"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Central Office Administrator Admits: "it is almost impossible to get a charter school like KIPP closed"

Posted at Memphis Schools Matter:

Since I was recently denied visitation to any of the KIPP schools in Memphis, I have considered a number of strategies that may help get me access.  Today I talked with a very nice individual at Central Offices of Shelby County Schools (SCS).  I explained that I had been denied the opportunity to visit any of the KIPP campuses for observation purposes and that no reason was given for that denial.

The person I talked with told me that KIPP has its own board and makes its own rules and that SCS has no control over charter schools unless there is a test performance issue.

When I shared that KIPP's state test scores are worse than the six Memphis schools that are slated for closure this year (ostensibly based on low test scores), the SCS administrator chuckled and said he was quite aware of KIPP's awful test scores being lower than the public schools to be shuttered.

However, he added, it is almost impossible to get a charter school like KIPP closed, considering the support KIPP has from certain members of the community.

I assume the certain influential community members include Barbara Hyde (the Autozone family), who is Chair of the Memphis KIPP School Board.

I shared with the nice SCS administrator that I have evidence from former teachers that both teachers and children are being mistreated in a cult-like environment at KIPP Memphis and that this could become a liability issue for SCS.  The administrator said she understood, and any such mistreatment might have something to do with the fact that KIPP is not allowing my visit.

The administrator told me that he would be interested in reading more about the mistreatment of teachers and students, even though I should not expect any action to be taken on her part.

I am left quite stunned and contemplating my next course of action.  

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