You are on page 1of 35


89 Kings Highway Dover, Delaware Wednesday, March 7, 2012 5:35 p.m BEFORE: John Carwell, Charter School Officer Department of Education Donna Johnson, Executive Director State Board of Education ATTORNEY: John Hindman, DAG .. .. .. .. .. .. -- Transcript of Proceedings WILCOX & FETZER 1330 King Street Wilmington, DE 19801 (302) 655-0477 MR. CARWELL: Good evening. I declare this meeting to be open. My name is John Carwell, Jr. I'm the Charter School Officer for the Charter School Office for the Delaware Department of Education. And I have been appointed by the Secretary of Education to conduct this public hearing. Newark Charter School has filed an application to modify its charter. As is required by law, the matter was referred to the Charter School Accountability Committee for investigation and report. This joint public hearing is being held by the Department of Education and the State Board of Education to give the school an opportunity to respond to the following report of the Accountability Committee which recommended that the school's modification application be approved and also to receive public comments. I would like the record to reflect that the notice of the time, date, and place of today's public hearing was published in the News Journal and the Delaware State News on February 22, 2012. In addition, notice was posted in the Charter School Accountability Committee's place of business, on the Department of Education's official website, and on the state public meeting calendar on the state's official website on February 22, 2012. Further, Newark Charter School was personally notified of the date and time and place of today's public hearing on February 17, 2012 at the final meeting of the Charter School Accountability Committee. Further, I would also like the record to reflect that the original location for this public hearing was moved to this current location due to the anticipated number of participants, and that was also posted on the department's website and also notices at the place of business of the Charter School Accountability Committee. Again, a court reporter is present so that a record of this hearing can be made. It will be necessary for each speaker to clearly identify his or herself before beginning to speak so that the court reporter can make note of who you are. The record of this hearing will be provided to the Secretary of Education and members of the State Board of Education, together with any 4 written or electronic comments received at or before this hearing, which in this case includes approximately 550 written comments, both for and against, and we are still sorting through those documents to determine which are duplicates. So the official record, minus the duplicates, will be provided to the Secretary of Education and the State Board. We will proceed in the following manner. First, we will hear from a representative of the school, and then we will hear from any groups -representatives of groups who wish to comment -- and then we will hear from individuals. We will, because of the obvious number of participants, we will institute -- implement time limits. So for group representatives, it will be a five-minute time limit. We have a timekeeper here, my colleague, Donna Johnson, to keep you abreast of time. And if any comments are repetitive, as the hearing officer, I reserve the right to move on to the next speaker. And I do have a list of individuals who have signed up to speak

and have indicated that they intend to do so. So if anyone has not signed up who desires to speak, would you please do so now? And we will take a short recess to allow that. (Recess) MR.CARWELL: Excuse me. We are back on the record. So, first, we will proceed with representatives of the school. And then, after the school speaks, we will alternate both individuals and groups who wish to speak for or against the committee's report. So, with that, I will turn to the school first. MS.JACKSON: Thank you. Good evening. My name is Esther Jackson. I'm an educator of 38 years and the dean of instruction at Newark Charter School. And I'm honored to speak before you tonight. In recent days, we at Newark Charter School have been surprised and amazed by the many diverse voices that we have heard from the community. We have heard the support of voices, of parents and students, past and present, who are celebrating the possibilities of the expansion project. There will not only be high school classes during our school community, but additional seats will be added to each grade, K to 8, allowing for some of our waiting list parents and families to be served. Those voices are 6 clear and positive and hopeful, and they are here, and they humble us greatly. We have also heard voices from the community questioning a number of Newark Charter School policies and practices: Our present practice of using a five-mile radius as a preference for admission; the fact that we don't have a cafeteria; and why our successful instructional programming serves the greater Newark community. One of the things which has made our school strong is our willingness to listen to all points of view and to make changes when necessary. Shared decision making and the ability to be flexible and nimble when implementing change are hallmarks of the charter school. We have already begun exploring possibilities and will continue to follow where they lead, as long as our present program remains strong. The Accountability Committee knows that we have already included a cafeteria and a kitchen in the proposed high school. Department of Education staff has provided us with support in order to implement the free and reduced lunch program, which will serve over 1,000 students grades 7 to 12. We planned an out-of-school nutrition program to our present campus. This would require renovations and planning, as well as additional capital funding not currently provided to charter schools. We believe this change would also affect our reported low income numbers. Those figures have been under reported since the beginning. We are open to discussion with our constituents and stakeholders as to whether we should have any geographic presence in admission. The five-mile radius preference is specified in the charter school law, which predates Newark Charter School's existence. Because it was included in the law, along with the preference for siblings, we believe there is a reason for it to be there. However, there may also be reasons for removing the geographic preferences, and we will be discussing this going forward. Just as when we offered our help to Reach Academy with a consideration of merging with them, whose student population with largely low income, we at NCS are willing to bring our model of successful schooling to any community willing to invite us. None of this can happen tomorrow, but it can happen. 8 These are just some of the responses Newark Charter has to the voices we have heard around us. We want to work with others to continue to improve the public education landscape in Delaware. We simply ask for the respect to let us do what we do well -- educate children. Thank you for hearing my voice. (Loud applause) MR.CARWELL: Excuse me. Just in the interest of time, you know, for lack of a better term, "tolerate" applause after every speaker. We just want to make sure we maximize time for every speaker. So, if you will, please withhold applause. MR.HINDMAN: And I want to add to that that we are all here very willing and ready to hear different points of view on this issue. But we expect everybody to respect all of the speakers and treat them the way that we generally treat each other in this setting. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Another representative from the school. MR.DRESSEL: I'm Steve Dressel, Newark Charter School chair, parent of former NCS students who are also Newark High School graduates. I'm speaking to you in support of the NCS charter modification. NCS has an 11-year track record of excellence. Whether it's the student's performance or financial stewardship, the student, staff, administration, and the school as an entity have continually exceeded expectations. I think it would be tough to poke holes in what NCS has accomplished. I attended a Christina School District's impact workshop on Monday. While CSD will make the claim that an NCS expansion will be

"devastating," the reality is the financial impact on CSD is quite small. CSD estimated it to be 2.4 million, which is less than 1 percent of their annual budget. They also reported there was no impact on what the district refers as their special schools such as STIR, the autism program, and others which are funded separately. It needs to be pointed out that the impact will only approach the one percent level after five years when the NCS expansion is complete. This does not feel devastating to me. It is worth pointing out that over the past two years CSD has carried forward between 62 and 65 million dollars of unspent funds. I think that's wonderful. It means they have a healthy cushion. The carry forward of unrestricted local funds was nearly 26 million. It hardly feels that a less than 1 percent impact after year five can be considered devastating today. The other item you are likely to hear from CSD is a "moral concern" that NCS uses a five-mile radius as an admissions preference whenever more students choice into NCS than there are seats." They imply we are purposely excluding the city of Wilmington students. The reality is we are simply following the law of the legislature passed and what has been in our charter for the past 12 years. It's really no different than the feeder patterns for the district schools. Those boundaries function as an admissions preference when CSD students attend or seek to choose into a CSD school. If the 1,102 Glasgow students wanted to choice into Christiana High, would they all get accepted? Of course not. The students living within the Christiana feeder pattern would have preference. So how is ours bad and theirs is good? And why, after 12 years, is this now being raised as an issue? Where was the social outrage when schools like North Star and Brandywine Springs have engineered feeder patterns and less than three and a half percent low income and few minorities? Where is the fight for all kids over there? Even Jay Street, the New Castle County Council member from Wilmington, at the Monday night meeting, land blasted the CSD board and quoted, "Leave me and my children out of this fight." He said the CSD concern for the Wilmington kids was disingenuous. He went on to say this is a Newark battle, so don't drag him or his kids into the fight. Where I have a moral concern is the fact that CSD, the DSEA, and others are fighting our expansion while students continue to be underserved by the district and student performance remains low. Success breeds success. This isn't a zero sum game where, for every winner, there has to be a loser. In education, everyone gets to be a winner, but only if people are willing to embrace success, model success, expand upon success, and replicate. That's what the NCS charter modification is seeking to do. Thank you. (Applause) MR.MEECE: Wow. My name is Greg Meece, School Director at Newark Charter School. I thought I was going to be speaking at the end to clean up any facts that needed to be corrected. But, since I was told I need to speak first, I would like to read something that dovetails on what Mr. Hindman said about decorum in the room tonight and try to, hopefully, set the tone for others. I know there is a lot of emotion involved whenever your children are involved, and I have been in school long enough to understand that and respect that. As I was watching TV last night, around countless primary debates, I listened to the men vying to become the leader of this country. They tore each other apart, mocked the president of the United States and each other. They participated in a campaign of deliberate misinformation to distort each other's position and demonize their opponents even though, in reality, they belong to the same party and agree with each other on most issues. And when it's the other party's turn, it will be the same. The audiences will cheer them on, and they will be spurred by the media for more support, more mudslinging, more blood. These are our leaders, our role models. Whether you like charter schools or not, whether you support charter school expansion or not, it's time for us all to remember -- and I include myself -- that we are all here to serve our children. We agree with each other on most issues. For example, many of our vocal opponents have children on our waiting list right now, and almost everyone acknowledges our school's success regardless of their position. We are all part of the Delaware public education system. We all understand its importance for the future of our state and our country. We are our children's role models. What we say about our schools, our teachers, our school leaders, other parents, what we gossip about on anonymous blogs and in chat rooms, the mean-spirited jabs we make over the neighborhood fence or at the dinner table, is what our children learn. It's what they will become. It's what our society will become. I have proudly served Delaware school children for 32 years. I don't care what zip code they live in. I don't care what color their skin is. I don't care whether they are rich and talented, able, or not so rich or not so able. What I do care about is doing my best every day to give them a quality education to help them achieve and to love learning for the rest of their lives. All the rest is a waste of our energy, a distraction, and a bad example. As adults, I hope we can do better. Thank you. (Applause)

MR.CARWELL: Any other representatives of the school wish to speak? With that, I will open up the floor to groups who wish to speak. And we will start with individuals or groups that are against. Would Frederika Jenner wish to speak? MS.JENNER: Good evening. I'm Frederica Jenner, president of DSEA, the Delaware State Education Association. I would like to begin this evening by setting the record straight. DSEA supports the role of charter schools and Delaware's overall public policy related to public education and parental choice. This has been DSEA's position from the start, since 1995 when Delaware's charter school law first passed. I feel that it's necessary to begin with this fundamental point, since it appears that since 1995 much misinformation has been circulated about DSEA's position on charter schools. As the state's experience with charter schools has developed over the ensuing years, DSEA has steadfastly maintained that charter schools must serve as a complement to, not a substitute for, our community public schools, much like our magnet schools and vocational technical schools. In the last several years, I believe that DSEA has proposed constructive, common-sense public policy ideas intended to improve the state's current charter school law. In fact, some of our suggestions regarding transparency and accountability of charter schools were enacted in statute last year. Additionally, we have argued that criteria for the approval of charter school applications must take into consideration the potential impact on existing public schools and their districts. This includes proposed new charter schools as well as major modifications of existing charter schools. We have recommended changes in Delaware's charter school law to allow both the State Board of Education and local school board authorizers to exercise judgment in determining whether a proposed charter school is in the best interests of all district students, the local community, and the school district in whose geographic boundaries the charter school applies to operate. Additionally, we sought to require that authorizers consider whether the terms of the proposed charter are economically, operationally, and programmatically sound for the charter school as well as for the three public school districts from which the charter school expects to recruit the greatest number of students. To make this determination, we believe that authorizers must consider the potential effects of the charter school on both the enrollment and financial condition of the school districts and the extent to which the programs and services provided by the charter school are already offered by the public schools in those districts. Approvals of new charters or major modifications of existing charters cannot, as the current law provides, be simple mechanical decisions. There must be that exercise of judgment, a decision by thoughtful education policymakers based upon what is truly in the best interests of our children, all of our children, and based on public policy goals and constitutional responsibilities pertaining to public education. Turning to the pending modification requested by the Newark Charter School, I will allow those members of the Newark community who have come to speak to address the specific issues of impacts that an expanded Newark Charter School would have on the Christina School District, in particular on Newark High School. I believe that they are in a much better position to do so than am I. I would like to offer one final point: I ask that, in reaching a decision, you ask yourselves whether the proposed modification request provides sufficient proof to warrant Newark Charter School's expansion to the high school level, which would nearly double its size. I suggest that careful review leaves one with questions as to whether other high schools in the area fail, as the application indicates, to provide Newark Charter School students with opportunities to continue their academic achievements; questions as to whether the wider school community, not simply the Newark Charter School community, wants and needs an expanded Newark Charter School; and questions as to whether there really is the suggested enrollment gap. One more thing: A recent e-mail message to all NCS parents and attributed to the school's director, Greg Meece, was passed along to me this morning. The message indicates that Mr. Meece, himself, confirmed that DSEA conducted a robo call last weekend to encourage people to show up to tonight's hearing to oppose NCS's plan to build a high school. A state legislator contacted us this afternoon about the e-mail. I ask Mr. Meece if he really did, in fact, send this message. I have checked and double checked. Neither DSEA nor -MR.HINDMAN: Let's stop for a moment. This is not a give and take hearing. MS.JENNER: Okay. MR.HINDMAN: You are entitled to make comment, but we are not going to have people asking other people questions.

MS.JENNER: Okay. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: It's also time. MS.JENNER: Okay. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: We will hear next from Kendall Massett, the executive director for the Charter School Network. MS.MASSETT: And, for the record, I'm speaking for. Hi. I'm Kendall Massett, the executive director -new executive director -- for the Delaware Charter Schools Network. And I'm here as a representative of all of our charter schools in support of the expansion for Newark Charter School. I would like to first thank the committee for your work. Going through all the applications, not just new, but renewal and modification, it's not an easy job. It's time and commitment, and I personally thank you for your effort. To the staff and leaders of the charters here tonight: Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security, Campus Community, and Newark Charter School, as well as those that came in support tonight, I thank you for your commitment to the education of our children. And, finally, to the parents that came, both supporters and opponents, I would like to thank you for your involvement in the education of your children. Our children need us to be involved if we are to get what I know is our shared goal in excellent education for all children. It is my hope that in the coming weeks, months, and years we can work together towards that goal. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, Ms. Massett. First, we will hear from Connie Merlet from the School Board. MS.MERLET: I know there are a couple more groups here, and I'm not sure -MR.HINDMAN: Excuse me. The court reporter is not going to be able to take down any of this. Would you rise and come forward, please? MS MERLET: Sorry. MR.HINDMAN: No. That's okay. Ms. Merlet, it's our understanding that you signed the group list to speak on behalf of a group. Are you speaking on behalf of a group? MS.MERLET: Just me.17 MR.CARWELL: Okay. So we will go on to the other groups. MR.HINDMAN: We will come back to you. MS.MERLET: Okay. To the real groups? MR.CARWELL: Sorry. Next on the list, Fred Polaski, board member. And, just in the interest of time, I think, if there are any other group representatives who wish to speak, please come up to the front and line up. Mr. Polaski, could you explain what the document is that we received? MR.POLASKI: Yes. that's the first thing on my comments. MR.CARWELL: Great. MR.POLASKI: My name is Fred Polaski. I'm vice president of Christina School District Board of Education. My remarks this evening deal with the impact of the Newark Charter modification on the Christina School District. Although the Delaware Code may not require an impact study, the intent of the Charter School Act is to improve education of children in Delaware, and negative impacts on public school district resulting from modification to charter schools should be subject to impact studies as part of the decision-making process. The Christina School District has prepared a study that analyze the impact of the

addition of 1,132 students to the Newark Charter School, and we are submitting that this evening to be part of the record. The study was conducted by our administrative staff in conjunction with the University of Delaware Department of Education and the University of Delaware Center for Applied Demography and Survey Research. And it looked at two aspects. One is enrollment impacts, and the other is fiscal impact. As with any study, I think the assumptions that went into it are very important to understand. This study is based on the geographic distribution of students currently attending Newark Charter School, based on what feeder schools they would come from if they were in the Christina School District. It uses previous expansion of Newark Charter School as a model for source of additional students. It also assumes that all eighth-grade graduates of Newark Charter will attend Newark Charter High School, and that's in the Newark Charter School application. And it also uses the current distribution of eighth-grade graduates of Newark Charter and where they attend ninth grade: 36 percent in Christina School District, 32 percent in charter schools or choice out of the district, and 32 percent in private school or VoTech. The results of that, based on those assumptions, are that 520 fewer students would be attending the Christina School District. That breaks down to 186 in elementary, 57 in middle, and 277 in high school; a loss of 28 units to the Christina School District. Depending on the assumptions, if those assumptions are off, the number may actually be higher. From a financial impact, we will have a net reduction in local funds of about $3 million. About $2 million of that is money that will be lost to students that will continue in the Christina School District. The other concern is that a portion of local Christina School District taxpayers will be supporting a charter school that's drawing from Christina School District's schools without having access to Newark Charter School, creating a disparity in access to publicly funded education. When we talk about impacts, the real impacts are the impacts on the students. We keep talking about impacts on the school district, but it's really the students that are important. One of the things that is a concern is the expansion of Newark Charter School to include grades 9 to 12 will result in a school district within a district. This will be the only such district in the State of Delaware. And one of the questions is why does Newark Charter School have an interest in becoming their own school district? The reduction in students, if the elementary school grades are expanded, will have an impact on at least seven and maybe nine of their elementary schools, with a loss of anywhere from a partial unit to almost three units. The three Newark middle schools in the Newark area will lose anywhere from a half to one and a half units. But the largest impact is on the high schools. Based on the current number of Newark Charter School graduates within each of the three high schools, Newark High School will lose 12 units, Christiana one, and Glasgow a partial unit. This has a significant impact on Christina School District students. It will significantly impact the academic programs at Newark High School, specifically the Cambridge and the Advanced Placement offerings. Many graduates of Newark Charter are participating in these programs -- not all of them -- and the programs are not solely Newark Charter graduates, but it is a significant impact. And why does Newark Charter need a high school? Christina School District high schools provide a successful and challenging educational environment. (Laughter in audience) MR.POLASKI: For example, the Cambridge Program is the only one in the state whose students from Newark High School are in top scores with Cambridge exams in 2010. Newark High School -- or we offer AP classes at all three high schools. And Newark High School offers more AP classes than Newark Charter proposes. Newark, you know, we keep hearing about what happens to it. Well, Newark High School now has students that attend University of Delaware honor program, Johns Hopkins, Yale, Harvard, and many other prestigious schools. So my request to this committee is that the committee fully investigate, challenge, and reevaluate the Newark Charter modification request and assure it is in full compliance with the Delaware Code, it is in the best interests of all students in the Christina School District, and the modification will improve the educational opportunities for all students in Christina School District. MR.CARWELL: Please end it, I mean come to conclusion, please. MR.POLASKI: My conclusion: Request that this committee not recommend acceptance of Newark Charter modification application and that this committee decides that they cannot recommend that the application not be accepted, and a request that the process be delayed to allow complete analysis of the impacts and the benefits of the Newark Charter School, and that the Christina School District be allowed to work with the Newark Charter to ensure that all students in the Christina School District receive the best education possible. Thank you.

MR.CARWELL: Thank you, Mr. Polaski. Just as a further note, the analysis that you referenced has been submitted as part of the record and will be considered by the Secretary and the State Board, and they will determine the weight, if any, to be considered. MR.POLASKI: Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Any group representatives for the expansion wish to speak? Next on the list for groups we have Mr. John Young. Is Mr. John Young here? Again, if there are any representatives of groups who wish to speak, please make your way down to the end of the aisle so that you will be ready when your name is called. MR.YOUNG: I actually belong to a group, but I'm also member of the Christina School Board. I want to thank the DOE for having us all today. Public education is a sacred public trust, and I'm heartened by the turnout here today. I believe that we are honestly all on the same side of seeking a great education for our children. We simply differ in what the best mechanism is for that. I have a deep-embodied concern that the series of laws that represent Title 14, Section 5, are not in the best interests of the state. In short, I believe there are flaws in those laws. For example, the allowance of special interest ragi (inaudible) preference that are not applicable to traditional public schools, along with flexible spending, are helping to systematically create schools that appear to have full access, but, in reality, access is not equitable. For example, tax dollars collected in Christina from parents and children living outside an arbitrary five-mile radius in one case, before the board next week for a vote, which includes parents and children living in Wilmington also, are pooled into our local funds. These funds are then subject to a formula that sends those funds to charters when our students leave that choice. This is a burden on the fiscal stability of the Christina School District, as indicated in the impact study you were just submitted, and it represents taxation of residents who are, by definition, that is allowed in charter law, not permitted to apply nor attend that school. Something about that just does not seem fair to me. As a board member, I'm acutely aware of board functions. Policy making is primary, but boards also take on quasi legislative and quasi judicial role that is recognized by courts and the state. Our State Board of Education approves regulations, taking the force of law, and makes case rulings not unlike the one before them next week. I believe that it is the exclusive providence of each and every board member on the State Board of Education to make a fully independent decision about a charter school and the interpretation of Delaware's charter law. That's what courts do, and that's what the State Board of Education can and, I believe, should do. They must apply logic, fairness, and reason. They must determine not only does the charter's application apply with the letter but also the spirit and intent. The law was written under an active federal desegregation order that was later vacated. Subsequently, neighborhood schools became the law and no child left behind became the law of the country. Childhood poverty was below 25 percent in 1995. Now, the district I help to govern, which feeds over 96 percent of Newark Charter School students, is over 50 percent poverty. The landscape has changed. A decade and a half has passed. Unintended consequences have occurred. The pernicious process of labeling schools under the "No Child Left Behind" has destabilized the state of the public school education in ways that were, perhaps, unimaginable prior to that law. Instead of the kids behaving badly -- this is where I agree with Mr. Meece -now the adults have joined in. We now force restructuring of schools based on test scores. We abandon rich and demanding whole child curricula in favor of almost exclusively english, language arts, and Math. We deploy a teacher accountability system which has no basis in research, all in the name of accountability. We too often leave out consideration for stability, training, leadership, and parental engagement, as demanded by the same Title 1 funds we so powerlessly deploy, to disrupt the lives of those we purport to value. The changes in the collective landscaping are staggering that dispose Title 14, Chapter 5 from stark reality. It is outdated, overreaching, overexposing the children of Delaware to a vast landscape of haves, have-mores, and have-nots. This nation fought two bloody wars to throw off social classes of monarchy. I submit we are headed back there and that our charter law is responsible in a significant way. I have additional remarks that I submitted to the board. I'll just go ahead and wrap it up now and just submit those for the record. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, Mr. Young. Any other representatives of groups that are speaking for the expansion? I will move to Representative Kowalko. REPRESENTATIVE KOWALKO: Thank you, Mr. Carwell. I'm glad there are members of the State School Board here, because I intend to address my remarks to them, and I was hoping that Secretary

Lowery would be here. I will be addressing my remarks to the State School Board members and the Secretary of Education Lowery, but I hope what I have to say here is relayed to Governor Markell and all policymakers in Delaware. I find it rather unsettling that the opportunity of the public to speak at a forum for or against any pending policy decision is only allowed to occur after significant discussion by only one side has been heard and tacit approval has been granted on the matter. The question of the authenticity of such a procedure has been brought to my attention by many concerned citizens. This process, currently set by DOE regulations, is an indefensible abridgment of the rights of the public to effectively participate in a contested discussion. This appalling lack of timely access to legitimately question the purported facts that should be honestly and objectively evaluated has not been created or assisted by the State Board of Education members, but it's important that you members realize and accept your full responsibility here. You are not limited to being arbiters of whether or not the minimum constraints of a law have been met and allow a decision to proceed solely on that criterion. You are tasked with determine the effect on public education, existing public education opportunities, effect on the community, effect on all public school children, and the impact financially and otherwise that will be felt throughout the entire state public education community. Therefore, I hope every one of you, State Board members and Dr. Lowery, will very seriously consider the difference between the letter of the law and the intent of the law. In a thoughtfully, well-written law, these items are not mutually exclusive. Laws are written and passed by men and women that occasionally blur that line between word and intent. The current charter school legislation, albeit well intended, blurs that line in many ways. Your challenge is to honestly and objectively consider when that conflict occurs and is applicable to your authority and responsibility in rendering judgment. Any application written in good faith may comply with the letter of the law while not necessarily conforming to the intent of the law and, therefore, having negative effects that must be considered by you. I will point out two to three instances of these inconsistencies in Title 14, Chapter 5 of the code regarding charter schools for your deliberations: Subchapter 511, Paragraph 2 states, "A request for modification to increase a school's total authorized enrollment by more than 15 percent shall be considered a major modification, regardless of whether the additional students will attend school at the current location or a separate." This mandates when impact of a modification must be considered but does not preclude consideration of a major impact, such as was presented to you earlier, being considered when it is 14 percent, as the current proposal says. Therefore, you should give very serious consideration to the impact study printed today by Christina School District, the most dramatically affected school district in the state. Paragraph four explicitly enumerates the same. In the Title 14, Chapter 5, Subchapter 506, paragraph four and five, it references discrimination and desegregation policies. This is another example of compliance with the letter of the law, and certainly no deliberate attempt to circumvent the law, but you should consider the reality of the situation regarding the law's intent. The five-mile radius option has been applied in conformity with the law and the presence and the availability of other K to 8 schools in that radius, and it justifies its legitimacy. The fact, however, is that the available public high schools for all matriculating Christina District 8th graders are in the Newark area, and the five-mile radius, self-feeding existing system for lottery access to the proposed NCS high school creation would exclude all of those other students from being able to participate and have equal access through lottery. This could lead to an unintended but actual resegregation and discrimination. A study of the impact report by Christina School District validates this presumption and should also lead to a serious consideration of the fact that all Christina District taxpayers will contribute to the finances of the proposed high school while being precluded from equal access to that institution they are paying for. I will sum it up. Finally, I ask the Board and the Secretary to consider that the original intent of the charter school creation was and is to allow for a serious and innovative implementation of methodology, curriculum, and practices that would be replicated in the standard public school environment. To date, there has been no evidence of that transference of success being seriously offered or accepted by any charter school to any existing school. To expect that self replication of a distinct student body from K to 12 under existing public school policy is doable is not realistic and creating a standalone 20th school district with an autonomous superintendent and administration should not be viewed as a solution or alternative to needed education reform for Delaware's public school system. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, Representative Kowalko. Are there any other representatives of groups who wish to speak? Have you signed up, sir? MR.DAVIS: I have, yes.

MR.CARWELL: The microphone is right here on top of the podium. If you could please hold the microphone close. MR.DAVIS: Good evening. My name is David Davis, and I'm the president of the Christina Education Association and also a proud teacher at Newark High School. I would like to let the audience know that on March 7, 2012 the Christina Education Association Representative Assembly voted in our regular monthly meeting to oppose the expansion of Newark Charter School, based not on a unilateral dislike or distrust of the charter school, but because of what we anticipate as a negative impact to our students, our schools, our community, and our district. I stand before you this evening to challenge the inaccuracy in the application that Newark Charter School has submitted to the Department of Education. Listed first, under reasons for the request, is that the expansion will, and I quote, "enable our students to continue their academic achievement in a way that is currently not adequately being addressed by other schools in this area." Please allow me a moment to clear up this misleading statement with just a little bit of truth about the school likely to be most impacted, Newark High School. Newark high School Is the only school in the state that offers the prestigious Cambridge Academy academic program for ninth and tenth-grade students. Newark High School has always offered and continues to offer a robust honors academic program. Newark High School offers 17 advanced placement courses and continues to enjoy one of the highest AP testing rates in the nation. Newark High School graduates go on to prestigious colleges and universities, including those belonging to the Ivy League, often on grants or academic scholarships. Make no mistake about it. Newark High School does offer a rich and rigorous academic program. I might go on and on, but others are waiting to speak this evening, and I believe that I have at least begun to make my point about Newark High School. I am extremely proud of what Newark High School offers our students. I'm proud, most of all, of the fact that we offer it to all students. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, Mr. Davis. Are there any other groups -- representatives of groups who wish to speak? That being the case, I will move to individuals. And first on the list is Andrew Marchioni. Am I saying that right? Pardon me. MR.MARCHIONI: Marchioni. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. If other individuals who wish to speak would please line up on either side of the aisle, please. MR.MARCHIONI: Sorry. I didn't expect to be first. Andrew Marchioni. My children do go to Newark Charter School. I do want to preface this that I do have a child. He doesn't fall within any of the stats. He is kind of on the Asperger/Autism spectrum. Newark Charter School is the only school that has really given him a chance to be what he is. He is a social outcast, but he was rejected by parochial schools, and I don't think he would work very well in the standard public schools. I would really like this opportunity for him to be able to continue his education with Newark Charter School. One comment for Mr. Kowalko. If I said that incorrectly, I'm sorry. I do know you are a lawmaker. Preaching to the board about the law that they have to follow does not seem to be appropriate, as you do have the opportunity to change the law. MR.HINDMAN: Sir -MR.MARCHIONI: I'm sorry. I apologize. MR.HINDMAN: -- I'm going to ask people to restrict their comments to the application that's under consideration and not to the comments being made by others. This is not a debate. We are here to receive public comment to be considered by the Secretary of Education and the members of the State Board. MR.MARCHIONI: I apologize. Now, I do hope that there is opportunity for other city of Wilmington residents for other high school opportunities that the Christina School District could hopefully provide for changes to their system. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Next we will hear from Ms. Connie Merlet.

MS.MERLET: My name is Connie Merlet, M-E-R-L-E-T. And, actually, I'm in kind of a group, but I'm actually going to read a speech that my daughter wrote at her awards ceremony for the seniors at Newark High School in June 2001. Joanne attended McCleary. She went to Newark, as did her brother, five years later. Three months after this speech, she went off to Brown University, and she is now finishing her doctorate in biology at Harvard. She took seven science classes at Newark. She has composed lesson plans for and taught biology in the Boston city school system. The audience that day included the entire senior class, their teachers, and parents. It is clearly a speech written by a 17-year-old for other 17 and 18-yearolds, but I think you will understand the message: "My cousin once told me that everyone at her school is exactly the same. They are all white, Christian, and wealthy. They wear the same kinds of clothes and participate in all of the same activities. When someone who does not easily conform to the mold of her school enters it, they are ostracized and ridiculed. They are tormented in and out of school, and families are usually forced to leave town. What scares the people of my cousin's town and of many towns across the country are the differences. They are so used to everyone being the same, that when someone different comes around, they do not know how to deal with that person, and this uncertainty produces both fear and hatred. One of the things that makes Newark High School special is the lack of these things. The diverse population of our town makes Newark a mosaic that is as colorful and unique as they come. Here, we do not discriminate due to race, religion, socioeconomic standing, or sexual orientation, simply because we have all grown up surrounded by people who fit into nearly every group that exists. I think this is one of the most important aspects of our school. It gives Newark a personality and fills it with every culture that every student brings in. Every one of you have learned from every other student that has not grown up exactly the same as you or does not share your beliefs. You come in contact with them every day, whether you are in classes with them or not. You see them in the hall. You watch the way they talk and the way they interact. You learn what kind of relationship you specifically want to have with them. Each and every one of you is stereotyped and generalized, as are other students of this school. Not one of you sees every person the same. However, many of you have had experiences that have proven your stereotypes wrong, and these are the irreplaceable, priceless experiences that will help shape you for the rest of your life. I remember one year in track there was a girl who barely ever came to practice. Everyone gave her a hard time about it and talked about how irresponsible she was and did not deserve to be on the team. One day I asked this girl why she missed so much practice. She told me her mom was out of a job and she had to work after school so her little brother and sister had enough to eat. On other days she could not practice because she had to stay after school for help so that she could keep her grades up. She wanted to graduate with as good a GPA as possible because she wanted to go to college and do something with her life. I realize that this girl who everyone put down was actually more responsible and more level headed than any of them, than anyone I knew, for that matter. I saw clearly that their assumptions --" MR.CARWELL: Please feel free to wrap up. MS.MERLET: She finished by saying, "Expanding yourself by learning even more about others, and keep an open mind like is encouraged here." Thank you. I now have the pleasure of introducing, but Joanna did not have the opportunity to introduce the next speaker, because she was given a spontaneous standing ovation by her classmates, the only one of the day. I realized at that moment, through my tears, how rich the environment at Newark High School was. The enthusiasm her fellow classmates had for her words showed me how vastly important the experiences were at our local public high school. There simply is no academic substitute for their applause. MR.HINDMAN: Ms. Merlet, you have handed to the hearing officer a series of documents that appear to be expanded remarks on your behalf. Would you like to have those made part of the record? MS.MERLET: Yes. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Next we have a Anisa Parks. And, Matt Cox, please prepare next. Thank you. MS.PARKS: Thank you everyone for coming out. I believe part of what we all want, and that's quality education in Delaware -MR.HINDMAN: Excuse me. Could you state your name for the court reporter?

MS.PARKS: My name is Anisa Parks. I'm a parent at Newark Charter School. Every Delaware school, I truly believe, strives to achieve excellence in academics and decorum. At Newark Charter School, this is not only the motto, but this is achieved every day on every level for every child. Approving NCS's expansion will not hinder other Delaware public schools' success. If anything, it may help other schools, as school administrations from the state and across the nation have already visited Newark Charter School to learn from their success. Financially, it also seems other public schools may benefit from the expansion of Newark Charter School, public schools that have more public funds available to them. And Newark Charter School educates students at a lower cost than traditional public schools, as do all charter schools. NCS receives and educates children for $3,000 less than the surrounding Christina School District. The State of Delaware is basically getting a higher return on their investment when you look at the success of the students at Newark Charter School. In every district children are already restricted to their choice of public schools due to feeder patterns. NCS's expansion will provide more families with more choices. The children in our community deserve the quality of education Newark Charter School offers. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. MR.Cox. MR.COX: My name is Matthew Cox. This is an excerpt of an expanded text for public comment on Newark Charter School modification application previously submitted. Title 14, Chapter 5, Section 512 requires the application set forth appropriate strategies to be employed to accommodate the needs of at-risk students and those needing special education services. As a support for at-risk students, Regulation 275, Section requires the provision of free and reduced lunch eligible students. The Newark Charter School application does not provide for free and reduced lunch for every student. There is a cafetorium shown on the plans for the new building. However, there is no mention of providing such services for high school students and no funding provided in the proposed budget. There remains no such facility and no documented plans for a budget to provide such in the elementary building where the student enrollment expansion is requested. This feature of the school could also be a significant contributor to discriminatory enrollment. There is no provision in the law or regulation for this support to be absent or to be waived by parents. This is a clear violation of the law and regulation. Based on this violation alone, the request for expansion must be denied. Section 513, titled report and oversight, Subsection C, requires the approving authority to conduct financial, programmatic, or compliance audits no less than every three years. The only way for this information not to come to you is either these audits were not performed as required or they were of insufficient quality to find this violation. In either case, this casts out on whether the Department of Education is meeting its legal obligations as an approval authority and whether other charter schools authorized by the DOE are meeting the law. It is impossible for you to approve the charter school application if you don't comply with law and regulations regarding nondiscrimination and supports for atrisk students. It is your duty to formally review the Newark Charter School operations based on documented violations of the law. Thank you for your time. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, Mr. Cox. Mr. Greg Ferris. And then, afterwards, Ms. Diller. MR.FERRIS: All right. My name is Greg Ferris. I consider my thunder stolen. But I got a lot of chicken scratch here, but I'm going to try to do this anyway. So, with the rules of eliminating repetition and not doing any mudslinging, I don't think I have three minutes here, but I'm going to give it a shot. Thanks for allowing me to speak today. I'm not going to go into the details of the test scores and positive news and all the awards for Newark Charter School. It's well documented, and I'm sure you have it in your 550 some emails that you have there today. It's one of the top educational programs in the state, period. I'm pretty sure there is no one here who is going to argue that. The opposition can't deny this. Every argument that I have heard from the opposition states the same. It's my opinion that this is the top fact that should be used when this vote comes up next week, that this is a great school; it has a great track record; and they want to expand, which is good for the State of Delaware. And when you do this vote next week, I recommend that you do this vote based on facts, not opinions, and not assumptions on impacts. My wife and I graduated from Glasgow in the early nineties, and we have already decided that we will not send our kids to Christina High School if this NCS expansion is not approved. We will pick another school within the state, whether

it's another charter, another district, or another private school. Based on a 2010 December 14, 2010 report that was produced in Delaware Today, Glasgow, out of 30 schools, was the 29th ranked high school in the state; Christiana was the 30th; and Newark was the 21st school in the state. It's not acceptable for our students. And I'm not trying to badmouth the public school system, but those are the facts. You may already know this, as well, that 4 percent of Newark Charter School eighth graders choose the Christina High School as their first school. 4 percent. 96 percent want to go somewhere else as their first school. According to the numbers that were produced on Monday night from the Christina School Board, 36 percent of those students end up going to Newark, Glasgow, or Christiana, so 64 percent already choose somewhere else. Now, this is my opinion: That 36 percent, regardless of your decision next week, is going to go down, based on the information that's been distributed recently on this school. So, whether you approve the school or not, that 36 percent, in my opinion, is going to drop based on the facts of the schools that have been distributed widely. Obviously, if you do approve this school, those numbers will drop, as well, but they are going to go down, in my opinion, either way. So my recommendation is to approve this school and let's do something else to make the current public schools better. So I think you shouldn't punish the current NCS program; you should allow it to expand, but then let's put a plan together to make the existing public schools better. And I will be happy to support that, as well, but don't punish the kids from NCS by allowing to discontinue this great program. And last but not least, I would like to apologize for my Representative Kowalko. He doesn't represent me or many people in my district. Sorry. (Loud applause) MR.CARWELL: Next we will hear from Ms. Dillard. MS.DILLARD: I hate to add to your pain, but I will. (Handing file) MR.CARWELL: Ms. O'Ferral, please, you are on deck. MS.DILLARD: I would just like to say that I am a parent of a Christiana School District student. My child is in Downes Elementary School. She is a second grader. It never occurred to me to send her anywhere else but the Christina District. I just would like to say that, between her two parents, we have four degrees. And I have a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. And frankly, folks, I value education. I love the Christina District. I think they have done a wonderful job with my kid who came from China at 16 months. We didn't even know if she could walk at that point. And we last had -- We had our last meeting with her teacher about a week and a half ago, and she is reading well above grade level, actually more than above grade level where the third grade is at the end of the year. So I thank the public schoolteachers of Downes Elementary School, and I appreciate the opportunity to say what I feel about the excellent education that my child is being provided. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Ms. O'Ferral. And on deck we have Lois Huffman. MS.O'FERRAL: Good evening. My name is Jodi O'Ferral. My daughter is a student at another Wilmington-area charter school. I'm here to comment on an experience I personally had with Newark Charter which I feel demonstrates an attitude of inclusion, not exclusion, in local education. North of Wilmington in Claymont, Delaware, there is a small all-girls charter school called Reach Academy. It serves a very diverse student body of every ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic level. Students come from down the street or as far away as Middletown, Newark and Bear. Students come from down the street or as far away as Middletown, Newark, and Bear. It is the coming together of these girls in a vibrant educational environment that makes Reach a very special school for the students and their families. Reach was in its first year of operation in 2010/2011, and about this time last spring, we found ourselves in a very bad spot. Issue with the board had led to a formal review process by the Charter School Accountability Committee. And, as a very involved parent at the school, I did not see how the existing board would be able to navigate us successfully through the process. Now, I'm not sure exactly how Newark Charter was brought into the situation, but I do know that they put a significant amount of time and effort into the evaluation of the school for the purpose of merging it. I attended the board meeting where the final report was given. And, while the arrangement could not move forward due to legal issues, it was clear that NCS had given it very thorough thought and was willing to move forward, had the legal issues been surmountable. Newark Charter was very clear about the demographic profile of our school and of the community where it is located. It is very different than they have currently. But they weren't looking to

make any changes. All current students would be grandfathered in, and there was no thought to moving the school out of the Claymont community. The five-mile radius rule would be instituted from our location in Claymont. Well, quite frankly, if you've ever sat down and reviewed educational finances, filling your seats with students in close proximity to your school makes a lot of sense. There are a lot of ways the various elements of the Newark Charter environment program can be interpreted, but there is no interpretation needed in what they did last year at Reach. I saw it. I heard it. I had questions, and they were answered. Newark Charter was willing to step in and help keep a very diverse school with a significant percentage of lower-income students open for the benefit of the students and their families. Why would they do this? To expand their program -- their footprint -- so to speak. But not in Newark, in Claymont, and to help because they could and they wanted to. I realize this is one very small piece of a much larger picture, but it is a concrete example of a spirit of inclusion. In an emotionally charged situation, there is something to be said for concrete. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, Ms. O'Ferrall. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Next we will hear from Ms. Hoffman. MS.HOFFMAN: My name is Lois Hoffman. I thank the board for allowing me to speak today. I'm opposed to the expansion of the Newark Charter School based on the facts and based on the law. Chapter 5, Section 506 states, "A charter school shall not discriminate against any student in the admissions process." By failing to comply with laws regarding the provision of free and reduced lunch, it discriminates on the basis of income. The DOE's 2012 charter school annual report states, "It is inferred that charter schools will operate with student populations consistent with those in their surrounding districts." This chart right here clearly demonstrates that the current configuration of the Newark Charter fails to do this. Newark Charter School's assertion that it does comply is misleading and inaccurate. Using city of Newark data to prove that it is within compliance shows disregard for the law, insults the intelligence of this community and this board. The law doesn't ask charter schools to "try" not to discriminate. A charter school "shall" not discriminate. The variances in low-income populations at Newark Charter School versus low income populations at surrounding public schools can only result from discriminatory policies, practices, or features that exist at Newark Charter. Newark Charter is discriminating based on the results shown in this chart. This has existed since the inception of the school. In 2007 independent evaluators from West Michigan University described Newark Charter enrollment as segregative high income. Increasing the enrollment fails to correct inherent inequities in the admission process and would not result in a greater percentage of low-income students. Nowhere in the Newark Charter School application does it state that the purpose of increasing enrollment is to correct representative inequity of low-income students. The purpose of a charter school is to provide a choice to families that desire a different public school opportunity, not a preferential one. It is a parent's duty to advocate for the child. It is your duty to advocate for the law. Based on discriminatory inequities at the Newark Charter School, you must deny their application to expand until the school complies with Delaware state law. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, Ms. Hoffman. Next is Dr. Khan. And followed by Dr. Khan is James McGee. DR. KHAN: My name is Dr. Khan. My first name is (indecipherable). I'm a professor at the University of Delaware. I thought there were no free lunches in real life, but apparently that is the most important thing in this school district, free lunches. (Applause) I wanted to make several points. The very need for creating NCS and charter schools is a vote of no confidence in existing public schools. If they were happy with public schools, we would not have created NCS to begin with. And the fact that this whole place is full of blue, I'm so proud of them. I'm so proud that people in America still care about their children's education. The people are here, and they are here to make two points: Number one, that they are extremely satisfied with the methods and the results of NCS. And, number two, they are extremely dissatisfied with the options that are available at high school level. Otherwise, they would not be here. If they were happy with Newark High School or Christina or Glasgow -- I can't even play tennis there. I'm afraid of breaking my legs. It's full of potholes. So if we were happy with those schools, then we would not be here. Number two: I agree that it's the state's responsibility to provide good education to all equally. That is great. But when the state fails to do that, they should not punish those who are providing good schools to cover up the fact that they cannot provide good education to the rest of the state. So I think don't punish NCS because of the failure of other schools and the state to provide good education. I am a strong student and believer in global

competitiveness. America's education system is declining. And if we continue at this rate, we will soon be a third-world country. I have seen how that looks, and it's not pretty. Look at the high school performance in Delaware. We are 42 in SAT's. The number of students who take AP courses in the entire state are below the national average. The number of students who pass advanced placement courses in the State of Delaware are below the national average. And CSD schools are in the one third bottom of the State of Delaware, which means the performance of Christina School District is worse than the performance of the State of Delaware, which is worse than the performance of the most of the country. And this country is behind at least 30 countries in the world. So I think we have an opportunity to revive education, and that is the way to do it, is to allow NCS High. Not only allow it. For God's sake, reward it for doing great work. Thank you. (Loud applause - whistling) MR.CARWELL: Thank you, Dr. Khan. Mr. McGee. And we have actually, on my list, four. We will see. MR.MCGEE: Hi. I'm Jamie McGee. I'm a parent of two kids at John R. Downes. And we applied our kids into charter a couple of times. We didn't get in, and that's fine. We are happy at Downes, and we have decided to keep them there, so we haven't applied there in the last few years. I do not begrudge any of my neighbors. And some of you, my very best friends, are in this crowd. I think that it's great that you got into a good program. I encourage it. I want to see it be as successful as it can. And no one is challenging the successes of charter schools. It's great. I'm a supporter of charter schools, and they work well in certain situations, so it seems. And I will have to admit I'm not an expert in education, although I've been doing quite a bit of research in the last week. But that's the problem, that it has only been a week. It's been maybe four weeks since this was really released to the public and the last one week that some of the realities of what this might mean to the community have come up. So I think the process needs to slow down a bit. There is quite a bit of discussion that's still, unfortunately, going on at the extremes where you have, "Oh, there is a bunch of haters." And you have the other side saying, "Oh, they are a bunch of elitists." And neither of those are true, and nothing is going to come out of those two factions having communications. I think it's really important that people who are more moderate, in the middle, people who are willing to collaborates and discuss things, can continue to have time to flush this out a little bit, see where this might go, look at the impact. Because, really, what I'm concerned about isn't the little affect I see at Downes where the kids, you know, the more involved parents are getting pulled in. That's okay. What I am really worried about is Newark High School. Downes and West Park, they can handle it. Newark High School, I'm very worried about that. I own property in Newark. I plan to live in Newark for a long time. I do not want to see Newark follow the path of cities I have seen where the high school is not healthy because people all pull their kids out and it becomes a real problem. That's still a part of Newark no matter how much you remove your kids out of it, and I think that it's something that we all need to think about and how to cultivate it, especially at the high school level. I mean, it's been proven that the number one factor driving success of kids is family. It's family. Number two, it's teacher. Number three, it's peers. But that peer factor becomes really important as you get older. And that's what the studies show. Because, once you get up past the eighth grade, your peers around you and the ones we surround our most challenged kids with, those are the factors that will make those kids really stay involved in school. That's good for the community, and that's what I would like to see and not rush through this process with very limited public information, a lot of rumors back and forth. I started reaching out to people I know on both sides, and I learned a lot more. I hope the process can continue to do that, as well. Thanks. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, Mr. McGee. Just to make sure I'm clear -MR.MCGEE: I don't have a copy of that. Sorry. (Laughter) MR.CARWELL: On the sign-up sheet, that's all that I had who indicated they wanted to speak. If there are any individuals who want to speak for the expansion, please come forward. UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: No, there are several more. UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: There's a whole another sheet, maybe two. MR.CARWELL: We will get it. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: Hello. I did not come prepared. MR.HINDMAN: Sir, you need to identify yourself for the court reporter. UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: Hello. I'm a parent of a student of Newark Charter. I'm not a good speaker. This is my parental instinct that is making me speak here. MR.HINDMAN: Sir, we need your name. MR.SAWANT: I'm Milind Sawant. I'm a parent of a Newark Charter student. Honestly, I was very disappointed that -MR.CARWELL: Excuse me, sir. Could you spell your name? MR.SAWANT: Sure. It's Milind Sawant. It's on the sign-up sheet. M-I-L-I-N-D, S-A-W-A-N-T. I can help you locate that, if you want. I just wanted to respond to two comments. Somebody said that having lunch is necessary. I can tell you, as a parent, as long as they have (indecipherable) in their classroom, I'm going to send my child to Newark Charter. It's that good. Believe me. Second, somebody mentioned about people bringing with all these clauses, no reference, blah, blah, blah. This is just confusion. You are trying to create confusion. Are we doing what's best for the children, or are we just trying to confuse the situation and somehow we are just talking and it gets answered? I will tell you, as a parent, I can tell you, please, please, I beg you to please allow this because, otherwise, we have no choice but to move from Delaware or from Newark. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you, sir. Next we have Dave Stodeman? MR.STOCKMAN: My name is David Stockman, and I'm a resident of Newark. I have given a statement to the board. I have given a statement to the board, and I have it in front of me. And I was trying to mark it up to three minutes. And what I'm trying to do is it give some encouragement about how the board should think about this Newark Charter High School expansion. In the private sector, decisions are largely driven by considerations of private costs and private benefit. And in the social world -- or I'm sorry. In the public sector, it's public cause and public benefits that need to be considered when thinking about whether we should do something at the public. The proposed expansion for Newark Charter High School, I ask, is this desirable? Absolutely. The Newark Charter School proposal says that 98 percent of current NCF families are likely to send their children to the school. And, by the show of support here, I assume you all think that's very valuable. So, from a private analysis, like a private cost-and-benefit analysis, the private benefit to you, direct benefit to you is enormous. And, as a public charter school, the private cost to you is zero. So, if you base on a private cost, private benefit analysis, the choice is fairly obvious. You propose the expansion; you enjoy the substantial direct benefit and pay nothing. UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: We pay taxes. MR.STOCKMAN: We all do. MR.HINDMAN: No. We are not going to let this happen here, folks. This is not a debate. You cannot speak from the audience. The court reporter cannot identify you. It will not be part of the record. It will only delay the proceeding. MR.STOCKMAN: And delay my being up here, which I don't want to be. So, as a public charter school, the decision to add to the school should be based on social benefit and social cost. This is important. Social costs and benefits contain private costs and benefits but often contain other costs and benefits, as well. In fact, this diversion between social and private cost benefit is one of the main economic justifications for the existence of publicly funded goods. And this is why -- The social private distinction is why the proposal to expand Newark Charter School, though an enormous and obvious boon to current K through 7 NCS households, might justly be rejected. I don't like analogies, because they are often not exactly right. But one way of thinking about this is a proposal for a new stadium for a professional team. It's good for fans and

teams but not obvious it's good for the public. Thirty seconds? I'm sorry. If you want the statements, you can have the statement. It's much more cogent and persuasive. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Next. Say your name, please. MR.WENTZIEN: Sure. My name is Derald Wentzien. I chair the math department at Wesley College. I live in Newark, Delaware, and I have children at Newark Charter School. I would like to speak from both perspectives. As chair of the math department at Wesley College, I see many students who come to Wesley College. They come from great high schools, they come from good high schools, and they come from high schools that I guess I would say could be better. So we see a wide range. We have students that do undergraduate research. Our math majors at Wesley College, they want to be high school teachers. They are very successful in the exam. In fact, we have one who received a recognition of excellence and has since done research with me and will be presenting at a conference. However, we also have students there, many students there, who really struggle with college. And I just see the great disparity between the students. I think we need more great high schools, and I really do think that the Newark Charter High School would be a great high school. I support it, again, for my children. When my daughter found out that I was going to come, she asked me to speak, and she asked me to say a few words to you. She said, "Please let them know that, as a student there, I receive a great education. I receive a great education because of the environment that the teachers provide for me and my classmates. It is a safe environment, and they are always willing to help." I would also like to add that on Ash Wednesday I went to a mass. It was a bilingual mass. I had to pass this on to you: That when we sat down and we looked at the prayers, you know, half of them are in Spanish; half of them were in English. They were able to follow the Spanish prayers, and I just thought it was a wonderful thing. And you could see it in their face. They love to read, and I think I'm going broke buying them books, because they are very avid readers. But I think -- and I really do hope -that we need many, many more great high schools. I would like to see all of the schools in Delaware be great high schools. But I think you have in your hands now an application for something that really would be, I truly believe, a great high school. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Nancy Williams, please. Nancy Williams? Mike Hoffman. Mike Hoffman. MR.HOFFMAN: My name is Michael Hoffman, and I'm opposed to the expansion of the Newark Charter School grades nine through 12. Some have called the opposition of this expansion haters. Let me assure you that we do not hate the children of NCS, or the parents, or the school itself. However, we do hate discrimination, whether actual or implied. We hate distortions of the truth. We hate the lack of access, lack of compassion, and lack of understanding of the implications. We hate when our communities are divided. We hate when children are hurt by the decisions of adults. We hate the fact that there is us and them. We hate the system that has allowed this to happen. The opposition, we stand on the side of equity. We stand for inclusion and fairness. We stand for community. And we stand with each child in our community, whether they be yours or mine or someone else's. Social justice is our cause. It's hard to hate that. I know we have some problems at Newark High and Christiana, Glasgow, all the different high schools. I don't know that grouping all the best, smartest kids in one school is going to help even a little bit. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. We are actually -MS.WILLING: Nancy Willing. MR.CARWELL: We are alternating back and forth. MS.WILLING: Oh, they're alternating? MR.CARWELL: Yes, so the next person in line. Have you signed? Has this entire line signed? UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: Yes. MR.CARWELL: OKAY. Great. Please announce your name. The microphone is right on the podium.

MS.LEGUTKO: My name is Amy Legutko. I'm a parent of a -- I just had throat surgery, so I'm having problems speaking. They have talked a lot about units and costs and -- Can I just come up here? -- and how much money it's going to cost. But, for me, it's personal, so I hope I can get through this without crying. I believe that there are good teachers in district. I have family and friends who teach in Christina, Red Clay, a bunch of public schools. However, as good as a teacher as you are, you can't control the whole environment. And when my daughter was being bullied at school, when the teachers had to walk her to class because they couldn't control their kids, and she came home crying every day, that is unacceptable. And when my son got accepted into charter -- and I know a lot of you saw this. I was in the middle of Friendly's and started bawling and crying because I was so happy that my child would be safe. (Applause) To that point, my daughter is now home schooled. And I have three young children, one at Charter, two that are still anticipating. I'm a big, big advocate of parent involvement. And being and volunteering in the public schools and in Christiana School District terrified me. And to have my kids go through those hallways and be worried about them, when I was scared of walking down those hallways, I just can't even imagine it. So, even if this school wouldn't go through, my kids would be either home schooled or we would look for another state to live in. As far as income and ethnic minority, I'm considered a lower income household, and I'm obviously an ethnic minority. My son was so happy to see kids in his class who are the same color skin or darker. I feel that decorum is so important and that he was awarded for his behavior. It makes me so proud to be a part of such an organization. And the thought of having him go out into a public school just scares me so badly. So, at least from a personal opinion, I really hope that this gets approved. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Nancy Williams, please. MS.WILLING: Nancy Willing, Newark, Delaware. The woman who just spoke makes a really good point, and that is other parents that may be frightened when their children are bullied in public schools will not have a chance to go to this lottery. The Newark High School, from what I understand, is going to be mostly the kids who are already privileged and placed to be entered into. And so I feel bad for her. But what about the other parents of that same point of view, that same problem? And I do want to say that I appreciate the decorum that's supposedly in every classroom, and it's something that can set examples. But a lot of the behavior here tonight of these parents aren't setting an example. I believe that the way this application has been set so that there was, in the application, there was already a go-ahead from DEDOE for funds, speaks to a problem of what has been presented from Mr. Kowalko about the process being backwards. There is another legislator in here today who also expressed concern that this is a district school, and the district, itself, has no voice, has no say in this because the application was sent right to the board, to the state level. On another level, a fellow in here today, a school representative, talked about Jay Street and also had really not the best attitude coming up here and speaking on other levels. But I know Jay. One of the things he is most upset about is that some of the kids that come from the city and have to be bussed to these high schools out in the suburbs have behavioral problems, and he is mostly angry that they, you know, that when they bully, they are kicked out. And that's really where he is coming from. These are just really the kind of problems that we have to take and cherish what your charter school has been able to model, and we have to start applying it to the public schools. The whole point of charter schools taking public money was to be incubators for modeling, and that we just can't face an expansion, explosion of charter, private, exclusionary, perhaps discriminatory. I mean, I have seen the numbers for this school. There is very little minority, low income. There is very little special education. So I'm sorry. I see a lot of people shaking their heads, but I have seen the numbers. And I just hope that the numbers can reach the board at this level and that we can get some honesty. And we have to -- We just have to maybe slow down and approach it from a level where without leaving the excluded kids. Excuse me. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. MS.BURNES: My name is Michelle Burnes. And how wonderful it is that this high school would actually open up more opportunity for kids to come to NCS. I'm the parent of three children who attend Newark Charter School, and Newark Charter has been a true blessing for my family. My oldest child, Tyler, was the first in the family to get into the school. Tyler was diagnosed with autism at age two and had been attending the Delaware Autism Program since he was three years old. Due to his special needs, our family was really nervous about taking him out of the Delaware Autism Program despite the positive feedback that we heard

about the special education program that was offered at NCS. After meeting with the NCS staff members, asking many questions, and interviewing parents of their experience at NCS, we took a leap of faith. Tyler started his journey at NCS in fourth grade, and we haven't looked back. The services that he receives now far outweigh the services that he ever received through the Delaware Autism Program. Tyler's grades and test scores are higher than they ever were before NCS, and his self confidence is, as well. Our family receives exceptional support from teachers, paraprofessionals, and staff who go up and way beyond anything that I have ever experienced. My son Jordan, who is presently in the fourth grade, and my daughter Grace, who is now in kindergarten, are also having an amazing experience. Their sense of pride that they have for being an NCS patriot is heartwarming and truly special. They are all blossoming academically and socially thanks to this outstanding home school partnership. I am extremely happy to know that I do not have to worry about where my children will go to high school if NCS is granted the approval that it so much deserves. I can't help but to wonder how my life would have been enhanced had I gone to a charter school like this. I attended junior and senior high in the Christina School District, graduating from Christiana in '93. I did not go on to college yet and did not have a home school support and encouragement that my children are now receiving. Thankfully, my children are being primed at an early age to the significance of a good education. It's been a dream come true for me. They are consistently supported and challenged academically, as well as having such a sense of community within their school. I, too, have grown since my children have started at NCS, and I have been learning right along with them. I hold myself accountable to support their success at home as much as I can. Again, it is a wonderful home school partnership that I truly appreciate. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Next is Katie Hegedns. Just to acknowledge, as well, on the sign-up sheets, we asked individuals who signed in who wished to speak to circle their names, so I'm going through those names that have been circled. But, clearly, I see the line here, so you will be allowed to speak. UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: Oh, we were told just to sign up. They didn't tell us to circle them. So any name on there, apparently, is somebody that wants to speak. MR.HINDMAN: One more time. We can't have a colloquy, a discussion with folks in the audience. I guarantee you everybody who wants to speak who is here this evening will have an opportunity to speak. MS.HEGEDNS: My name is Katie Raush Hegedns. Newark High School has served our community for 118 years. It is ranked among America's top hundred high schools in News Week Magazine and has ranked as high as number 271 in the nation. I could go on about statics about why Newark High School is a good school. But what I would like to point out today is that almost every district in the state, including every traditional public high school, have celled in special education, limited English proficiency, AfricanAmerican, and economically disadvantaged students that have not made yearly adequate progress on state tests for up to five years. I received a letter from our district saying that, based on 2011 state test results, there would be failing cells in Newark High School despite the success of my children now. The same 2011 test results showed the second highest rate of growth in the state among Newark High School AP and honor students. Many of the measured cells did achieve adequate yearly progress. Available Newark Charter School 2011 state test results indicate passing scores and adequate growth for whole school and white student cells. Reportedly, the number of Newark Charter School students who would be included in the special education, limited English proficiency, African-Americans, and economically disadvantaged cells who took the state test did not meet the threshold of a significant number of students to be measured or reported, indicating that they would likely not be included in a program, in a new program of significant numbers if the high school were to grow from the middle school. I request that any future, any new investment, expansion, or creation of new programs or schools should be significantly inclusive of students who are most in need where the traditional public schools are currently failing and not focused on the students who are already -- whose needs are already being met by the current schools. I would also like to reiterate what Mr. Pulaski said regarding the impact of the school on the current Newark High School students. Providing choice for current Newark Charter School students by opening a new high school for them would take away teaching units and qualified students from the current high schools, which would impact the number of AP classes that could be available to current Newark High School and Glasgow High School ninth and tenth graders and other future students who are currently in traditional public middle schools. Additional educational choice for some students is not meant to be taking away choices from others. The impact of opening a new high school is different than opening a new school at another level

because of diverse course offerings, wide variety of activities, which will require a number to get funded and to be successful. For example, (inaudible). And I have submitted this through an e-mail. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Next. MS.RUCKLE: Hi. I'm Maria Ruckle. I'm a parent of three children at Newark Charter School, a resident of the city of Newark, and I'm also a Newark real estate professional. And I would like to speak on that a little bit, if I may, before I launch into my parent latitudes. As a realtor, 50 percent of my business is corporate relocation primarily in and around the city of Newark. Companies like W.L. Gore, DuPont, DuPont Stine High School, University of Delaware. And what I consistently hear from the HR departments that I deal directly with, they don't want to be in the Christina School District. They don't want to be in the Christina School District. The problems of Christina are well known. Christina School District is broken. I can speak to this. My children attended Christina School District schools. My children have attended Catholic schools, private schools, and Newark Charter. And, of all of them, I have not found a better experience than at Newark Charter. I have a handful here of MLS descriptions from local realtors. I just pulled a smattering the other day -- and I know there are other realtors in the room here today -- just a smattering of them. "Located in the Newark Charter School radius. A few miles to Newark Charter. Within a five-mile radius to Newark Charter. Newark Charter is a possibility. Exclamation: Close to Newark Charter School." Again and again. It's an advertising point in real estate. It is the shining star of the Christina School District. And I want that to be continued for my children in high school. I have another unique perspective that my office backs up to Newark High School. The things I have witnessed: We have had to repair our fence four times. We have had to kick students out of our public bathrooms in our building. I have a client who is the "inschool suspension teacher" at Newark High School. And she told me that. I was like, "You're what?" She is like, "I babysit the bad kids." And I was so alarmed to hear that there is a full-time paid position for that, as well as seeing a police car parked out front every day. My children are kindergarten, seventh grade, and eighth grade. My eighth grader wants to speak here tonight on his own prerogative. This won't be available to him. But I ask, please make it available for my other children and the other children of the Christina School District who wish to attend that school. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Just to be clear, I'm going to go through the list. I want to make sure I don't miss anyone. Debbie Scanlan? I'm sorry. Next on the list is Jorge Soares. And then it will be Debbie Scanlan. MR.SOARES: Okay. I would like to focus a short intervention on the inequity of -MR.HINDMAN: Sir, could you state your name for the record? MR.SOARES: Jorge Soares. MR.HINDMAN: Can you spell your last name, please? MR.SOARES: First name is J-O-R-G-E. Last name S-O-A-R-E-S. MR.HINDMAN: Thank you. MR.SOARES: You are welcome. I would like to focus a short intervention on the inequity aspect of the current proposal for expansion of the NCS program. The program is about increasing public funding of private level education for a small portion of children in our community. They are privileged not by the strength of their merits or of their needs, but by a lucky draw. They are lucky to be given a paid-for, highquality education that we can value at about 145,000 current after-tax dollars per student in an area where public education is failing. With the current proposal, they want to increase their benefits to a K to 12 highquality education valued at about 412,000 current after-tax dollars per student. For a current seventh-grade student at NCS, the proposed expansion can be valued at about 81,000 current after-tax dollars. These values assume that the alternative to NCS is attending a private school. For most families that have been excluded by the luck of the draw from an NCS education, private education is not a viable option. These families are losing much more than the volume of a comparable private alternative, as they will have to

settle for a inferior public school education that many NCS parents get and some adamantly want to get. But this proposal is not for an extension of these privileges to these families that are left out and cannot afford a private education. The proposal does not seek to increase the holding of the community or increase social and economic equity. It does not even try to make the system more efficient. It is a proposal for the community to extend and finance the privilege of NCS students. Hopefully, your decision will consider the equity and the inefficiency of this proposal from the perspective of the community and not from the private perspective of individuals seeking to maximize their own wellbeing. Thank you very much. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Debbie Scanlan? Christine Murray? Christine Murray? The handwriting here is hard to make out, but Kathy Hamelin? MS.HAMELIN: Kathy? MR.HINDMAN: Kathy? (Laughter) MS.HAMELIN: My name is Katie Hamelin, not Kathy, but my handwriting is deficient. I am here to respectfully request your support for the expansion of the charter of Newark Charter School, which will allow it to establish a high school. My family was fortunate enough to enter in Newark Charter Elementary School in its first year of existence. In the nearly five years of my three daughters attending this school, we have been continually pleased at the progress they have made. They have received a top-notch education provided by highly qualified and motivated staff. My daughters have come to believe that Newark Charter is a large family that they are fortunate to be part of. I would be extremely grateful if my daughters were able to continue their education in Delaware at Newark Charter High School. They have been extremely successful, and I would love to see my daughters continue. I believe that the sky would be the limit in their adult lives if they could do this. Newark Charter High School would be the only choice that I have for my children. Private schools are cost prohibitive for my family. In addition, there is very little chance that all of my daughters would be accepted in one of the charter high schools which are located outside of the district or in a different city too far away from where we are located. My husband has discussed moving out of Delaware so that they can receive a better high school education. This alternative saddens me, as I was born in Delaware and would like to stay here for the rest of my life. I ask that you support the extension of the charter for Newark Charter. I ask that you give my girls their chance and their choice. I thank you for your attention in this matter. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Elizabeth Evans and then Melissa Shanahan. MS.EVANS: I'm Elizabeth Evans. I'm a teacher at Newark High School and a community member, a taxpayer, a parent. My daughter is a senior at Newark High School. I have certifications in (inaudible -someone in audience coughing loudly) English, special education, and autism. I am very proud of being a Newark High School teacher and a parent. And I know a lot of you are my neighbors. But I wish you could have seen my classroom today at 10:00 when I had 17 low-achieving math students in there vying for my attention. Most of them were from Wilmington. Most of them had language issues, whether English was a second language or whether they just weren't very good communicators. All of them did not make threes and fours on the DCAS. I'm so grateful that there is no incentive for me to not pay attention to these students. I'm talking about my paycheck. I'm so grateful that I teach my heart out to everybody. And I'm so grateful that Newark High School has AP classes that some of these mathematically challenged students can take. We have history, economics, psychology. I'm afraid those classes will go away because you guys will take so many students. Let's not be disingenuous. You guys aren't afraid of me. I'm a teacher. I'm a good teacher. You might be a little bit afraid of our building. We need some, like, I don't know, new bathrooms. However, I think you are afraid of the kids who go there, because we have some problems. We also have some problems we inherited from charter and private schools and parochial schools. When they get kicked out, guess where they go? They come to me and they say, "Well, hello. I'm here." And we take them. We have to. It's the law. It's very difficult to kick somebody out of Newark High School, because where are they going to go? They are not going to you. They are not going to St. Marks. They are going to stay there until we absolutely cannot help them contribute to society, which is why we have education. I do not begrudge you and your children this wonderful, safe, free private education. I am really happy that they are getting a good education. My nieces go to Newark Charter, and I'm glad they do. But please don't

compare us and our test scores with yours. Let's not be disingenuous. Let's not pretend that it's not because I don't teach well enough that my kids don't all get threes and fours on the DCAS. That's not it, guys. Let's be honest. I pay for the school system. I'm a taxpayer and a community member. And I really disagree with the whole thing about no free lunch. I mean, there are a few kids who might want to go to Charter. And I was told they would be given a discount on their uniform. That's not enough to fill their belly. And if they get through eighth grade with no free lunch, they are going to the high school. They might get free lunch, but it's too late. The seats are filled. Anyway, I'm obviously passionate about this, and I'm glad that I got to speak. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Melissa Shanahan. And James Brophy will be next. MS.SHANAHAN: My name is Melissa Shanahan. I'm a parent of two children that go to Newark Charter School. I'm also a taxpayer. My tax money also goes to the public school. And I feel that my children should be given the same options, that they get to choose different places to go. Whether we choose -Right now, my kids are in second and fourth grade. Do I know where we are going to go to high school? I believe Newark Charter will be the right high school for us. Maybe it won't, but I want that option there. I am a taxpayer. My money goes towards the Department of Education and all the money towards the schools. And I should have been given the voice, as well. As far as taking away from Newark High School, I don't believe our school picks the best students to come to our school. The lottery process assures that nothing -- they don't decide which kids will fit into our school. They take these kids, whatever grade they are, and make them the best that they can be. They don't say, "Oh, that one? Hmm, we are not sure. Don't put their name in that bucket. We don't want to possibly pick that student." They did not know, when my child entered in kindergarten, that he would possibly need a 504 accommodation plan. They did not know that. But I have had the teachers work with me and my child, and he is on the honor roll in fourth grade. There is no way for them to decide ahead of time. As far as diversity. Your name goes in the lottery. I know I was lucky. I know I am so lucky that my children's name got picked to go to that school. But there is no way that they knew what color I was, where I lived, how much money I made, or what my child's potential was going to be. They are just making the best that they can out of the children that are there. The teachers are knowledgeable, and they truly love what they do. They guide our children wonderfully. It's rated one of the -- It's the best place to work, one of the best places to work. I believe that that all contributes to what goes on there. And, as far as Newark High School, I wish Newark High School the absolute best. I want them to have great students and AP programs. And we should all work towards the Christina School District improving every school. But that doesn't mean that we can't have this great school, as well. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Mr. Brophy. And then following will be Nancy Temple. MR.BROPHY: Good evening. My name is Jim Brophy, and I'm a parent and taxpayer of the Christina School District, a teacher at the University of Delaware for over 20 years. So I'm an educator, as well. My children went to both Newark Charter as well as Newark High, so I know the advantages of both. And there are advantages to both. But, since there have been so many negative characterizations said about Newark High tonight, just let me say that's not the Newark High I know. Come over and walk in the halls and get to know the teachers and the students. And to know us is to love us. There is a lot to be said. My kids were challenged, and they were well prepared for college and are currently going off to college. And I'm very proud of Newark High and what they did for us, as I was of Newark Charter when my kids went there. I'm opposed to high school, Newark Charter High School, and for a number of reasons too long for me to go into for two minutes. Just let me make two comments for this discussion: The first is the notion that the high school is a modification or expansion. I find that problematical. This is more than a modification of a charter. This really should constitute a whole new discussion, a whole new charter, a whole new contract about what this is. This is not an extra kindergarten. This isn't an extra grade being added on. This is a whole new plot of land, a whole new building, a whole new education admission. We need to discuss this, which leads to the point that Mr. Kowalko made that there has, by no stretch of the imagination, been a long enough discussion about this project. I only heard of it in the last week. I would venture to say that, in the Christina School District, we -- I can't venture a percentage, but very, very few people know about this. And this is an undemocratic process right now. We cannot ram this down the throat of the Christina School District. We need time to discuss this. There should be a democratic process here. Okay? This is something

for the entire school district to deliberate about. There should even be a referendum we should vote on this. I would also make the suggestion -- or I would applaud the suggestion made tonight that the school move beyond the five-mile limit. If there is a new high school, this high school should serve the entire Christina School District. And, in addition, there should be numerous lotteries to make the accessibility to this high school fair and democratic. And that should be part of that consultation. Finally, I would applaud Mr. Meece's call for decorum (timer activated) and for diplomacy, which is why I wonder, in yesterday's News Journal, why you liken Christina School District to -MR.HINDMAN: Please finish up. MR.BROPHY: Can I finish my last sentence -- Christina School District parents to crabs, why you likened us to a crab bucket syndrome. And I don't find that metaphor decorous. I don't find that good citizenship. And I think that let's set a new tone when this discussion goes further. We are all part of the same community. We are all part of the same school district. Let's have a nice, level-headed discussion about this. Thank you for hearing my remarks. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Nancy Temple followed by Susan McKenna. MS.TEMPLE: Good evening. My name is Nancy Temple, and I'm a parent of three children who attend Newark Charter School. And, yes, I agree that we are -- every single person in this room is taxpayers. I think everybody can stop reiterating that point that they are a taxpayer. We all are because, if you weren't, you would be in trouble. We are all taxpayers. Most of us are parents, if not educators. We had a speaker earlier this evening discussing how schools should be judged based on what they produce, the children that they produce. If you were to judge Greg Meece and his excellent team of staff and faculty on what they produce, I don't see how you could have any argument with Newark Charter School. I also heard another speaker ask why we should create a new school when there are services, similar services being offered somewhere else. Because a lot of the parents aren't okay with the level of services or the ability of some of these services for our children. They are just not up to what we want. And if we can't afford a private school or public school, we feel it necessary to move out of state, which is unfortunate, because then Delaware loses those students regardless. I also would just like to point out I am one of the low-income families that Newark Charter School supposedly doesn't have, that a lot of people pretend like we don't have. My children are treated no differently. Their teachers love them and take care of them every day as though they were the elitists that some people like to call us. There is no discrimination at Newark Charter except for the fact of if your parent chooses to fill out an application or not. If you take that step, you have an equal chance just like anyone else. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Susan McKenna followed by Anthony Goldstein. MS. MCKENNA: My name is Susan McKenna. I wasn't intending to speak tonight. I was here actually to listen and to be informed of the discussion. But I really feel that I would just like to say a couple of words tonight. I'm also an educator, I'm a parent, and I have been in the classroom for almost 30 years now. I have taught high school. I have taught middle school. And I'm currently a professor at UD. What disturbs me about the discussion tonight is somewhat the disparaging image that you have of Newark High School and the Christina School District. And I would like to just clear up a couple of things. We are a very diverse school. We are a wonderful school. We have incredibly dedicated teachers. We have a hard-working administration. I don't think I have ever seen such a hard-working administration staff, and we have a great bunch of kids. I love to brag. I have two bright children. They went to NCS. And they will both go off to very elite private colleges. So they got a great education at Newark High, and there is nothing to be afraid of at Newark High. The other point I would like to make tonight is that we are all a community. I know half the people in this audience. Our kids played tot soccer together. We swam together. I really hope that the discussion can go forward in a civilized way. We are all going to live together at the end of this discussion, whether this high school goes forward or not. And I think, as parents, we need to set perhaps a better example than maybe the one we saw here tonight. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Next we have Anthony Goldstein followed by Jackie Kook.

MR.GOLDSTEIN: My name is Anthony Goldstein. I'm a simple guy. I work at the university. I deal with students every day, all day. I run a (inaudible) program. I have about 120 students that work directly with me. There has been a lot of things that have been thrown around, different numbers, different statistics, and I don't really understand a lot of them. What I understand is, the one side from Newark High, I have never thought anything bad about Newark High. I like my choice, and I would like to see Newark Charter High School so my children can continue going in the level of education that they are getting. And that's not saying that Newark High is bad. It's just saying it's different. One of the statistics or statements that have been said is the AP program at Newark High would go away. So, to me, knowing that we are not taking students out of the high school, all we are doing is continuing the education of current NCS students, to me that says that all the AP students are from Newark Charter. One thing that I look at, the inclusion is a straight lottery. You know, the basics of statistics that I do understand is, if it's a blind draw, anybody can get in. And, I mean, that's been reiterated a couple of times. I think the board has a lot to think about. I think that in today's world we should question and choose. I think one of the things that I want to finish with is I think everybody understands that Christiana School District is struggling. That can be seen with DCAS scores. It's not just looking at Newark High. You look at the lower-level schools. You start out pretty good. And then, as you go progressively, they get lower and lower and lower, where Newark Charter does the exact opposite. The kindergarten, first grade scores, third grade scores, when they start, are not the best. And then, as you progress, they get higher and higher. So, obviously, Christina School District is doing something wrong. And that's nothing about Wilmington. That's nothing about Newark High. That's the district as a whole. So my question is, why can't we fix that? Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Jackie Kook followed by Maria Ruckle. MS.KOOK: Hi. I'm Jackie. And I would like to thank you for this opportunity to speak before you tonight regarding the proposed expansion in Newark Charter School. We have a 760-seat high school. I'm a teacher at Newark High School. I apologize for my lack of formal dress. We had a beautification project in my political history class to do with landscaping today. We are the most directly affected school should this proposal be approved. To begin, I challenge a statement that there will only be a 14 percent growth in the school, which is the legal requirement of the impact report. According to the Newark Charter recitation, which I found on your website, the enrollment with the addition of a new high school, grade level nine, is 1,760 students. Compared to the 1,338 student enrollment currently established, this represents a growth of 32 percent, not the 14 percent that has been publicly suggested and that has been brought before our -- at least our membership a few weeks ago. This is primarily due to the increase by 58 students per grade of grades K through 3, and 28 students in grade four, as well as 162 ninth-grade students being added. Over the course of the years from the 2013-14 school year to the 2021-22 school year, the total fund represents an 85 percent growth in school size, of which 760 will be high school students. Following along with that math, the high school population would be slightly more than half the current Newark High School population of roughly 1,450, 1,453, which is down about 200 from when I started teaching eleven years ago. So we are already seeing a declining enrollment, in part due to a large number of charter schools, and the number of that has been 22 in the State of Delaware and one new one that's coming in next year. While not all Newark Charter students come to Newark High School, as was pointed out earlier, the figure is -According to our school, the figure is about 52 per year. That still represents between 200 and 300 students lost, flat out lost to Newark High School and the Christina School District. Obviously, the remainder of the students staying at Newark Charter are going to free up spots at the private parochial and other charter schools, which will further impact the school district. For those of you who are unaware, Newark High School sits on the smallest parcel of land in the State of Delaware. It would not be legal to build a school at our facility, and our school is almost literally falling apart at the seams. We have no choice. When we lose 760 students from our community, we will see the closure of one of our district schools, and it will most likely be Newark High School. There is a causal link between this expansion and the accelerated closure of the building currently housing Newark High School. We do not live in such a disposable society that we can throw away our history of this 118-year-old school and the future of all the students that are served there. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Next is Maria Ruckle, and then Dave Resler. Jack Carpenter?

MR .CARPENTER: Hello. I'm a current eighth-grade student at NCS. I love every bit of it. Um, I think that NCS should have a high school. Um, it's a great school. I feel that, if this continues, the pattern of success for all the schools will continue I will not be able to attend this school. I just want all of the future students from seventh grade and below to be able to go to this school. This is a great school. I have applied to many high schools, and I can't find anywhere I like. And I don't want any other students that go to NCS or any other school to be stuck like that. I shadowed at Newark High School. And what I found was disturbing. Because, when I went there, what I saw was totally different than what I expected. I expected it to be a good school. It was not. It was totally opposite of what happens at NCS. There were many fights. Teachers had no control of the classroom that I was in. And it was very unsettling because I never knew that this happened in school. And so I think the NCS needs to expand to a high school, and it needs to happen now. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Dave Resler? Dave Resler? MR.RESLER: Thank you very much. I signed up late. I did not know we were choosing sides. But my name is Dave Resler, and I'm a member of the Christina School District board. MR.CARWELL: Hold the microphone up, please. MR.RESLER: Okay. And I have been clear and honest about my support of choice, charters, public education in general. And I think it's fantastic to see, quite honestly, here today such involvement and interest in public education; everybody dressed in blue; those of us that weren't. In fact, I haven't seen so many people assembled and passionate about the subject since July of 2006 when I joined the board. So I applaud you parents that are here tonight. And I wish that I was doing better at the school board in attracting you and keeping you within our district. That's one of my jobs. So I appreciate your enthusiasm, and I certainly appreciate your frustration with the conditions that have brought you to this point, this decision, and to the Newark Charter present expansion plans or modifications that are planned. That being said, as a member of the board, my duties are to serve the entire district and the district's progress and success. So we just have different objectives. As a board member, we must be concerned with all. And, as a parent, or a charter, the objective does not have to be that. So my remarks are going to be more to the board that has the remaining decision here tonight about the charter expansion and how I feel it affects the district. I believe the district will be harmed, will be handicapped, and otherwise compounded the current factors that we deal with in the success every year, the loss of additional students and the loss of involved, caring parents who share the same value that we all do. That will be detrimental to the district. I know that my work and duties and challenge are from the district's perspective. They have existed for many years already, private, charter, choice schools. That's not going to change with me here tonight. I feel that all competition raises the bar. I'm a competitive individual, and so is our district. And we will continue to work hard. We will continue to make the best educational opportunities and environment for what remains of our traditional public schools. So what is unique about my defense of CSD, Christina School District, and opposition as a board member to this charter's application? And that is, and I think it has been expressed already, it's exclusive. All charter and private schools are exclusive; however, this charter application that you are reviewing is exclusive not only to the state, New Castle County, but even within our own district it's exclusive. It won't include Bear. It won't include Glasgow. Not even all of Newark. I don't think it's going to be devastating financially, (timer activated) but, as I said before, it will be detrimental to the expected achievement and progress that we are expected to achieve at the state level and what you have charged us to do and the grounds and the benchmarks which you have set, the programs, the financing, and so forth. I will wrap it up. My biggest concern, and your decision that you have to make in moving forward here tonight -- I know you need some choices, as well. I wish it could slow down. We, perhaps, made the wrong choice in not chartering already when we had the opportunity under "Race To The Top" with one of our partnership schools. But I really think that, looking at the entire impact to our district and what goals are at the state level, the public education, and the, again, grounds in which you judge each one of our districts, scores, the money, the unit counts and so forth, it is in direct opposition to what all of our overall goal is, our board as well as the State Education Board. So thank you very much for all the folks here that you have the passion. Your kids will be successful in public schools, traditional public schools, just because of what they will see in your leadership here tonight, your involvement. It rubs off.

MR.CARWELL: Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Next is Milind Sawant. MR.SAWANT: I spoke already. I can speak again. (Laughter) MR.CARWELL: Brian James. MR.JAMES: Hi. My name is Brian James. I'm a parent of a first-grade student at Newark Charter and an up and coming student who will be arriving shortly. Of all the stats that have been available that have been shown to many of the people here, there is a lot of numbers that get thrown around. But the one number I want to point out is the number two. The number two, as in number two in the nation. Number two in the nation. 300 million people, and Newark, little old Newark, Delaware has a school that's number two in the nation. And so, to Mr. Meece and to your staff, your teachers, thank you so much for your efforts. I congratulate you on your achievements, and I think it's outstanding. Outstanding! I think that what we need to question then is not -- The question needs to be how do we get this success out to the rest of the schools. Clearly, what is happening at Newark Charter works. And so what we need to do is expand that. Whatever is being done there is effective. My concern is we have -- Many of the people that spoke before -- And the teachers, I thank you so much, from Newark High School, that spoke before, I thank you so much for your efforts that you put forward. It's not an easy job that you have. I recognize that. But, clearly, the old way has failed. The schools that are existing -- I'm a graduate of Christiana High School, and I saw firsthand some of the absolutely devastating stuff that went on in that school. And there are a lot of problems. And it's not your fault, and I want to thank you again for your efforts to be a teacher and an educator. And I hope that you continue in that, and your efforts are appreciated across the community. But this is not about districts. This is not about buildings. This is about our kids and the kids that come after us. And their education is what's important; not buildings, not districts, not budgets. So to those that are going to have to vote on this, the board and everything, I see in the blue your active, concerned, citizen voters. And they have a pure -- They are driven with a purity of purpose. A decision to vote against Newark Charter is a decision against children. Arguments put forward in opposition to the new high school are just simply without merit and are factually inaccurate, many of them. If you vote against the interests of our children, we will replace you with those who will not subvert the interests of our children to political prejudice or (inaudible) contributions. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Next is Andra James followed by Kathy Wheeler. MS.JAMES: Hi. My name is Andra James, A-N-D-R-A, and I'm a parent of a child at Newark Charter School. And I'm looking at our kindergarten teacher right now. And I have to tell you: I won the lottery, and I'm proud of it. And I walked into her kindergarten class. And after being there for 20 minutes and seeing how they worked with the kids in the small groups and what they were learning, I was saddened. I was saddened because I wanted every kid in the State of Delaware to have the same opportunity. I realized that right away. I realized how special it was and what a fantastic job they did with those kids. I'm going to touch on two points: One point is about the low-income families. Right now I consider myself a lowincome family. And you know what? I took the initiative. I signed that application. And, if you have problems, that's what we have food stamp programs for, to provide your child with food. And those parents made that decision, and they are sending them there with a cafeteria or without a cafeteria. That doesn't matter. We want our kids to have an education. Secondly, another thing that had been brought up is about, um, the decline of students at Newark High School if we have a high school for Newark Charter. Have we heard how industry might be a reason, that they have left the area? Chrysler is gone. That might contribute towards that. And you know what? Businesses aren't going to come into Newark because of the education of the Christina School District. They want us to have a high school so that they can have students that can work in these technology-based jobs. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Dottie Ventura followed by Phillip Ventura. MS.WHEELER: Kathy Wheeler. I wasn't planning to speak, but now that I'm up here, it will be the fastest one. So thank you for the opportunity to speak. My experience with the Christina School District began

when my son wanted to go to preschool and we found that he would need two years. So I was promised by the folks that I worked with in the Christina School District that he would have an opportunity to stay in the same school for two years and then filter directly in that school for kindergarten. What ended up happening instead was, halfway through the first year, he was told that they needed to move the program from his school because the school was going to be used for a wings program that was funded for children that weren't able to afford preschool. And, because I was able to afford to pay for it, I needed to go to another school. So in year two of his education, we went to school number two and did not have the most pleasant experience. I then needed to drive further to get to that school, and it was an additional challenge, but I wanted him to have a good start in education. So I, again, like so many other people here tonight, won the lottery. I really did. I would trade this for the million-dollar lottery for the Powerball. It gives him a future that I might not have been able to provide for him based on the means that I have in life. And, like every other parent, regardless of what school your kid goes to, you want to give them the best opportunity possible. So in his third school, by year three in school, he is now in Newark Charter School and in second grade and having the best experience. I would have never dreamed of being able to give him this experience on my own. So my kudos to everybody that's involved in making Newark Charter what it is today. And I so look forward to the future with Newark Charter High School, and I really implore the board to not just look at all of these numbers, but to look at the quality of education for the child. Thank you very much. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Dottie Ventura followed by Phillip Ventura? Dottie Ventura? Phillip Ventura. Mary Olsen? MS.OLSEN: I just signed up. MR.CARWELL: Okay. Thank you. Ken Olsen? MS.OLSEN: He didn't sign up either. (Laughter) MR.CARWELL: Goodwin Cobb. MR.COBB: My name is Goodwin Cobb, IV. I'm parent, a Delaware native, Christina High -- or Christina school graduate, Glasgow High graduate. I currently have a new child at Newark Charter and a child in Christina School District, and I did too win the lottery. And I just want to thank all the staff and thank what Newark Charter is doing. I did feel as though our child's life has changed since he has joined Charter. His spelling and reading scores have improved, and my wife and I, who are both educators, were both very impressed with the charter school curriculum and just like all of the great things that are going on there. So, certainly, I appreciate that the board would approve moving forward with the Newark Charter High School. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Debbie Campbell followed by Carla Soutar. Debbie Campbell? Okay. Carla Soutar? Carla Soutar? Okay. Amy Legutko? UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: She already spoke. MR.CARWELL: That's what I thought. Thank you. Michelle Burnes already spoke. Jonathan Dycio? UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: He just ran outside for a minute, but he will be right back. MR.CARWELL: We will come back. Gordon Winegar? Gordon Winegar? MR.WINEGAR: Hello. My name is Gordon Winegar. I'm a proud graduate of the Delaware public school system. You know, the consistent student achievement in Newark Charter School is indisputable. Our community, school district, and Department of Education should all be proud to continue supporting such high standards of education. As you consider your decision, please make sure you are sending the right message, that the State of Delaware supports excellence in education and school choice as granted by state law. Your decision to expand excellence will not only give over 1,000 new children the opportunity to join

the Newark Charter successes; it will also continue to establish best practices that can be implemented to benefit all Delaware children. The foundation of a strong education has been laid for the current students at Newark Charter. I ask that you please give them a choice to continue their successful journey at Newark Charter into adulthood. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you, sir. Jonathan Dycio? MR.DYCIO: Jonathan Dycio, parent of two at Newark Charter School. I'm not going to reiterate anything else that's been said here tonight. I just want to let everybody know that I am thankful every day that my children got into Newark Charter School, and I look forward and hope and pray that high school is allowed so they can continue that education with Newark Charter School. Thank you very much. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you, sir. Tom DelleDonne, followed by Amit Patel. MR.DELLEDONNE: I will give you a copy of this. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, sir. MR.DELLEDONNE: Thank you very much. My name is Tom DelleDonne. I'm the parent of two children who attend Newark Charter. One thing I wanted to point out was, with an as passionately charged topic as we have, decorum is what I do see from both sides, and thank you for that, both for and against. Now, there is a lot that I had written that I won't rehash, because it's already been covered. You know, excellent results, excellent decorum. My daughter had a chance to attend -- She should have attended Glasgow High School this year. And for those that said Christina did not see this coming, I went to six separate board meetings, and most of the boards members that are still here saw my face several times to challenge them back a year ago to choose charter for the option for Glasgow High School that was failing. And they flat out told me that was not going to be an option they were going to choose. Now they are going to come to you today and say, "Oh, we probably should have made that choice," as you heard from a board member just a moment ago. And so, therefore, they knew that this was the best option for their students, for our students, for the district as a whole. And I just want to point out that the school -- My daughter is an average student. My son is an excelling student. They are both getting what they need from the school, as well as those who have IEPs and other challenges are also getting what they need from the school. The school is providing excellence, and this is something that the school district should be mimicking, not trying to block. And so, again, we hear all these numbers and, you know, we mention 52 students with Newark Charter. I'm sorry. Newark High School. If you polled those students, 90 percent said they didn't want to go to Christina as a first choice. It was only what was left which is why they went to that school. If they had a first choice, it would be Newark Charter High School. So we are talking about a small number of students who wanted the opportunity to go some other place, but their only option, including my case -- I had to take on an extra job to get my daughter to go to a private school, because I did not like the choices that were available. Focusing strictly on Glasgow, I was mortified by the low graduation rate, by the number of students who have been suspended five or more times being over 20 percent, by the lack of respect and just personal experiences with teachers who had taught there who didn't want their own students to attend; friends who had students who went to Glasgow who quickly pulled out within the first couple of years because of the overall lack of decorum; and how they didn't think they were getting served by our school district. And so the numbers are very small. I won't hash all the numbers related to the inaccuracies about the number of minorities. For instance, you have the numbers, and I have heard them be distorted already this evening, that only 60 plus percent of Newark Charter is Caucasian, 11.2 percent are African Americans. There are minorities in greater proportion in the surrounding area. (Timer activated) And so, therefore, the school does meet the needs of all children of all backgrounds and should be allowed to be extended. Thank you. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, sir. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Next we have Amit Patel followed by Vasudha Narayana -MS.IYENGAR: I don't want to speak.

MR.PATEL: Hello. My name is Amit Patel. I'm proud parent of two children who goes to Newark Charter School. One is really doing excellent in school, and the second one doing, you know, on an average. But what I am really here is for as a parent, as a taxpayer, as an individual, I'm emotionally, you know, really humble that my kids go to Newark Charter. I wouldn't have been staying in Delaware if I would have other options to think about it later on in life when they go to the high school. And, you know, we talk every day in the home that what if it's not Newark Charter. My kids are falling into Glasgow High School pattern. And with what we heard today or what we see every day, it's not a school that your kids want to go to if they have done really well in other schools. And, you know, financially it's a burden for many parents and families if they don't support or have money for private schools. So for me, the choice is where we are left. It's just Glasgow High School. That's my first preference. For choice, I happen to be in the lottery system for other public schools which are not options for me. So my only recommendation is that to reconsider for kids, for not only for Newark High but for kids goes to Glasgow High School, what they can do better and what other advantages they have. Thank you very much. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Next is Ivanka Carbajal followed by James Corbett. MS.CARBAJAL: Hello. Hi there. The reason I'm up here, I'm up here to support -- Oh, sorry. Ivanka Carbajal. I'm here to support the expansion of Newark Charter School. The Christina School District failed my kids. That is why they are not there, and I chose to send them to Newark Charter School. One of my kids did not get in at first. So in the middle of the school year, I transferred her to a private school where she was bullied, and the bullying did not stop. So she cried a lot. She did not want to go to school. Then, like many other parents, we won the lottery, and my child went to Newark Charter. And the only time she cries is when she can't go to school because she is sick. My other daughter who started at Newark Charter in third grade actually told me that she didn't care if she ate lunch as long as she got to go to school there. So I have heard a lot of you talk about minorities. Well, I'm Hispanic and have personally seen the way Hispanic students thrive at Newark Charter School. If my daughter, my oldest or my youngest is not able to attend Newark Charter High School, we will have to move out of Newark into another school district. Thank you so much to all of Newark Charter for all you do. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: James Corbett followed by Zach Essick. MR.. CORBETT: My name is James Corbett. I'm a community member of the city of Newark, of New Castle County, and I'm a parent of children in the Delaware Department of Education public school system. It's one system, and my children are part of that system. They currently go to Newark Charter. I write in support of the expansion of Newark Charter School to include a four-year high school. I would like to -you can stop me if this isn't correct. I think the comments particularly of Mr. Resler, I think that it's important to note that the schools in our community, all of them, are struggling to improve. And I would like to just recognize that in 2002 to 2003 when SHU lost students because of the opening of Newark Charter School, its math proficiency rate went from about 40 percent to 30 percent. Since that time, it has climbed at twice the slope that it was doing before, and it is now near 70 percent proficient. Some sort of wonderful change has happened there. And I commend all the public schools who have found ways to model improvement, whether it is a Newark Charter model or any other model. I would like to make two points and then maybe see where the time is, ma'am. My first point is that when I hear my neighbors, whom I love, disagree strongly about something that I think I can figure out in the open data, I go try to find out. And with regard to that, I would like to talk -- say one more word about the one Department of Education. I found public meeting minutes from a public school called Newark Charter School that goes back months about this plan. And I'm sorry that the one Department of Education hasn't been able to find a way for them to see each other's work. I'm sure that Newark Charter School's look that way. The Newark Charter School represents the community students with no enrollment bias for race ethnicity by any data that I have been able to look for, and that data is on the Department of Education website. They have an increasing lowincome family participation rate. And it is true that the best public school in Delaware, despite no tuition filter and despite no filter for testing, other than the lottery, is effectively full because the demand outstrips the supply. I stand ready, as a member of the Department of Education parent team, to help all schools improve, and I thank you for your time. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Mr. Zach Essick, followed by Venkata Dantulun?

MR.ESSICK: Hello. My name is Zachary Essick. I am a parent of a student at Newark Charter School. I'm just going to be brief. I just wanted to get the opportunity to speak and say that I am definitely for the expansion of the high school. There is a lot of talk of units and, you know, losing enrollments and funds. But it really comes down to about the students' education. And, you know, my personal opinion is it's hard to forecast what you are going to lose in the event you don't even know if all of our eighth-grade students would have went to a local high school or not. There are so many other determining factors, loss of jobs, people moving, so forth and so on. My true feeling is that, if you're referring to a child as a "unit," I don't want my child going to that particular institution anyway. Also, if you don't have that student and you are not allocated those funds, you don't need to pay for that student; so I just don't see any reason why the expansion shouldn't happen. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, sir. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Venkata Dantulun? Steve Peterson followed by Frank Newton. MR.PETERSON: Hello. Hi. My name is Steve Peterson. I have lived in the Newark area my whole life in Delaware. I attended Delaware public schools K through 12. My daughter attended public schools in Delaware. My second daughter is attending a public school in Delaware, Newark Charter School. I was a substitute teacher in the public schools here. My sister is a teacher. My mother was a teacher at Delcastle High, a math teacher. I really, really, really respect teachers. Mom taught us that teaching is about learning. The student is the key. And the children at NCS are getting an excellent education. I'm sure you have all seen the metrics that prove Newark Charter is providing a very valuable service to the Newark community, excellent test scores, lower taxpayer cost per student. That's pretty big for everybody here. We are all taxpayers; right? Overwhelming support from parents, and most telling is the huge list of parents trying to get their children in. We need more schools with similar records so that more children can experience this high-quality education. I dream of a Delaware that does not have lotteries that disappoint children and parents but, instead, provides this experience for all children. Expanding Newark Charter is simply a step in that direction. A letter arguing against Newark Charter in today's News Journal said a model of reform must accommodate students of all talents, abilities, and backgrounds. I agree. But, interestingly, this is an argument in favor of Newark Charter, because the student population is randomly drawn in a lottery, and the result is that Newark Charter accommodates students of all talents, abilities, and backgrounds. The Newark Charter student body has a lower percentage of Caucasians than the city of Newark, more African Americans, more Asians, more 130 multiracial students. Seventy percent of Newark Charter students are special ed, and 16 percent are free or reduced-lunch eligible, which is a higher percentage than the whole State of Delaware. These facts from this year's student demographic report, when combined with the consistently higher test scores and lower cost to taxpayer of Newark Charter students, are used strongly in favor of nurturing the growth of Newark Charter as a model for better education in Delaware. Nurturing excellence and success in education is our responsibility (timer activated) as administrators, as teachers, as parents, as adults. Please help Newark Charter expand for the sake of the children. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you, sir. Frank Newton followed by Joe Pickering. MR.NEWTON: Everyone will be happy to know these aren't my comments, so let's start with that. (Laughter -- handing files) My name is Franklin Newton. I rise in support of the Newark Charter School's request to revise its charter to include grades nine through 12 and urge the board to approve its request. You are all well aware of the impeccable, financial, and academic record of Newark Charter School. Many others here have and will share the accurate Newark Charter School facts and figures detailing our profile and our successes. I have no doubt they will do so more eloquently than I, so I won't spend my precious time here rehashing them for you. Instead, I want to use my time to detail my perceptions of the process that has led to this decision that is before the board. Over these last few weeks and months, I have found this to be one of the most heartening and one of the most disheartening processes that I have ever participated in. That may seem incongruous and lead you to ask why the contradiction. Quite simply, I have seen the best and the worst of some of the members of the greater Newark community that I have called home for almost two decades. As a caveat to my comments that follow, I want to be on record as stating that there are most certainly good students and strong teachers in Newark High School and other Christiana

School District schools. This is not directed at them, but rather to those who have attempted to hijack this process. There is a small but vocal clutch of opponents backed by entities who have opted to wage a nasty, systematic campaign of misinformation, mudslinging, and maliciousness. They have attempted to individually and collectively malign me and my fellow and sister Newark Charter parents with spurious assertions, stated and implied, to try and tag us as racists, elitists, and selfish separatists. They then have the audacity to state that we are divisive in our community. Their issues and angers seem to be misplaced. Their concerns, as have been pointed out here, seem to be not with Newark Charter School but with the 17year-old neighborhood school law and charter school law. While many of them raised no concerns about these laws over more than a decade, they have suddenly decided to utilize their perceived shortcomings of the law in an effort to undermine the Newark Charter expansion request. Some have even suggested that, because Newark Charter's request doesn't respond to or correct any and all inequities in the Christina School District, that the request should be denied or the charter modified to serve in this role, even though it would neither be appropriate, and it would violate the tenets of the charter and the radius that it is legally authorized to serve. Some of the opponents have circulated letters that posit that the blocking of Newark Charter High School is a good thing, because then a larger group of 15-year-old Newark Charter School educated students will be forced into Newark High School, and they, in their high-achieving Newark High School years, would be mantled with the responsibility of fostering a dynamic and rigorous learning environment. I find this logic upside down and, quite frankly, reprehensible. The dynamic and rigorous learning environment should be fostered by the administration and the teachers, supported by the parents, and directed to the students who are the beneficiaries of the environment created, not the main architects of it. To the others gathered here, both supporters and opponents, I believe we share a common goal, to make Delaware public education an enviable system (timer activated) for others to model. And I look forward to working with you in assisting to continue making all of our public schools vibrant and transformative educational environments for our children. Denying the charter school expansion is not a way to start that process. I urge the board to approve the request by Newark Charter. Thank you. (Applause) MR.NEWTON: Oh, sorry. That is the petition that has 1,750 names and 330 comments that I sent earlier. This is the most up-to-date version. There are nine copies there, so there are eight for the board and one for Secretary Lowery, as well. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Joe Pickering followed by Jay Sashti. MR.PICKERING: So don't let anyone say Delawareans aren't excited about education. I think we proved that here. But I do want to thank Mr. Kowalko and the other elected and appointed officials that are here. This job isn't easy. I mean just imagine sitting here listening to this all the time. (Laughter) So a thank you to them. This is a tough job. I have two kids, one at NCS, one at NHS. So, to reintroduce myself, hi, I'm Joe, and I'm not afraid of NHS. Newark High School serves a purpose. Newark Charter High School will also serve a purpose. Both purposes are going along the same area. They are trying to serve the children the exact same way. What we need to do -- I need to hold the microphone closer. What we need to do is find a way to heal the wounds that this has obviously exacerbated. There are very passionate people on both sides of the fence here. There are good teachers at Newark High School. There are good teachers at Newark Charter School. There are going to be great teachers at Newark Charter School High School. There are going to be great teachers at Newark High School. The point is, we all love our kids. We all want to do the best by these kids. So let's find a way to work together. So I'm asking the board for three things here: Please approve the charter application. Competition is a good thing. Hold the districts, the DSEA, Newark Charter School, every other charter school accountable and responsible to improve, to adapt. And then work to heal the problems that we are obviously seeing here. There seems to be a little bit of animosity. So thank you very much. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you, sir. Jay Sashti followed by David Wisor. MS.SASHTI: Hi. My name is Jay Sashti. I'm here to support the proposal for the expansion of the Newark Charter High School. I have two students currently going to the high school. One is a seventh grader, and one is a fourth greater. I cannot tell you the lovely experience that we have had. We actually came here through the lottery from a private school, and they can absolutely tell you that the excellent education that

they receive here is comparable to what they had before. I implore the board to kindly approve the expansion. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you. David Wisor followed by -- pardon me -- Monein Sheulat? MR.WISOR: Hi. My name is David Wisor. I'm a resident of Newark, and I have lived in the Christina School District, I guess about 30 years. Three of my children are going to graduate from Newark High -one already, two more within the next six years. Neither my wife nor I are board members of Newark Charter. We don't know any -- We are not friends with any teachers there. We don't have any teachers in our family that are there. My son got admission six years ago based on the five-mile lottery. And I'm not an elitist. I'm really not. I hear that. I have seen it on the blogs. I guess I shouldn't be reading them. (Laughter) But we are just an average, middle-classed family. In the fall my daughter will begin ninth grade. As I said, she will be going to Newark, so I will have no personal interest in Newark Charter High School. But I want to live in Newark for the rest of my life, and it's a community that I care deeply about and one that I want to continue to succeed. And I believe that one of the best ways is to provide a world-class educational experience to our children, and I know that Newark Charter High School can do that. Now, my son, who is a sophomore at Newark High, he was accepted into a VoTech school. He chose to go to Newark instead. My daughter could have applied anywhere else. She chose to go to Newark. And I asked her, if you had the chance to stay at Newark Charter -- and no offense to all the blue shirts -- she said she would rather go to Newark. The point is that what this does is give the choice. Without this, so many of these students aren't going to have a choice. It will be Newark High School for so many of them. And it's good. It's obviously a good enough school that my kids want to go there. But it's not for everybody. So let's have a Newark Charter High School where people can have that choice. That's it. I just ask that you support the expansion. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, sir. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Again, I will try to pronounce from the handwriting here. Monein Sheulat? Okay. Kimberly Mills. UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: She left. MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Debbie Page? UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: She is outside. MR.CARWELL: Okay. Srinivas Kandula? MR.KANDULA: Hello. And I'm up here because (inaudible) told me to. (Laughter) My name is K-A-N-DU-L-A, S-R-I-N-I-V-A-S. So my story begins in '90, '91. I went from India to Europe. MR.HINDMAN: Stand over here in front of the court reporter. (Laughter) MR.KANDULA: So this is what I do. So if the charter for Newark Charter High School, I have to be a stand-up comedian so I can send my children to a better school. Flat out, that's the truth. It's a fact. Now, sorry. I'm not a stand-up comedian. But the point is, I have been here 20 years. I have been in many cities, studying there, working there, no job sometimes. Have to move to Delaware for a job. Now, my daughter, she went to fourth grade in another school. We chose (inaudible) for her. And I thought wonderful. Then we looked at Newark Charter. This is a lottery system. Right? I never won a lottery in my whole life. Even now, I only won one lottery. My daughter got in. So I go to work at three in the morning to finish my work, from three to eight, so that I can play tennis in the night. I go to all meetings all day and go back again three in the morning. So I go to school at 8:00 in the morning. And I thought, should I pick up (inaudible). Mr. Meece, in relation to you and your staff, you do a wonderful job. I believe that what they do is they spark something in the student. They create a spark. I don't beat up my children to study, study, study. I don't want to do that. But thanks to them, they created a spark. And she asks me questions every day. I think, didn't I get educated? (Laughter) But I can't tell her to stop. I keep getting these questions. I only wish that I do a good job. She always telling to me, "Oh, my God, Dad. So I'm asking the board to approve the Newark

Charter High School public choice with public money. And then I say, right on the podium now, we have to innovate. If we don't innovate, we die. And we can see in my country. We have to innovate. (Timer activated.) And this is the innovation that Mr. Meece sparks. And we have to innovate. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Next is Frank Clay, followed by Bernadette Delong. MR.CLAY: Good evening. I came to be supportive of the Newark Charter expansion. MR.HINDMAN: State your name. MR.CLAY: Frank Clay. I didn't come prepared to talk, but I can just say that, as an African-American who grew up in the inner city, education has made a major difference in my life. And I'm fortunate to have two students who have graduated from Newark Charter and one who is currently there. My daughter who is currently there had some challenges and actually had an IEP about two or three years ago. And based on the support that she got, last year she made the honor roll each and every report card period. And I can say that I don't know that that would have happened in any other school. And I think that, with all the things that we see on the news about minorities and our young people, I think it's extremely important that we explore every opportunity that we can to have excellence in education. And that's what I have experienced from day one at Newark Charter School. I have nothing against Newark High School. I think it's an excellent high school, but I think we need options. And I'm asking the board to approve the expansion so that, as parents, we have options for excellence in education. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you, sir. Bernadette Delong, please? Bernadette Delong? That is the final person on my list. Are there any other individuals who wish to speak? Please introduce yourself. MR.WAKEMAN: My name is Jesse Wakeman. I'm the assistant principal of the Newark Middle School, Charter Middle School. I think it's important. We have heard a lot about free and reduced lunch and the importance that it plays in education. And I think it's important to point out, for the sake of history, to look where we come from. We came from trailers. That's the history of the school. We didn't not build a cafeteria so that we could exclude anyone. We didn't build a cafeteria because we didn't have the capital funding to do so. That's the reason behind it. I can tell you, as someone who strives every day to be a good father, to be a good husband, to be a good assistant principal, to install in my students and my own children what it means to be truthful and honest. And what I can tell you is, because I'm the person, when Mr. Meece was rarely sick, to pull the names out of the bin. There is absolutely no segregation intent whatsoever. To that end, we have listened. We have heard. The plan was to build a cafetorium, to have a school nutrition program in the junior high and in the high school. That was the plan. We are going to keep to that plan. That's the plan that we are going to do. But, whether or not this plan goes forward or not, I can tell you that discussion has already begun. We have already discussed with vendors. We have already discussed with Department of Education officials to extend that program K to eight. We don't want to segregate. That is 100 percent not what we are here to do. And I think that that's something else: My colleague Esther spoke about looking at the geographical preferences and what the impacts of that may be. Again, we are continuing to look, whether or not this goes forward or not. We do this not because it's the political thing to do. We do it because we believe in our program; we believe in what we can deliver to all students in all neighborhoods. And that's quite simple, the whole truth. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you. Anyone else who wishes to speak? Here is the microphone. MS. DAVILA: Thanks. My name is Shannon Davila. I am a parent of three children at Newark Charter School. And I just wanted to share a letter my daughter wrote. "This letter is coming from a student that has gone to Newark Charter since the first grade. The first day school opened was a dream come true. I knew right away that Newark Charter was great for me. It provided safety, comfort, excitement, and a feeling of caring people around you." She didn't mention education, though. "All of my teachers were so nice to me. I have grown and built new strengths that I would have never known had I not come to this school. When I heard that a high school was going to open or hopefully open, I was ecstatic because I knew I was going to achieve one of the best educations a kid could get. It also meant that I could stay in school with some of my

closest friends for a very long time. Without a doubt, I know that Newark Charter High School would be great. I look forward to whatever you choose for this new high school and that your choice will be best for everyone, including me. My friends and I are counting on this. Thank you. From a current fifth-grade student at Newark Charter: Ashton Davila." The bottom line is that I am a mother of three beautiful daughters. I care about their safety. I care about their education. I care about their basic backgrounds as people that have this beautiful knowledge that's given to us by the core knowledge curriculum. I care about their having proper decorum, actually sometimes more than the educational piece. The bottom line is I care. Hi. I would like to introduce myself. My name is Mrs. Davila. I'm a special education teacher at Newark Charter. I teach third grade. I work hard every day, as all teachers do. I have numbers that grow every day. There are teachers here. My whole department is here, my special education department. No children are excluded. I have teachers that are asking, regular education teachers, asking to be part of the inclusion process. This isn't a top-notch elitist school. No. We teach everyone. We want to give everyone this education. Please give us the opportunity to expand. Let our children matriculate into this beautiful high school that's going to blossom, because they deserve it. Thank you. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Thank you. MS. LAKOSKY: My name is Katie Lakosky. Please forgive me. I was not planning on talking this evening. But, after hearing everyone, I felt inspired. I think we can all agree that Christiana School District -- maybe we can all agree, for the lower grades, it's okay. But as you start to progress through the grade levels, it starts to fail our children. And I want to talk about the symptoms of a failing school. Symptom number one: Approximately seven years ago, I was in the unfortunate situation where I suddenly found myself a parent of two school-aged children. One child won the lottery and got into Newark Charter. That child is thriving and is very successful. The second older child was less fortunate. He was not able to go to Newark Charter. He did very well in the lower grades. Then we hit middle school. No matter how much we banged on the middle school door, tried to help that child, that school failed him. I won't get into the whole history, but that child is now a 17-year-old dropout. I have a master's degree. I'm in a doctorate program. I come from a well-educated family. That school failed him. Symptom number one of a failing school. Symptom number two: I work for the University of Delaware in the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. In my circle of colleagues, you are a fool if you live in the State of Delaware because they say, "Are you nuts? You are going to send your kids to Delaware public schools?" And why pay for private when you can just move over to Pennsylvania and, for the price of two kids in public school, the taxes there are cheaper? Most of my colleagues live over the Pennsylvania line. Symptom number two of a failing school district. Symptom number three: Newark Charter. We would not need Newark Charter, we wouldn't be sitting here talking about the expansion of a Newark Charter High School if Christiana School District were serving our needs and fulfilling our requirements for our children. So let's not talk about the symptoms; let's talk about the costs, which is a failing school district. We need to figure out how to make that school district better, but it's not going to happen overnight. So let's not put all of our kids in that same bucket. I hate to use that analogy. But let's not put all of our children in that same bucket. At least some of our children will be able to have an opportunity to attend Newark Charter High School and have a chance and have a better high school. In the meantime, I hope and I pray that we can figure out what's going on with Christiana School District, why it's failing, and we can fix the cause so we don't have to talk about these symptoms anymore. (Loud applause) MR.MCCORMICK: Hi. My name is Peter McCormick. I have three children at Newark Charter. I have one who is a sophomore at Newark High School. I wasn't planning on speaking also tonight, but my daughter who is at Newark is in the Cambridge Program. It's a great program. I do believe that she wouldn't be succeeding today if it wasn't for Newark Charter grade school. What the Christina School District administrators failed to mention is that last year I had the opportunity or I got the call by -- Just to back up, my children's mother is a teacher in the Christina School District. So imagine my shock when I got a text last year to go pick my daughter up from Newark High School because there was a gun at school. Four days prior to that, six kids knocked a kid out at school, and three days later they were back at school because of district policy. Last year my daughter had, I think six days in a row, where she was texting me saying, "We have another fire drill today. Why are they doing this?" Last week, for the second year in a row, my daughter said, "We are not allowed to go to the bathroom during the day. We can go in between classes." 1,400 kids getting to go to the bathroom in between classes. Good luck. My point is, that is not a

place or an environment where kids can learn. My son is an eighth grader this year, and he is choosing to go to Newark next year. He went for a shadowing three weeks ago and loved the fact that, when he sat in math class, they were learning two times two times two times two. He also loved the fact that he got to see a fight. So that was the deciding factor over Sally's. I'm going to let him go there, though, because, again, I don't want to force it on him. I will keep very close tabs on what they do. The point is, I never feel any kind of threat at Newark Charter School. It's an environment where the kids can learn freely. They can express themselves and have the opportunity to thrive. Any educator here, either at Newark Charter or in the Christina School District cannot say you are looking out for the best interests of the kids if you are not giving them another avenue to thrive. And that is why I truly support the opening of Newark Charter High School. MR.CARWELL: Thank you, sir. (Applause) MR.CARWELL: Anyone else who has a desire to speak? If not, I want to thank everyone. The Secretary will see your comments in deciding what recommendation to propose for the consent of the State Board. And this hearing is now closed. Thank you very much. (Applause) (Concluded at 9:38 p.m.)

CERTIFICATE I, Lorena J. Hartnett, a Notary Public and Registered Professional Reporter, do hereby certify that the foregoing is an accurate and complete transcription of the proceeding held at the time and place stated herein, and that the said proceeding was recorded by me and then reduced to typewriting under my direction, and constitutes a true record of the testimony given by said witnesses. I further certify that I am not a relative, employee, or attorney of any of the parties or a relative or employee of either counsel, and that I am in no way interested directly or indirectly in this action. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal of office on this 13th day of March 2012. ___________________________ Lorena J. Hartnett Registered Professional Reporter