Gov. Markell has named a 24-member working group to review “the current landscape for charter schools” and recommend improvements “for the benefit of our students and our school system,” Rebecca Taber, the governor’s education policy advisor, said this week.
The working group includes state and local school officials, charter school leaders, state legislators and representatives of various education constituent organizations.
The group is expected to meet once a month, starting in August, through December, Taber said. It will try to make recommendations to strengthen the framework for assessing new charter school applications, the support the state provides to charter schools and the process for reauthorizing school charters, she said. (See previous coverage here)
The group has no chairperson, but Taber said that she and retiring state Rep. Terry Schooley, D-Newark, chair of the House Education Committee, are coordinating the group’s work.
Other members of the working group are: Mark Murphy, secretary of education; John Carwell, charter school office director in the Department of Education; Rep. Darryl Scott (D-Dover); Rep. Earl Jaques, (D-Glasgow); Rep. Donald Blakey (R-Dover South); Sen. David Sokola (D-Newark), chair of the Senate Education Committee; Sen. Gary Simpson (R-Milford); Patrick Heffernan, State Board of Education member, and Donna Johnson, the state board’s executive director; Frederika Jenner, president of the Delaware State Education Association, and Jeff Taschner, DSEA’s general counsel; Charles Taylor, president of the Delaware Charter Schools Network and director of Providence Creek Academy; Jack Perry, the network’s vice president and director of Prestige Academy; Jim Taylor, the network’s general counsel; Mark Holodick, superintendent of the Brandywine School District; Susan Bunting, superintendent of the Indian River School District; Victoria Gehrt, superintendent of the New Castle County Vocational-Technical School District; Dave Sechler, past president of the Delaware School Boards Association; Amanda Gonye of Wilmington, PTA board member; Rod Ward and Madeleine Bayard of the Delaware Business Roundtable; and Dan Rich of the University of Delaware School of Public Policy and Administration.