Posts Tagged ‘resegregation’

Comment rescue: Resegregation

June 4, 2013 3 comments

Comment rescue from Kilroy’s:

Citizen, on June 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm said:

Anyone who does not believe that current DE charter law leads to income- and race-based segregation of public schools should read this:
“Newark Charter School and Resegregation: A demographic analysis.” The author is a Newark resident with a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago (also a UD faculty member, though this is “extracurricular” research)

Will Delaware still honor the Lowery Doctrine?

June 4, 2013 5 comments

Will it even be legal under HB 165?

Established when Secretary Lowery unexpectedly issued the conditional approval for the Newark Charter expansion, the Lowery Doctrine states (my formulation based on her approval letter):

Diversity, consistent with the community it serves, is a condition of a charter school’s renewal or modification.

This statement of basic decency is Lowery’s lasting legacy and gift to the state, if we don’t murder it before it is even tested. Here’s what Lowery said in her conditional approval:

…the Department approves the application for modification but conditions that approval on: (1) the development, approval and implementation of an outreach plan to significantly increase, consistent with the public school population it serves, the diversity of NCS going forward; and (2) NCS providing a free and reduced lunch program for all grades starting in the fall of 2012.

Secretary Lowery also sharply noted:

I am hopeful these conditions, coupled with NCS’s full and earnest implementation of them, will result in NCS being more accessible to high need students. However, the Department will review this issue carefully when NCS seeks its next charter renewal and will be inclined to impose additional conditions in the absence of significant progress on this issue. [emphasis mine]

When I read that letter, I was shocked in a good way. I suddenly realized how pleased and how proud I was to have a strong African-American woman at the head of our DOE.

No doubt the charter movement was shocked in a different way, and began the wired backdoor lobbying effort that led to the Governor’s Workgroup on Charter Schools, and then to HB 165.

Will the Lowery Doctrine even be legal under HB 165?

Left unsaid is whether the current DOE administration even supports the Lowery conditions on NCS, let alone other charters. The next test will come when NCS seeks renewal, and DOE has to decide if it will run the demographic stats again to see if there is improvement, and take action if there is not. We’ll be watching.