The schools from what I've read and heard had an, ahem, unusual model but one that appealed to some parents. Longer school days, piles and piles of homework, almost fanatical emphasis on academics (which also of course included a lot of test prep for state assessment tests) - on the plus side. On the negative side - outright theft and culture that castigated parents and teachers that asked to many questions about the administrators (who were helping themselves to money fraudulently apparently).
Originally Posted by raider.adam
For the primarily (at least statistically more so than the district as a whole) African American parents who chose it, the heavy emphasis on discipline and testing and homework was something very appealing. I don't begrudge the parents who actually strongly preffered the no-nonsense, heavy homework, heavy testing approach. For some of them, the thought of their kids suddenly going to a way less structured and strict environment at their local catchment school I'm sure is quite distressing.
I feel bad for the parents too and can see why the school appealed to some. But if the Board isn't going to do the right thing and step down and instead is going back the administrators so completely, there's really very little chance for the parents to take control and get a hold of the school's finances and administration. The district's hand is really being forced here.
I agree. Their best bet is to start from scratch and put together a proposal for a new charter that has some of the things that appealled to them but whose governance is transparent and not built around the cult of personality of their kleptomaniac school founder. Of course some might say that should never happen in this current fiscal crisis.
Originally Posted by annie
Good luck to them trying for a new charter but it sounds like at least some of the Laboratory "magic" was an application process nearing private school levels of exclusivity and the jettisoning of any students that might not perform well on the PSSAs:
Questionable application processes at Green Woods, other charter schools | Philadelphia Public School Notebook
This comment made my stomach turn:
According to the documents obtained by ELC, Laboratory Charter and Planet Abacus – both founded and operated by Dorothy June Brown, now under federal indictment on multimillion-dollar fraud charges – also mandated that their applications could only be completed at open houses.
The forms were not available in languages other than English, and applicants were asked to provide their race, eligibility for free lunch, birth certificate, baptismal certificate, and names of their parents’ employers, among other information.
Originally Posted by Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO