Monday, December 6, 2010

Newark Education Forum

Tonight, the Greater Newark Network, which usually discusses economic development, hosted a forum on education. While several of the discussion questions were from a business perspective and at least one suggested charter schools as a solution, the format was fair and open to opinions. The moderators did a good job of maintaining neutrality.

The program belonged to the audience which was divided up into small groups to discuss five questions for 15 minutes each. With each question people changed tables so that one discussed each question with a different group of people. Comments were recorded to be placed in a report.

There were two charter school supporters in the room who were zealots. I do not use the word lightly. They reminded me of new converts to a religion who feel like they have to spread the faith, even if at the point of a sword. One of these individuals, a teacher at a prominent charter school was adamant that all their students are chosen by lottery. Having seen the census on the two premier charter schools, I must ask how can anyone believe that by luck of the draw these schools end up with virtually no special education students or students with developmental disabilities?

Delaware must not be a litigious state; otherwise someone would surely sue one of these charters for these so called "lotteries" that miraculously always ended up with the schools getting very bright students without learning disabilities or behavioral problems.

Fortunately, the charter chant did not drown out many other good ideas in the room including using the magnet model and the school within a school model.

1 comment:

  1. Charter schools that play the specific interest clause within the charter school law Delaware Title 14 Chapter 5 selects students base on intelligence undermines free and equitable public education. I do support charter schools. However, I feel that admission should be based on an open lottery process only and drawing be under the direct supervision of DEDOE.