE 19720).

All meetings will be opened to the public and will allow for public comment. Meeting agendas will be posted to the state’s public calendar within 24 hours of each session. For further information, please contact 302-577-5246.

Here’s what to look out for:

1. Some influential person on the committee trying to set ground rules that unduly limit the scope of discussion. Jeers, boos, and a general grumbling would be in order if that heppens. And then a strong objection during the public comment period. Enrollment preference has its tentacles into all the major issues: resegregation, local control, cherry-picking, and more. Everything is on the table; don’t let them take anything off.

2. Look for anybody who appears to be drafting legislation!

HB 90 task force members named; first meeting September 26

September 14, 2013 2 comments

The members of the Enrollment Preferences Task Force established by HB 90 have been named (see list below). There are the usual suspects but also some pleasant surprises. I’ll have more comment before the first meeting.Thanks to Rep. Kim Williams for all her hard work.

Mark your calendars; the meeting dates and locations are listed below:

TO: Members of the Enrollment Preference Task Force
FROM: Rep. Kimberly Williams, Enrollment Preference Task Force Co-Chair
Sen. Nicole Poore, Enrollment Preference Task Force Co-Chair
DATE: September 4, 2013
RE: Meeting Schedule- Enrollment Preference Task Force
CC:
Jack Markell, Governor of Delaware
Pete Schwartzkopf, Speaker of the House
Patricia Blevins, President Pro Tempore
Michael Barlow, Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor
Sean Finnigan, Chief of Staff, House Democratic Caucus
Valerie McCartan, Chief of Staff, Senate Democratic Caucus
_____________________________________________________________________________
Section 8 of House Bill 90 creates the Enrollment Preference Task Force, which is designed to consider the current landscape of enrollment preferences and practices used by magnet, vocational technical and charter schools, and to develop recommendations, as necessary. The task force is to present a final report of its findings and recommendations to the governor, the speaker of the House, and the president pro tempore of the Senate by January31, 2014. Full text of the bill can be found here:

http://www.legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis147.nsf/vwLegislation/HB+90/$file/legis.html?open

Given this timeframe, the task force will meet on the following dates: Thursday, September 26th; Thursday,October 24th; Wednesday, November 20th; Thursday, December 12th; and Wednesday, January 22nd. All meetings will be held from 6:30pm-8:30pm in the Buck Library at the Buena Vista Estate (661 South DuPont Highway New Castle, DE 19720).

All meetings will be opened to the public and will allow for public comment. Meeting agendas will be posted to the state’s public calendar within 24 hours of each session. For further information, please contact 302-577-5246.

The members are:

 

Two members of the Delaware State Senate appointed by the President Pro Tempore or designee, one of whom shall act as a co-chairperson of the Task Force;

1. Senator Poore

2. Senator Sokola

Two members of the Delaware State House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives or designee, one of whom shall act as a co-chairperson of the Task Force;

1. Rep. Kim Williams

2. Rep. Scott

The Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education or designee;

Secretary Murphy

The president of the Delaware State Board of Education or designee;

Randall Hughes – SBE Board Member

The president of the Delaware State Education Association or designee;

Frederika Jenner – President DSEA

The president of the Delaware School Boards Association or designee;

Susan Francis DSBA Executive Director

The president of the Delaware Parent Teacher Association or designee;

Yvonne Johnson – State PTA President

The president of the Charter Schools Network or designee;

Chuck Taylor – President Delaware Charter Schools Network

A representative from the Delaware Business Roundtable appointed by the chair of the Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee;

Gary Stockbridge – President of Delmarva

A representative from the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (“GACEC”) appointed by the Council Chair;

Terri Hancharick

A representative from the Office of the Governor appointed by the Governor;

Lindsay O’Mara

One superintendent from each county, or designee, appointed by the president of the Chief School Officers Association;

1. Dr. Merv Daugherty – RC – NCC

2. Kevin Fitzgerald – CR – Kent

3. Shawn Joseph – Seaford – Sussex

One school administrator appointed by the president of the Delaware Association of School Administrators or designee;

Dr. Matthew Donovan – Principal Appoquinimink High School

The superintendent of each of the Vocational Technical Districts or designee(s)

1. Victoria Gehrt – NCC Votech

2. Deborah Zych – Poly Tech

3. AJ Lathbury – Sussex Tech

Two representatives from Magnet Schools or Programs appointed by the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education in consultation with the President of the Chief School Officers Association;

1. Mark Pruitt – Conrad Schools of Science

2. Julie Rumschlag – Cab Calloway School of the Arts

Two representatives from Charter Schools with selective enrollment criteria appointed by the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education in consultation with the Charter Schools Network;

1. Diana Ruth – CSW Board Member

2. Don Mell – Prestige – President

Three parents appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Education or designee.

1. Terri Hodges – PTA

2. Elizabeth Lockman – PTA

3. Katie Hegedus – Newark Parent

An open letter to Secretary of Education Mark Murphy on the HB 90 task force

July 6, 2013 10 comments

To Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy:

Dear Secretary Murphy,

Soon this month you have the obligation to appoint five parents to the HB 90 task force, if you haven’t done so already:

Section 8. An “Enrollment Preferences Task Force” is hereby established to consider the current landscape of enrollment preferences and practices used by magnet, vocational technical, and charter schools and develop recommendations, if necessary.

By now we are all familiar with the embarrassing debacle of the Governor’s Working Group on Charters, which among other issues was packed with charter supporters and featured no strong parent advocates of public schools. I strongly urge you to avoid that mistake when naming the five HB 90 parents, to avoid the taint of bias and help make sure this task force is operating in good faith. Since the task force has five parents, you do have the opportunity to make sure traditional district schools have a fair and proportionate voice.

With approximately 85% of Delaware students attending traditional public schools and fewer than 15% in charters, I suggest you appoint parents according to their representation in the school population: One charter parent/advocate, one VoTech parent/advocate, and three from traditional district schools.

And when you do make the appointments, it would be another expression of good faith to announce the appointments within days after they are made. These appointments will be highly visible and will by closely watched by a community of public-school supporters who, to say the least, were sensitized and appalled by the way the Governor’s charter group operated.

Reports are that during the HB 165 debate, the HB 90 task force was presented as a way to correct the accountability deficiencies of HB 165, in order to win support from the school superintendents (and probably some legislators).

Public school advocates are now determined to make sure this committee completes the unfinished vision of charter reform by adding accountability for diversity, accountability for equity, accountability for local control, accountability for impact, and accountability for transparency. All of these issues are affected by enrollment and are well within the scope of a consideration of enrollment practices.