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Controversies about Charter Schools and their less-than-stellar operators are heating up all across the country. Below is just one story that came out this past week. Read it and weep. Remember - it is children who are being adversely affected by this greedy madness, and it is tax-paying citizens who are losing local control.
"Embroiled charter school company hires publicity firm," By Doug Livingston, Akron Beacon Journal, August 9, 2014.
Chicago-based charter school company Concept Schools, under investigation in several states, has hired a longtime Ohio political operative as its spokesman....Keep in mind that charter schools were set up across the country on the principle of "waivers for favors." In exchange for granting "waivers" that permit most charters to operate far outside any state or local scrutiny or control over their entire operations, legislators and other elected officials have received "favors" (campaign donations, etc.). In other words, most states turn a blind eye on charter schools, who operate under very few regulations, even at the expense of student safety. Horror stories have abounded.
The move to hire Weaver, a Republican political consultant and campaign adviser to former Ohio Attorney General and State Auditor Betty Montgomery, follows two months of stories by a number of newspapers.
In recent years, Weaver has worked for the campaigns of Republican Ohio Supreme Court Justice Robert Cupp and presidential candidate Mitt Romney and has been a spokesman for gambling interests and electric utilities. About a dozen years ago, he helped with a political action committee backing Supreme Court justices who would hear charter school cases. The PAC was headed by charter-school operator David Brennan of White Hat Management.
In June the FBI obtained records from three Concept Schools regional offices in Ohio, probing what it called a “white-collar crime matter” involving federal education grants. [all emphasis added]
- In July, four former teachers at Horizon Science Academy Dayton, a charter school managed by Concept Schools, told the state school board that Turkish administrators had altered student tests,
- mistreated minority students and female staff,
- witnessed and ignored sexual activity and
- tweaked attendance records.
- A week later, the Dayton Daily News quoted a former Horizon student who said Turkish administrators paid him $20 an hour to manipulate hundreds of tests taken by other students. [bullet points and all emphasis added]