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Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters and a member of the board of the Network for Public Education, wrote “a short history” of the rise and meteoric fall of Seth Andrews. He founded a no-excuses charter chain called Democracy Prep, which received adulatory praise from the media and millions of dollars in grants from foundations and the federal government. He moved in the top Ed reform circles. He knew all the key players. He was one of them. After Andrews invited Leonie to tour his charter school, she wrote: view article arw

A planned San Antonio charter school was on the verge of winning final approval from the Texas Education Agency last August when a final set of requests arrived. Among them: The school needed to scrub its website and application of a quote by “How to Be an Antiracist” author Ibram X. Kendi. In documents obtained by Chalkbeat, the agency indicated that the proposed school, Essence Preparatory, had included “statements, authors, or written works” violating a new Texas law that limits how race and slavery can be taught. But that law does not bar specific authors, and the quote does not appear to run afoul of any portion of the law, suggesting that Texas has gone beyond the text of the statute to keep schools from referencing an author whose work is controversial. “This is more clear evidence of what anti-book-banning advocates have been warning for months now,” said James Tager, research director of PEN America, a group that opposes censorship. “It is going to be used — and, in fact, is being used in cases like this — to ban specific books or authors.”    (10) view article arw

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled on Friday that nonprofit charter schools can’t avoid facing civil fraud claims alleging mismanagement of taxpayer money by arguing they are immune from such lawsuits like a state agency. The justices reversed a 2019 Court of Appeals decision that had dismissed claims against Kinston Charter Academy, which closed abruptly to 190 students and their teachers in 2013. A 2016 lawsuit by then-Attorney General Roy Cooper sought financial damages for the state and monetary penalties against the academy, its CEO and the chair of its board… view article arw

HOUSTON – A 65-year-old Missouri City man has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery announced Wednesday. Richard Rose pleaded guilty on Aug. 17. He was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $335,439. Rose was the founder of Zoe Learning Academy. He served in various capacities, which included superintendent, CEO and chief financial officer during the school’s operations from 2001 until it closed in September 2019.    (2) view article arw

For the past four years, the Network for Public Education has collected and posted charter school scandals from across the United States on a special page of its website entitled Another Day Another Charter School Scandal which you can find here. NPE has now turned that page into an interactive research tool, allowing you to find a collection of stories by state, by scandal type and by keyword. For example, if you want to search any published story on scandals associated with Success Academy, just type in Success Academy into the query box and ten stories pop up. Looking for stories regarding charter theft or fraud? Use the drop down menu and 177 stories appear. view article arw

The following post by Bill Phillis of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy details the outsized role that Ron Packard’s for-profit charter chain will have in starting charter schools in West Virginia. Packard was one of the founders of the low-performing but highly profitable K12 Inc. virtual charter chain (where he was paid $5 million a year). He left to start another charter chain, called Pansophic, of which Accel is a part. His background is not in education, although his online bio describes him(self) as an “educator and entrepreneur.” In fact, his work experience prior to K12 Inc.  view article arw

Bill Phillis, retired deputy commissioner of education in Ohio, is a staunch advocate for the state system of common schools, which is guaranteed in the state constitution. He founded the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy. The question in Ohio, as in many other states, is why Ohio legislators continue to fund failure. He writes: STATE REPORT CARD: CHARTER SCHOOLS NOT EVEN A CLOSE SECOND TO REAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS The original promise of charter and voucher advocates: Charters will out-place school districts. The data show a different outcome. There is no data available from private schools to make a comparison. view article arw

Two leaders of the New Bedford Coalition to Save Our Schools—Cynthia Roy and Roberto Rosa—are outraged that the state is about to plunk a new charter school into their district.  They expect the state will approve the “Innovators Charter School,” and they know that parents will condemn the decision.  They wrote in a local newspaper: view article arw

The founder of a St. Paul charter school that lost $4.3 million in a hedge fund investment is planning to step down as superintendent, the school board said in a message to students and families. Christianna Hang submitted her letter of resignation days after the state auditor's office determined that Hmong College Prep Academy (HCPA) failed to follow state law and its own policies when it invested $5 million in the hedge fund. The office sent its findings to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office for possible action. view article arw