Tag Archives: Regulations

Special Education Ratings for DE School Districts and Charter Schools an Unfair Rating System

I just wanted to state how much I hate school ratings and how these ratings are always used to label our schools.

DE DOE recently released Special Education Ratings for all of our school districts and charters, Exceptional Delaware posted about this. Exceptional Delaware listed which school districts and charter schools met the requirements, which ones needed assistance and which ones needed intervention. I am told this is a federal regulation but I do not care if it is a local, state or federal regulation or law – they are just useless.

As everyone knows, many of our schools have enrollment preferences and these enrollment preferences have a tendency to exclude special education students. We are holding all of our schools to the same accountability system but many of our schools admit students differently. Our traditional school district doors are always open – welcoming everyone! Other schools or districts open their doors on a crack and only some are welcomed in.

Charter School of Wilmington received 100%, they scored 6 out of a possible 6 points. The Red Clay School District received 46.51%  –  scored 20 out of 43 points – tell me how this is fair? CSW needed 6 points to score a perfect score and Red Clay needed 43 points to get a perfect score. Charter School of Wilmington has the ability to select their students and has a total enrollment of 971 students compared to the Red Clay School District which has over 17,000 students. How about the feds or state give some type of rating to Charter School of Wilmington on the lack of special education students enrolled in the school since the state’s overall percentage of special education students is 14.9%? If a school does not come close to the state’s overall special education percentages than their overall score is lowered.

The DE Department of Education letter which accompanied the ratings to each school district and charter school starts out by thanking the Charter School of Wilmington for their ongoing dedication and commitment to educating students with disabilities – there are SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS in Charter School of Wilmington compared to the Red Clay School District which has over 2,000 special education students how is that a commitment? Please do not take this as an attack on Charter School of Wilmington, I am just so tired of these unrealistic labels and comparisons that are meaningless that are placed on our school districts and schools.

I was looking through the various letters and I noticed Delaware Military Academy received a 60% scored 6 out of a possible 10 points. DMA has 584 students and 20 special education students and only scored 13.49 percent higher than Red Clay School District who serves over 17,000 students and over 2,000 special education students, I would think the state would be really concerned about that. DMA only needed to score 10 points compared to Red Clay needing 43 points.

First, we need to fund basic special education for kindergarten through 3rd grades, we all know the schools could use the resources. Secondly, we need to get out of the business of labeling and rating our schools – we keep testing and assessing and we always come up with the same results, we know what needs to be done.

Let’s get back to educating our students and move away from testing, evaluating and labeling!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How Will the Proposed Title 1 Regulation Supplement not Supplant Affect Charter Schools?

If the feds approve the proposed regulatory changes to Title 1 Supplement not Supplant this could force districts to move staff from one building to another, how would this this impact charter schools? Will charters be forced to move higher paid teachers from Non-Title 1 schools to Title 1 schools. Delaware charter schools are incorporated and are independently run, so I would assume this would not affect them or would it? Also, correct me if I am wrong, I believe every charter school in Delaware is considered a Title 1 school except for Charter School of Wilmington, so salary caps on buildings would not affect them, right? If anyone has any information about this, I would love to hear from you.

 

Teachers and Staff You May Want Read Up On This Proposed Title 1 Regulation before the US DOE Comment Window Closes on November 7th

1-every-student-succeeds-act

The federal government is proposing a change to a Title 1 regulation – Supplement-not-Supplant under Title 1 of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Click on the link to read more about the proposed regulation.  Below is one part of the regulation that is concerning people:

  • A formula that allocates resources including staff positions and non-personnel resources directly to schools, and that ensures each Title I school gets all of the funding it is entitled to, as measured by the sum of (1) the number of personnel in the school multiplied by the district’s average salaries for each staff category, and (2) the number of students in the school multiplied by the district’s average per-pupil expenditures for non-personnel resources.

In other words, districts could be forced to move staff from one building to another because of salary levels in buildings.

If you are interested in sending a comment to US DOE, click here.  The comment period closes on November 7, 2016 at 11:59 pm.

CCSSO Executive Director Chris Minnich said, “It’s clear that the Department has listened and tried to incorporate feedback in this proposed rule. However, we are disappointed with the language we have seen in the proposed regulation. Schools would be forced to move resources around at the last minute each year to try to meet a federal mandate, rather than doing what is in the best interest of students. The Every Student Succeeds Act gives states more flexibility so we can create opportunities for all kids, and this proposed rule is not consistent with the law. Unfortunately, in the Department’s effort to ensure resources go to the students who need it the most, they have created a situation where the reverse is likely to occur in many places. We look forward to helping get this right before the rule becomes final.”