I (former charter teacher at DCPA) think the problem goes well beyond conflict of interest. Unfortunately Kendall Massett is not someone to be trusted. Unless something has changed, she lacks integrity. When I was teaching at DCPA, my co-teacher and I testified in Dover during Rep. Terry Schooley’s public hearing on charter school reform. We met Kendall Massett there afterwards and ended up having a conversation. She shared her position and pledged to us, like she said she does to all teachers, that everything we shared with her about the issues facing our school would be in strict confidence. My hope was that the Charter Schools Network could help improve some of the issues facing DCPA. Needless to say, the next day, in the middle of teaching, my co-teacher and I were called down to our Executive Director’s office and yelled at, and told never to speak to anyone about anything regarding the school again, and told that if we did anything like that again we wouldn’t still be here the next day (a euphemistic threat to getting fired). Apparently Kendall Massett had gone to the E.D. the next day and met with him and shared everything about who we were and what we had said in detail… I don’t know first-hand, but the E.D. made it seem like her primary concern was about the potential disruption of DCPA’s image and us being out of line in sharing these things rather than about the actual legitimate concerns going on at the school. (And actually another colleague also got yelled at before we did, because her name rhymed with my co-teachers name and the E.D. had mistakenly thought it was her as being the one to go down to Dover.) Meanwhile I remember explicitly that my co-teacher’s testimony was the one that shared a lot of concerns about charter school accountability during her testimony based on examples of things that were not being accountable at DCPA – but (though she certainly could have) she did not even provide identifying characteristics of the school she taught at in her testimony! This is not a good step forward for education in Delaware.
Links to two articles from the public meeting.
This is an opinion of former charter school teacher and not my opinion.