Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The "Promoting Charter-District Collaboration Task Force": a lesson in Delaware politics

So we are now filling the newest education task force, and I am pleased to see Representative Paul Baumbach on the committee (although one wonders if he counter-balances Senator Dave Sokola).

But the task force itself gives me the opportunity to address the fact that in Delaware you have to have an organization to get ahead:
Let's first notice that you cannot apply directly to be on this task force.  You must be appointed by an "authority"--that is, a specific special interest group recognized by the Delaware government.

Most of these organizations have extensive and known agendas, and can be counted upon to use their opportunities to appoint to add the usual suspects and avoid anyone with really divergent ideas.

For example:  don't look for DSEA to appoint Mike Matthews, for the Chief School Officers Association to appoint Dr. Freeman Williams, or for the Delaware School Boards Association to appoint Harrie Ellen Minnehan.

Also, don't look for any parents on the task force (where, one wonders, is the DE PTA?), or any students, or even any representatives from higher education.

Here's why it is often very difficult to get anything important done in Delaware:  we love stakeholders.

Set up a meeting, and somebody will remind you that "we need to get all the stakeholders involved."

And, inevitably, the only stakeholders who matter will be the representatives of special interest organizations.

Here's where most of the critics of "education reform" go wrong:  we haven't organized the Delaware School/Community Partnership, the Delaware Association of Parents with Low SES students, the Delaware Alliance for Alternative Assessment, or even the Delaware Marching and Chowder Society for the Educationally Skeptical.

(And unfortunately, blogs don't count.)


Anonymous said...

I'm offended.

That you are right.

Nancy Willing said...

GAH - can't you provide a link to where a person can find this information?

I know that Kim Williams is Co-Chair because she told me. I don't see Paul Baumbach on the table you provided. Are you finding the information somewhere online and if so, please share. :-)

Representative Paul Baumbach said...

all task forces can be found at
when you select the Promoting Charter-District Collaboration link, there is a tab on Appointee Information, where I am listed with my three legislator colleagues.

Nancy Willing said...

Thanks Paul!

Looking online, the Nov. meeting and Jan. meetings were cancelled. I will be looking for the next scheduled meeting of this group.