It’s been almost 2 weeks since my last posting and during that time I’ve been, as a friend keeps reminding me, researching the truth behind RTTT’s back alleys that need to come to light. I have actually spent time reading the 235 pages of the state’s RTTT application to get a handle on it. My last posting mentioned how school board members were passed over when it came to the process, but they were not the only ones as the key stakeholders, parents and children, were also not included. Check out who the application gave credit to for the current state of education.
“In addition, the reform has the widespread support of Delaware’s broader education leadership, teachers’ unions, nonprofits, business community and civic leaders, all having a long history of working together in ways unheard of in other states This collaboration is best evidenced in the unanimous support for the State’s Race to the Top application, with every LEA, union, and school board leader in the State signing on to participate in this reform. This support reflects the deep involvement of many stakeholders, especially the State teachers’ union”
In this same section it actually lists the folks who played key roles in the application:
Delaware’s strong education leadership spans both the public and private sectors. This Leadership team is headed by:
• Jack Markell – Governor of Delaware: Governor Markell combines a commitment to world-class education with the expertise in effective and efficient delivery of services. Necessary to ensure Delaware delivers on its goals. In leading this effort, Governor Markell will draw upon his long career as a leader in the private sector, as well as his 10 years, as Delaware’s State Treasurer.
• Lillian Lowery – Delaware Secretary of Education: With 32 years experience as a teacher and administrator, and as the superintendent of Delaware’s largest, lowest-income school district, Delaware Secretary of Education Lowery brings deep expertise in education and management skill to her role as the operational leader of this reform.
Governor Markell and Delaware Secretary of Education Lowery are supported by a strong team of managers and advisors who will help lead this reform. Their work is supported by the State’s active State Board of Education, its network of 19 highly-engaged superintendents and its 18 charter school leaders. In addition, the state teachers’ union, the Delaware State Educators’ Association, is an active participant in the State’s reform efforts, and has been instrumental in building widespread support for this work. The State also regularly draws upon public-private partnerships to enhance its reform efforts, and expects to continue to do so throughout this effort. These partnerships include work with the Business Roundtable, the Chamber of Commerce, the Delaware Charter Schools Network, the Longwood Foundation, and the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, which was founded to help Delaware create one of the finest public education systems in the nation.
I don’t know if I missed it, but I did not find school board members, or it association, and I missed where it said parents and their associations? I point these out as the governor and his business groups have forgotten the language that is in the state’s constitution as to rights and responsibilities of the state and local school boards:
General powers of the Department of Education.
(a) The Department shall exercise general control and supervision over the public schools of the State, including:
(1) Developing and executing the educational policies and laws of the State and promoting public sentiment in support of public education;
(2) Consulting, advising and cooperating with the boards of education and superintendents of reorganized school districts, and other officers, principals, teachers and interested citizens in matters relating to education and to the conduct of schools;
Authority of reorganized School Boards.
In each reorganized school district there shall be a school board which shall have the authority to administer and to supervise the free public schools of the reorganized school district and which shall have the authority to determine policy and adopt rules and regulations for the general administration and supervision of the free public schools of the reorganized school district. Such administration, supervision and policy shall be conducted and formulated in accordance with Delaware law and the policies, rules and regulations of the State.
The school board of each reorganized school district, subject to this title and in accordance with the policies, rules and regulations of the State, shall, in addition to other duties:
* Determine the educational policies of the reorganized school district and prescribe rules and regulations for the conduct and management of the schools;
* Grade and standardize all the public schools under its jurisdiction ….
* Adopt courses of study;
* Select, purchase, and distribute free of charge such textbooks and other materials of instruction, stationery, furniture, equipment, apparatus and supplies as are necessary to the work of the schools;
* Appoint personnel.
I don’t deny that the support of these external business and civic groups are needed to advance the education of Delaware’s students, but the changes have to start at the local level with parents and families! Fund education equitably in the state and give districts the tools to help meet the needs of the whole student inside and outside the classroom!