The “public” in public school is “you”! Traditional and charter schools are funded with taxpayer’s money! Taxpayers are YOU!
School boards and school leaders work for “you”! PTA/PTO leaders represent “you”! If they fail to do so you have the POWER to ask them to step down!
Governor Markell is too busy with his self-serving agenda to come to your aid and the Delaware Department of Education marches to the orders of Markell!
If education is the civil rights issue of today somebody is infringing on your civil rights!
Kilroy does not want to see Pencader fall! But if it does it’s because you failed to stand! Because your failed to demand transparency! Because you allowed yourself fall victim to sadistic immoral behavior!
The issue has gone beyond the school leader and the school board! Debating that here is nothing more than the dog chasing his tale or preaching to the choir. The Department…
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Wow, just wow.
Now onto all the stuff that tests don’t measure. This result will help us focus on the good start we have made there. Great job to the GHS and Stubbs teams.
Great post, dead on. This is what I hear when I talk to teachers. Makes you wonder who policy makers talk to…
This response byJ.M. Tumbleson to a Diane Ravitch blog post resonated with me. Ravitch wrote recently about a rather chilling experience with a CNN interview. Here is what JMT had to say about an interview question that was based on the belief that teachers are desirous of, in favor of, and actively seeking merit pay or pay for performance plans.
“I work in a city with significant amounts of poverty. I see teachers who work hard, who think hard and who try to collaborate with others in order to constantly improve their practice. Never have I heard any teacher argue for merit pay. They will argue for more planning time, they might argue for more services for their students with various social, emotional or cognitive needs, they might argue for more money for special classroom projects, they might even argue for a longer lunch, but never once have I heard a teacher argue…
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A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company or organization, its reason for existing. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path and guide decision making. It provides “the framework or context within which the company’s strategies are formulated.”
I would like to read aloud the Pencader Charter High School mission statement and ask that the Board take a moment to consider if their actions are being guided by this statement and are they doing all that they can to ensure that they and all school staff are following the path put forward by the statement. The mission statement is there to guide decision making and as a framework within which the board and the staff should follow. My question would be, “Is this happening?”
“Welcome to Pencader Charter High School where our traditions of excellence in the education of young men and women of conscience, competence, and compassion are stronger than ever. We continue to emphasize, in all of our endeavors, the themes of excellence, humility and integrity and our students are called to make them a part of their daily life at Pencader.”
As Board members are you doing as you are statutorily required to do, and that is, to manage the school to ensure that all school staff adhere to the school’s mission? That should not be a difficult question to answer, however, I believe it is difficult for some, if not for all of you right now.
Let’s take a quick look at the three themes found in the mission statement:
Excellence: the fact or state of being excellent which means worthy, first rate, very fine, remarkably good, in fact superior;
Humility: the sense of being humble, not proud, not arrogant, unpretentious, and having a modest, yet reasonable sense of one’s self worth;
Integrity: an adherence to moral principles and character; honesty.
Media coverage over the summer has brought these themes to the forefront. What does not think when they hear the name of Pencader Charter High School today? What visual comes to mind?
One year ago we were fighting for the very right for Pencader to remain open, not because of a lack of adherence to Pencader’s mission, but because of human errors and mismanagement of financial resources. I daresay that last summer and throughout most of this past academic year we on the Board worked hard, together with Bill Bentz from Innovative Schools, to right that financial ship and I believe we were successful.
At that time the DOE laid down seven conditions Pencader had to adhere to financially to remain open. We did that. Right now, DOE is measuring Pencader’s value as an institution only by those seven conditions.
However, I submit that the community at large has a far wider and perhaps wiser vision because they are measuring Pencader’s value as an institution by the themes set forth as the school’s mission. Does Pencader today demonstrate to the community excellence, humility and integrity? The answer to that question, sadly, has to be “no.”
A school, unlike a house, is built from the top down. A school is known by its leadership which is the “top” but also serves as its foundation. Think for a moment of the picture that the community now sees of the school and as no other has been shown to them. The community sees what you have shown to them, and that is:
–a leader who misrepresented herself as having a doctoral degree which she has never been able to authenticate
–a leader who concocted a scheme to allow her husband and two other teachers to work full time, collecting a state paycheck and simultaneously collecting a state pension which is illegal. That action has caused your school leader to be referred to the Department of Justice for further investigation of very possibly criminal action
–a leader who lied to the State Pension Board about the three teachers involved in the pension fraud
–a leader who shares with you, the board, only that which she wants you to know, not that which you need to know
And yes, there is more, but how much more is “enough?” How much will it take before you as the Board of Directors takes your school management responsibilities in hand and begins to rebuild this school?
The question is, what are you waiting for? There is always the option of another Formal Review by DOE’s Charter School Accountability Committee. If your inaction results in that I suspect you will not escape whole as we did in the formal review last summer.