Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Modest Proposal for Changing the Structure of Education Goverance in Delaware

Eat the children.

OK, now that I've gotten that out of my system, here goes:

1.  Public election of State Board of Education members to occur concurrently with existing school board elections in May.  State Board electoral districts to based on school-age population, and candidates must live within the districts they represent.  No at-large voting.  Non-partisan elections.  No employee of a school or school district within the SB electoral district, or employee of any company or corporation with a direct contractual, financial interest in school operations to be eligible for service on the State Board of Education.  Four-year terms.

2.  Remove the position of Secretary of Education from the cabinet and restore the State Superintendent of Public Education.  State Superintendent to be selected by, and serve at the pleasure of, the State Board of Education.  The State Board of Education to approve all employment contracts within the Delaware Department of Education.

3.  Local School Boards to have the right of direct appeal of any adverse ruling by DE DOE to the State Board of Education.

4. DE DOE to be converted into an agency that is primarily concerned with assisting school districts in compliance with Federal regulations and State laws.  DOE to be limited by statute to expending no more than 10% of any Federal funding for public education to cover administrative expenses.

5. The Neighborhood Schools Act to be repealed.

6. DCAS or other standardized tests to be limited for use in statistical data collection, and not to overturn local decisions on student performance, graduation, or promotion

7.  Local School Boards to become the primary authorizing mechanism for charter schools.

We've tried top-down and it didn't work.

Time to try bottom up.


Ed Diagnostician said...

So,the key to #2 is: does not report to Governor

#6 add: or teacher evaluation
#1 change the board composition 9 members to retain focus on local constituent service.


pandora said...

Love #5. What a disaster that was.

We've overcomplicated education. Most schools are doing just fine, but if we admit that then the business community wouldn't be able to put their claws into all that lovely tax payer money.

What we need to focus on is the high poverty population. Thus far, that population has only been used as the crabs others use to hoist themselves out of the bucket - and then those who escape the bucket sit back and wallow in their awesomeness, pretending they didn't step on the heads of other children to escape.

Hube said...

#5 certainly wasn't the unmitigated disaster that forced busing was, that's for sure.

Unfortunately, what dogmatists on both sides forget: 1) there was a voluntary busing plan enacted by lawmakers before Judge Schwartz said "forget it," and 2) Smith's law deviates from what conservatives are supposed to be about regarding education -- local control. I once asked him just this and got no satisfactory answer. IOW, as pandora said in another thread, Brandywine "skirted" the law and effectively argued that its then-current feeders were its "neighborhood." But if conservatives were true to their principles, they should have left it up to districts to do what they wished.

Hube said...

... and BSD wouldn't have even had to argue such.

Coolspringer said...


I'm also very interested in some formal establishment of Local School Councils, especially in the city. Not unlike charter boards, I suppose?

And what about choice management or SES balance policy & incentives? Possible at DOE level? Up to district school boards? Individual schools?

P.S. Was busing an unmitigated disaster? Was that mainly in Christina? I know I had a pretty great experience, in Red Clay. And I imagine the majority of Red Clay schools - those that existed in that period - were enjoying better days.