Only 11% of the students who left Options and Opportunities during the 2003-04 school year graduated, according to the schools' records. Nearly all of the rest dropped out, were expelled or transferred to other schools.
John Hall says that graduation isn't the way to measure success and that his schools' primary aim is to get students caught up on academic credits so they can earn diplomas elsewhere. But no one checks on how students fare after they transfer out of the programs — or on whether they actually enroll elsewhere.
Still, Hall and his supporters say that the Options and Opportunities charters provide an important second chance for struggling students.
"If the public schools can't do it for whatever reason, then let somebody else serve that child," said Ted Kimbrough, a former schools chief in Compton and one of 11 retired school district superintendents who serve on an advisory board for the charters.
The Halls have no problem filling their 51 learning centers, operated under charters with eight school districts around California, including Burbank, Baldwin Park and San Gabriel.
Some 20,000 students enrolled for at least part of the last school year, school officials said. Waiting lists are common, but turnover is high, with students staying an average of about six months.
Serving failed students has paid the Halls well.
Each collected $321,000 in salary in the 2003-04 school year, according to documents the Halls provided to the state Department of Education. Los Angeles schools Supt. Roy Romer, who oversees a 727,000-student district, made $250,000 that year.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Corrupt Profits in Mandated School Failure
There are legions of corrupt bottom feeders standing by with their for-profit charters to take advantage of the mandated failure that is the linchpin of NCLB. Here from the LA Times is the a clip from a story on just one: