- 900 Lindley Avenue
- Current Enrollment: 738 (authorized 750)
- Grades: K – 8
- Converted to Renaissance charter: 2011
- CMO: American Paradigm
- Projected cost over next 5 years: $53, 871, 350.
The 2021 CSO Recommendation: 5-Year Renewal with Conditions: Academic – Approaches Standards, Organizational – Meets Standards, Financial – Meets Standards. When American Paradigm lobbied to take control of Birney, they promised to improve the educational experience for the students in that community. The CSO report shows that American Paradigm did not keep that promise.
The Academic section of the CSO report shows that Birney’s Proficiency rates are lower than District schools in all tested areas for all years. SPR Achievement scores place Harambee in Intervene for all 3 years: SY 2016/17–8%; SY 2017/18–11%; SY 2018/19 18%. That does not appear to be approaching any standard.
The Organizational section reports that Birney has had three different School Leaders in five years. Although the School provided evidence of background checks for a sample of ten staff members, the School disclosed that it was not their practice to maintain historic background checks for staff, as required by State Law. Health screening reviews showed that “5 of 9 student health files did not contain medical examinations for the 18-19 school year.11 of 12 student health files did not contain dental examinations for the 18-19 school year. 15 of 20 student health files did not contain vision screenings for the 18-19 school year. 13 of 20 student health files did not contain hearing screenings for the 18-19 school year. 15 of 20 student health files did not contain height and weight measurements for the 18-19 school year. 8 of 8 student health files did not contain scoliosis screenings for the 18-19 school year.” Teacher retention at Birney is 3.3 years compared to the District’s 13.2 years.
Margery Covello is listed as the “principle officer” on the first page of the 2019 IRS 990 but she is not listed on the school’s page of Board Members or as in any paid position. The CEO/Principal on p. 7 of the 2019 990 is Dr. James Copulupo; his salary and compensation amount to $137,502. The school’s home page lists eleven administrative staff: 1 CEO, 2 principals, 2 climate administrators, 1 operations administrator, 2 deans, 1 vice principal, 1 director of Special Education, 1 “Director of Culture”. The 990 shows a $602,366 payment to American Paradigm for management services; a $366,151 payment to Wells Fargo Bank for professional services; and a $343,446 payment to BSI Construction for management services.