A political newcomer is challenging a fellow Democrat for state Senate

A political newcomer is challenging a fellow Democrat for state Senate

 November 6, 2017
 
Joe Irizarry – WDEL
An education advocate and community activist is throwing her hat into the political arena. Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman, also known as Lizzy, is running for the state Senate seat long held by Bobby Marshall.
Lockman is the director of the Parent Advocacy Council for Education at the Christina Cultural Arts Center and vice chair of the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission.
“There are some really clear opportunities for us to take a new path to make sure all of our citizens being heard and are able to participate and benefit from the work that is done in government,” said Lockman.
As for running against an incumbent like Marshall and being a new face in politics, Lockman is confident.
“I would like to think that people are ready for a change,” said Lockman. “I think we’ve seen nationally and the state–more locally–that things have really changed faster than we’ve been able to realize.”

Education advocate runs to unseat State Sen. Marshall

Education advocate runs to unseat State Sen. Marshall

October 31, 2017

Sarah Mueller – Delaware Public Media

Lockman said during Marshall’s time in office, there hasn’t been enough focus on certain communities dealing with crime and a lack good jobs. She says she’ll put people first if elected.

“I think I could do a really good job of trying to get in there and understanding where people are coming from, helping them to develop their own leadership on those issues,” she said. “That’s really been my experience that’s led me to this sort of service.”

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Political newcomers challenge veteran Sen. Marshall

Political newcomers challenge veteran Sen. Marshall

October 28, 2017

Christina Jedra – The News Journal

Lockman, 37, is an education advocate and advocacy director at the Christina Cultural Arts Center. A native of the Cool Spring neighborhood on Wilmington’s west side, she has been a Public Ally, a member of the governor-appointed Wilmington Education Advisory Committee and vice chair of the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission.

“I feel well-equipped to do this work,” she said. “I’ve been doing policy work and advocacy work. … Politics is advocacy and policy married together.”

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Elizabeth Lockman and Eugene Young: Interview on FIRST

Elizabeth Lockman and Eugene Young: Interview on FIRST

September 29, 2017 – WHYY

Elizabeth Lockman is Director of PACE (Parent Advocacy Council for Education). Eugene Young ran for Wilmington mayor last year and is now the CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League. They are here to discuss a new education initiative called No Ceilings on Success.

Delaware student test results confirm plight of low-income students

Delaware student test results confirm plight of low-income students

July 28, 2017

By Jessica Bies – The News Journal

Repetition may be a core element of education, but in the case of Wilmington, where state test scores are once again among some of the lowest in the state, the lesson is clear: Low-income students are still being left behind.

“We’ve kind of gotten into this cycle of high poverty, high-needs schools in Wilmington, and that trajectory has been pretty consistent,” said Elizabeth Lockman, a Wilmington parent and vice chair of the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission, a state advisory committee formed to explore ways of improving education in the city.

“While I don’t think tests by any means are the end all be all, I don’t think we’re setting these kids up to be successful members of society.”

Most notably, Bayard Middle School has seen no gains in math, remaining at a 3 percent proficiency level. There was a 1-point loss in English, bringing the proficiency level down to 8 percent.

“I think anybody who says they’re shocked would be being disingenuous,” Lockman said.

She certainly isn’t surprised. Her daughter spent kindergarten through sixth grade at what would later become another priority school, Highlands Elementary.

Part of the Red Clay district, it saw a 2-point gain in math this year, but a 3-point loss in English.

“The period of time (my daughter) attended, the poverty was climbing every year,” Lockman said. “And the challenge that presented and the way it exponentially increased was palpable.”

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No government shutdown in Delaware, but tension looms

No government shutdown in Delaware, but tension looms

Matthew Albright & Jessica Bies – The News Journal

July 7, 2017

Legislators cut more than $26 million from education budgets. While it was less than some previous proposals, it could have lasting repercussions.

“As a Wilmington parent who sees inequities up close on a regular basis, I have grave concerns about how these cuts are going to impact our most vulnerable students, who we know continue to get the short end of the educational stick and have little to spare,” said Elizabeth Lockman, who runs the Parent Advocacy Center for Education…

But many school advocates have been pushing for the state to invest more in schools, particularly those that serve students in poverty and with special needs. For them, a cut hurt.

“It just really troubles me that at a time when our neighboring states are increasing their investments in education and getting serious about systemic reforms around funding formulas and governance that we are still needlessly caught in a cycle of kicking that can down the road with fewer resources behind it,” Lockman said.

Lockman is a member of the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission, a group that pushed hard for weighted funding for at-risk schools. The group’s redistricting plan fell by the wayside last year.

“It’s frustrating, and for me personally, doesn’t encourage confidence that we are heading in the right direction,” Lockman said.

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“Sportsmanship” and our divided community

“Sportsmanship” and our divided community

March 6, 2017

By Tizzy Lockman & Adriana Bohm – The News Journal

Excessively disciplining the AI students and castigating them as aggressive, angry and dangerous leads us back to the question of implicit bias and the role it played in this case. The term “implicit bias” refers to the mental process which causes folks to have negative feelings and attitudes about “other” people based on characteristics such as race, gender, ethnicity, appearance, etc. Because implicit bias is a cognitive process that occurs deep in the recesses of our unconscious minds, we are typically not aware that negative biases impact our decision making and treatment of others.

According to research from across the country, implicit biases play a critical role when it comes to racial differences in school discipline. According to Thomas Rudd (2014), implicit racial bias often supports the centuries old stereotype of “Black youth, especially males, as irresponsible, dishonest, and dangerous.” Such a caricature of Black males guides subsequent treatment of our young men and results in them experiencing disproportionately high levels of school punishment in comparison to their white male counterparts.

Data from Red Clay reveal that, over the last seven years, students of color receive more excessive and frequent disciplinary charges than their white counterparts (who outnumber them in the district population more than 2 to 1.) One could say that in Red Clay it appears that some lives matter more than others.

2009-2010: 3605 Blacks and 2545 Whites were suspended.
2010-2011: 3167 Blacks and 2107 Whites were suspended.
2011-2012: 3069 Blacks and 1963 Whites were suspended.
2012-2013: 3129 Blacks and 1857 Whites were suspended.
2013-2014: 2968 Blacks and 1449 Whites were suspended.
2014-2015: 2167 Blacks and 1204 Whites were suspended.
2015-2016: 2314 Blacks and 1334 Whites were suspended.

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The importance of a citizen voice in education reform

The importance of a citizen voice in education reform

December 14, 2015

Tizzy Lockman & Kenny Rivera

In Delaware, we are passionate about education.  We understand the powerful link between education and a strong community, our economy, and continued advancements in the 21st century.  Some of us are even more aware of what a weak education system means for public safety and quality of life.   But for all of our passion, and despite the efforts of devoted educators and dedicated parents, our system has struggled, and generally fails, to meet the needs of those students who have the most at stake in its success. These are students for whom education should be the pathway out of poverty. This has been particularly acute and long-standing in Wilmington, where the consequences have mirrored disastrous outcomes experienced in many American cities.

In the last two decades a number of task forces, most recently the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee (WEAC), have made parallel proposals to strengthen Wilmington public education.  Few of these recommendations have been acted upon, until now.  Last June, the General Assembly and the Governor approved two pieces of legislation that, if we play our cards right, could go down in the history of public education as a turning point for the most vulnerable students in our state.  One was Senate Bill 122 which gave limited power to the State Board of Education to redraw district lines to reflect the recommendations of the WEAC report, Strengthening Wilmington Education:  An Action Agenda .   The other was House Bill 148, which established the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission (WEIC), a group of city and suburban parents, students, educators, school administrators, community and business leaders who were appointed  with a five-year mandate to carry forward WEAC’s bold recommendations until 2021.   Each of these bills passed both houses of the General Assembly with broad bi-partisan support that amounted to just three “No” votes.

Before us now lies an unprecedented opportunity to make our public schools launching pads for generations of successful lives.  As the WEAC report stated, “The simple and undeniable historical fact is that our entire Delaware community is responsible for the conditions that currently exist,” and “only the entire community, acting together, will change these conditions, and even then it will not be easy”.  There is momentum now for this to be the moment in this generation to make meaningful reforms.

Regardless of what side you’re on, we hope you will join us.

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Wilmington school redistricting group picked

Wilmington school redistricting group picked

August 18, 2015

Matthew Albright – The News Journal

A coalition of 23 teachers, students, parents, school leaders, advocates, and state and city officials has been given the monumental task of mapping out how the Red Clay Consolidated School District can smoothly take over most of Wilmington’s schools.

The new Wilmington Education Improvement Commission, whose membership was announced Tuesday, starts with broad support for its mandate to find a way to remove the Christina and Colonial school districts from the city and give their urban schools and students to Red Clay school district.

Most agree that the city’s four-district setup fragments leadership and squelches parent participation.

The commission has been charged with answering thorny questions over how to improve the system by the end of the year. Its plan will then be given to the State Board of Education, which has been given authority to redraw the boundaries, and must be approved by the General Assembly.

“This is crunch time,” said Elizabeth Lockman, a Wilmington parent and vice chair of the committee. “These are some tough questions, and there are going to be some uncomfortable questions that need to happen. As long as that’s productive, that’s OK.”

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Fixing Wilmington’s Schools

Fixing Wilmington’s Schools

August 2015

Mark Nardone – Delaware Today

Today, schools across New Castle County may have been desegregated, but traditional public schools and the charters in Wilmington are segregated again. Race is only part of the equation. The segregation of Wilmington school children is equally economic. The vast majority of students at traditional public schools in the city live in poverty. They live in neighborhoods plagued by high unemployment rates, high rates of violent crime and incarceration, high numbers of households headed by single adults and all the other social ills associated with the inner cities of modern America. Those students go to school tired, hungry and stressed out. They sometimes act out. Many ultimately drop out. And, as a group, they are the lowest academic achievers in the state.

The ACLU contends that charters have contributed to segregation. Of the 11,500 children enrolled in Wilmington schools, 75 percent are African-American. In the 2012-13 school year, the four Christina district schools in the city counted only 63 white students among a total of 1,500. Among the 1,500 students in the four inner-city charters, only seven were white.

Clearly the city has returned to a 1974 state of affairs, but with the additional pressures of far more degraded neighborhoods, a condition that resulted in large part, many say, from the loss of neighborhood schools. With children attending schools miles away, they say, those schools lost their preeminence as centers of community.

Over the years, those who could afford to leave the neighborhoods did. The trend desegregated suburban schools organically, but it also helped to leave behind an underclass that needed more than anyone for their children to attend schools near home. Despite the protests of their advocates, the Neighborhood Schools Act passed, with the unintended consequence of concentrating large populations of students in poverty—and the trauma they deal with—in the traditional public schools. When the recession of 2008 hit, that concentration only increased.

For all the policymaking and reform efforts, public education overall didn’t improve, and no one has suffered more than the city’s children. “Those kids have gotten the short end of the stick, no matter what the policies were,” says WEAC member Tizzy Lockman, a former president of the PTA at the city’s Highlands Elementary. “The system has denied the right of those kids to get a good education.”

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