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Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Florida Charter School Scandals

From Scathing Purple Musings

Among others

* A May Miami Herald report found that schools in the Academica charter school network were “double-dipping” federal grant money. The state’s agency chief, once a  close associate of Academica, found no wrong doing as the federal government  “let states exercise discretion in determining when schools are distinct.”
Orlando Sentinel reporter Lauren Roth had a December story detailing the outrageous payouts of close to $1 million that were made to the principal and her husband after the Orange county charter school closed.
* The sordid affair that was Miami’s Belare Language Academy came to an end in foreclosure earlier this month. Parents had reported that adult-themed parties were being held after hours at the facility. They became suspicious when they would arrive with their children in the morning and see empty beer cans everywhere and the  building would smell of stale cigarette smoke.
* Of 36 school failures in Florida this year 15 were from charter schools. None of the failing charter schools were Title One schools or those which have high percentage of impoverished kids.
* A February Tampa Bay Times story about the extremely high rent Imagine Schools  paid it’s own leasing company proved to be another embarrassment for governor Rick Scott. Imagine’s president, Dennis Bakke was on Scott’s education transition team. Earlier this month, the Pinellas school board announced it’s intentions to shut down one of Imagine’s charter schools in downtown St. Petersburg.
* Accusations emerged in a lawsuit in April that Maverick’s Charter Schools “falsifies records and fabricates students’ grades in classes the students did not attend.”
* A principal, teacher and employee at a Miami charter school were suspended in April for suspected “opening sealed test booklets, taking handwritten notes on the questions and distributing “study guides” to teachers.” Two Palm Beach county charter schools were also investigated for FCAT cheating.

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