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Bronx charter school named in whistleblower suit

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  • Leonie Haimson
    See below article in today s DN. South Bronx Classical Charter allegedly defrauded public funds by charging DOE for special ed kids no longer attending,
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 5, 2013
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      See below article in today’s DN.

       

        South Bronx Classical Charter allegedly defrauded public  funds by charging DOE for special ed kids no longer attending, cheated on the state tests and withheld food from kids as punishment; yet got an A on NYC progress reports.   

       

      Here are the test scores over time:

       

       

      Hmm.  Wonder how they accomplished that.

      The school claims to develop “citizens of impeccable character.” 

      Lester Long, the ED and principal, who was allegedly informed of the fraud and shrugged his shoulders, is a former investment banker according to Wikipedia. 

      The charter school was allowed to expand into the middle grades and to replicate and open a second school, S. Bronx Classical Charter II by SED and the Regents, despite the fact that it was reported in 2012 that between 20 and 40 percent of students originally enrolled in the school left before they were tested, and no new students replaced them. 

       

      Moreover, in its site visit dated June 2012, the DOE charter office noted that the “school should continue its efforts to reach compliance with the amended 2010 NYS charter law requirements related to the enrollment and retention of at -risk student populations... …its enrollment of students with IEPs is below CSD 12 averages with a special education population of 5.4 % compared to CSD 12’s average of 18.3 %, as is the school’s population of ELLs (7.7% compared to 19% in the district.)”

      The visitors also mentioned the high level of turnover of teachers and excessive reliance on inexperienced TFAers.

      In another case reported in the DN in 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights was  investigating the suspension of Christian Charriez, 6, a special-needs student, who was suspended four times – the last time his parents told that he had to receive a psychiatric diagnosis.

      “Principal Lester Long said the school invited Christian back to school and contacted his mother multiple times, but a letter from the family’s lawyer shows the school was contacted multiple times without response.”

      http://www.southbronxclassical.org/themes/blix/shared-header.jpg

       

      Wonder how many charter schools do the same – or worse.  Yet this school has been allowed to expand, co-locate and replicate.

       

      Clearly there appears to be little or no oversight – from the city OR the state.

       

      http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/bronx-charter-school-named-whistleblower-suit-article-1.1446305

       

       

      Bronx charter school named in whistleblower suit

      Alexis Riley, formerly a project manager at South Bronx Classical Charter, said she was fired for reporting financial and academic improprieties.

      Comments (4)

      By John Marzulli / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

      Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 10:01 PM

      43

      21

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      	Alexis Riley (inset), former Special Projects Manager at South Bronx Classical Charter School. 

      LinkedIn; Bing Maps

      Alexis Riley (inset), a former project manager at the South Bronx Classical Charter School, says in a lawsuit that she was fired for reporting billing and academic improprieties at the school.

      The ex-project manager of a Bronx charter school has filed a $1 million lawsuit alleging she was fired in retaliation for reporting financial and academic improprieties.

      Alexis Riley claims she was terminated from her $65,000-a-year job at South Bronx Classical Charter School in June shortly after notifying a supervisor that the Department of Education had been fraudulently billed for special education students who were no longer enrolled there.

      Riley’s supervisor acknowledged the problem but warned her “it wasn’t worth the battle,” according to the complaint filed last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

      Riley, who has a law degree from New York Law School, also claims she uncovered plagiarized tests and the withholding of food to punish students.

      Riley alleges in the suit that when she brought the fraudulent invoices to the attention of the school’s executive director, Lester Long, he responded dismissively, “Oh, can they really be that off?”

      The final beef with school administrators came after Riley was admonished for wearing flip-flops to work because she had a dislocated bone in her foot.

      A message left at the school was not returned.


      Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/bronx-charter-school-named-whistleblower-suit-article-1.1446305#ixzz2e2hoHtGC

       

       

      Leonie Haimson

      Executive Director

      Class Size Matters

      124 Waverly Pl.

      New York, NY 10011

      212-674-7320

      leonie@...

      www.classsizematters.org

      http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com

       

      Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson

       

      Make a tax-deductible contribution to Class Size Matters now!

       

      Subscribe to Class Size Matters newsletter at  http://shar.es/wNbXk

      Subscribe to NYC education list by emailing nyceducationnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

       

    • Lisa Donlan
      Charter school authorization and oversight are indeed a joke! Just like Mayoral control was supposed to bring greater accountability but has meant none,
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 6, 2013
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        Charter school authorization and oversight are indeed a joke!

        Just like Mayoral control was supposed to bring greater accountability but has meant none, charter schools are exempt from most rules/laws and seem to be able to get away w/ not following the rest.

        For example, Manhattan Charter School was allowed to "replicate" last year over the loud disapproval of the LES community especially since the school lied they were looking for private space but then took district space away from high needs students.

        Although the targets had not been formally implemented at the time of the approval, (SED/SUNY dragged their heels on implementation for 2 years after the law was passed) the school enrolled NO ELL students (zero)  despite being colocated with a school that was 11% ELLS in a district that is 11% ELLS.

         Clearly they are turning ELL students away.

        We have FOILED the authorizer and MCSII to see how many ELLS the new school has- Sternberg actually reported 9 ELL students in the Fall- but in fact that was the number of students who were LAB-R tested, not actual ELL students.

         AFAICT from the FOILED reports there were only 4 ELLs enrolled in MCS in March 2013= 4% of the K and 1st graders enrolled.


        For a fascinating read on how NYS got a second authorizer ( SUNY CSI) and how this has been "good" for charter schools I urge you to read the attached treatise by the former ED of the CSI at SUNY (Jonas Chartock).

        It shows how Albany's self interested horse trading that passes for legislation is about EVERYTHING BUT THE KIDS!

        Lisa

        To: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com; leonie@...
        CC: JGonzalez@...
        From: leonie@...
        Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2013 14:49:11 -0400
        Subject: [nyceducationnews] Bronx charter school named in whistleblower suit

         

        See below article in today’s DN.

         

          South Bronx Classical Charter allegedly defrauded public  funds by charging DOE for special ed kids no longer attending, cheated on the state tests and withheld food from kids as punishment; yet got an A on NYC progress reports.   

         

        Here are the test scores over time:

         

         

        Hmm.  Wonder how they accomplished that.
        The school claims to develop “citizens of impeccable character.” 
        Lester Long, the ED and principal, who was allegedly informed of the fraud and shrugged his shoulders, is a former investment banker according to Wikipedia. 

        The charter school was allowed to expand into the middle grades and to replicate and open a second school, S. Bronx Classical Charter II by SED and the Regents, despite the fact that it was reported in 2012 that between 20 and 40 percent of students originally enrolled in the school left before they were tested, and no new students replaced them. 

         

        Moreover, in its site visit dated June 2012, the DOE charter office noted that the “school should continue its efforts to reach compliance with the amended 2010 NYS charter law requirements related to the enrollment and retention of at -risk student populations... …its enrollment of students with IEPs is below CSD 12 averages with a special education population of 5.4 % compared to CSD 12’s average of 18.3 %, as is the school’s population of ELLs (7.7% compared to 19% in the district.)”

        The visitors also mentioned the high level of turnover of teachers and excessive reliance on inexperienced TFAers.
        In another case reported in the DN in 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights was  investigating the suspension of Christian Charriez, 6, a special-needs student, who was suspended four times – the last time his parents told that he had to receive a psychiatric diagnosis.
        “Principal Lester Long said the school invited Christian back to school and contacted his mother multiple times, but a letter from the family’s lawyer shows the school was contacted multiple times without response.”

        http://www.southbronxclassical.org/themes/blix/shared-header.jpg

         

        Wonder how many charter schools do the same – or worse.  Yet this school has been allowed to expand, co-locate and replicate.

         

        Clearly there appears to be little or no oversight – from the city OR the state.

         

        http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/bronx-charter-school-named-whistleblower-suit-article-1.1446305

         

         

        Bronx charter school named in whistleblower suit

        Alexis Riley, formerly a project manager at South Bronx Classical Charter, said she was fired for reporting financial and academic improprieties.

        Comments (4)

        By John Marzulli / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

        Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 10:01 PM

        43

        21

        0

        Print

         Alexis Riley (inset), former Special Projects Manager at South Bronx Classical Charter School.

        LinkedIn; Bing Maps

        Alexis Riley (inset), a former project manager at the South Bronx Classical Charter School, says in a lawsuit that she was fired for reporting billing and academic improprieties at the school.
        The ex-project manager of a Bronx charter school has filed a $1 million lawsuit alleging she was fired in retaliation for reporting financial and academic improprieties.
        Alexis Riley claims she was terminated from her $65,000-a-year job at South Bronx Classical Charter School in June shortly after notifying a supervisor that the Department of Education had been fraudulently billed for special education students who were no longer enrolled there.
        Riley’s supervisor acknowledged the problem but warned her “it wasn’t worth the battle,” according to the complaint filed last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
        Riley, who has a law degree from New York Law School, also claims she uncovered plagiarized tests and the withholding of food to punish students.
        Riley alleges in the suit that when she brought the fraudulent invoices to the attention of the school’s executive director, Lester Long, he responded dismissively, “Oh, can they really be that off?”
        The final beef with school administrators came after Riley was admonished for wearing flip-flops to work because she had a dislocated bone in her foot.
        A message left at the school was not returned.


        Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/bronx-charter-school-named-whistleblower-suit-article-1.1446305#ixzz2e2hoHtGC

         

         

        Leonie Haimson

        Executive Director

        Class Size Matters

        124 Waverly Pl.

        New York, NY 10011

        212-674-7320

        leonie@...

        www.classsizematters.org

        http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com

         

        Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson

         

        Make a tax-deductible contribution to Class Size Matters now!

         

        Subscribe to Class Size Matters newsletter at  http://shar.es/wNbXk

        Subscribe to NYC education list by emailing nyceducationnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

         


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