Ears on the Board of Education: October 17, 2019

by Diane Payne

This meeting’s agenda held two hot-button items.  Two Renaissance charter schools, Aspira Olney High School and Aspira Stetson Middle School, had been recommended for non-renewal twice, in 2016 and 2019, as a result of Aspira’s failure to meet academic, financial, and organizational standards. Aspira’s admittedly improper, often fraudulent, financial practices had been well documented in the local media since 2013.  APPS members had testified, written letters, and appealed to local elected officials to resolve the Aspira matter after postponements by both the SRC and the Board. The District held 16 days of legal hearings last Spring in which lawyers for Olney and Stetson failed to refute the many deficiencies exposed by the Charter School Office (CSO). Rudolph Garcia, who presided over those hearings, had presented his report to the Board last week.  Garcia echoed the CSO’s recommendation for non-renewal. Aspira brought staff, parents and students to fight for continued Aspira control of the schools, touting the improved climate at the schools. But last-minute personal testimonies do not negate extensive documentation of the many flagrant deficiencies across all domains at these two charter schools.

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Defenders of Public Education Speak Before the BOE, October 17, 2019


Click on the individual’s name to read a transcript of his or her testimony.

Patricia Brown on Toxic Schools

Karel Kliminik on the contract with KIPP

Barbara McDowdell Dowdall on Germatown Dreams

Laurie Mazer on Toxic Schools

Tasaday Messina on Toxic Schools

Ilene Poses on Toxic Schools

Lynda Rubin on Charter Renewal Votes

Eyes on the Board of Education: October 17, 2019

by Karel Kilimnik

With the rapidly unfolding debacle of the planned co-location of SLA at Ben Franklin High School, the Board needs to step up and provide leadership on District spending priorities. Stop fattening the bottom lines of outside vendors and increase spending to guarantee that all schools are healthy environments.  The Board needs to start denying contracts to vendors and demanding that the Superintendent build resources and support from within the District. District governance returned to local control over a year ago; it is past time to return to building up District staffing and resources.


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Student Achievement and Support Committee: October 10, 2019

by Lynda Rubin

Present were Co-chairs Chris McGinley and Angela McIver, Committee members Maria McColgan and Julia Danzy,  and Student Representative Doha Ibrahim.

Doha Ibrahim is one of the two non-voting Student Representatives selected to sit on the Board of Education for this school year. Doha is a senior at Lincoln High School, President of the ESOL Ambassador Program (English to Speakers of Other Languages), and she identifies herself as the voice of non-English speaking students. She owns her own business, Doha Photography. Doha wants to increase student support at all schools throughout the District.   APPS welcomes Doha Ibrahim!

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