Monday, May 9, 2011

The Title of "The Worst Charter in the World" Goes to.....

"The Department of Education has also ordered the school -- the Williamsburg Charter HS -- to sever ties with its management company because of fiscal concerns raised in an audit last year. That independent audit found significant deficiencies in grants-fund management, student invoicing and oversight of financial controls"
 
"City Department of Education officials said they were planning to visit the school later this month to examine its expenditures."

What's the hurry? Too busy closing down public schools to make way for the charter slugs.

What a joke the DOE has become. Later this month. When the outrages at this school have been reported for years.

Sure close down public schools but allow these schools to exist.

I'm glad to see that this story is not dead. I was in touch with a teacher who left last June and she told me horror stories - but didn't want to go public not only from fear - though Calderon is a bully - but because she felt an attachment to the kids and didn't want to hurt the school. That is how they get so many teachers to be quiet.

This is gansta charter. Some of you may remember how the charter took over a renovated librarly at IS 126 which we reported on years ago. Susan Ohanian posted about it and got threatening emails from Eddie Calderon and his henchmen. Here is a comment from Susan:

This all started because I was outraged by the denial of public school access to the library which had been lovingly renovated by the librarian and volunteers she solicited. Take a look at the video. If you care about kids and about libraries, it will break your heart.

And remember the Wanted poster, a story picked up by the Times?




This comment on the NY Times about Believe Charter Schools which we exposed last week with a photo of a Wanted Poster with a hundred dollar bounty for recruiting new students, shows outrageously high salaries:

As a former employee, I can honestly say that I cannot BELIEVE (no pun intended) that there is not enough oversight from the Chancellor to expose the atrocities that are happening on an almost hourly basis at all there of these schools. Principals/”Superintendents” are fired and escorted out of the building midday, months after being publicly hailed and showered with praise by the CEO Melendez. There have been three different principals in the last two years, and the recklessness and haphazard manner with which decisions are being made about how many is spent, and who assumes positions of leadership make it seem as if ideas were drunkenly drawn from a baseball cap. There are people in that building making six-figure salaries who have not made a single contribution to the students or organization at large in their three years. What a great way to make a quarter of a million dollars! The majority of leadership positions are held by people in with less than one, or even zero teaching experience which has led to a major disconnect between themselves, the rest of the staff, and the kids. Don’t trash all charter schools…trash this one and all the others like it. Stop giving 5 years extensions to places like this and then walking away for long periods of time only to do one day “state visits” which consist of student and staff file checks and cursory classroom observation which are hardly enough to unveil the corruption that exist just below those surfaces.

Boy, do I have emails from Eddie Melendez over the last 6 months - nasty, gangster-like stuff - after he tried to harass Susan Ohanian, one of the top educators in this country. Eddie is a classic POS (Piece of Sh-- for those not familiar with the term). Semi-literate ramblings.

Read all the comments about the Believe horror story at the NY Times CityRoom blog.

Other Ed Notes stories:
Eddie Calderon-Melendez , founder of the Believe High School Network, which runs the charters, said the use of shared space is negotiated every year. ...
Jun 04, 2010

Ultimate charity fund-raising event: A roast of Eddie Calderon-Melendez. Charge $50 a plate and invite current and former employees (mostly former). We'll make enough to cure cancer. Williamsburg Charter High School has been unfairly ...

Dirty job: charter teachers janitors

By YOAV GONEN Education Reporter
Last Updated: 7:05 AM, May 9, 2011
Posted: 1:50 AM, May 9, 2011
EXCLUSIVE
Read it and sweep.
A Brooklyn charter school's finances are in such disarray that it axed 20 staffers mid-year and teachers have been left to sweep hallways and vacuum classrooms because of a custodian shortage, teachers told The Post.
The Department of Education has also ordered the school -- the Williamsburg Charter HS -- to sever ties with its management company because of fiscal concerns raised in an audit last year.
That independent audit found significant deficiencies in grants-fund management, student invoicing and oversight of financial controls.
HISSY FIT: Edward Calderon-Melendez, founder of troubled Williamsburg Charter HS, snaps on a Post photographer yesterday in Brooklyn.
Gregory P. Mango
HISSY FIT: Edward Calderon-Melendez, founder of troubled Williamsburg Charter HS, snaps on a Post photographer yesterday in Brooklyn.
It also questioned the intermingling of funds between the charter and the Believe High Schools Network -- whose CEO, Eddie Calderon-Melendez, founded both the school and the management group.
"These findings raise serious concerns about the financial viability and fiscal accountability of the school," DOE officials wrote to the school's board of trustees this winter.
In 2009-10, the charter paid the network $2.3 million for staffing, payroll and other support services -- among the highest support fees paid by a charter school in the city.
Public records show the school paid an additional $767,000 in taxpayer funds for consultants.
This year, the school entered into a pricey lease agreement for space in a new building on Varet Street in Williamsburg that calls for $79 million in payments over a 30-year term -- including a payment of $2.3 million for 2010-11.
Despite the city's directive, the school has refused to end an affiliation with the Believe Network, which teachers claim has diverted money away from instruction.
"We don't have enough textbooks for all the students in the classroom. We don't have enough paper to make copies," said one teacher, who requested anonymity. "If we want our rooms cleaned, we can borrow the vacuum cleaner."
She added that teachers were running after-school programs "pro-bono" because of a lack of funds.
"I feel that we're so poorly fiscally managed -- on purpose or not on purpose, I don't know," she said.
Approached outside the school, an enraged Calderon-Melendez charged at a Post photographer -- but later answered questions via e-mail.
He said the network's fee of 18 percent of per-pupil revenue was comparable to other charter-management fees -- although it's more than twice the average for nonprofit charter managers in the city.
City Department of Education officials said they were planning to visit the school later this month to examine its expenditures.
yoav.gonen@nypost.com

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/dirty_job_charter_teachers_janitors_gf3EOafev6ctPthWOQQ1eP#ixzz1Lr2mIIrT

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