How a City of Milwaukee Charter School Dodges Accountability

King’s Academy charter school has been a city of Milwaukee 2R charter school for six years. Because of the work of a small group of committed Milwaukee residents to make the city’s Charter School Review Board more transparent and accountable, more attention has been placed on how the city scrutinizes contracts with charter schools like King’s Academy. Much of that attention has been placed on King’s Academy for a poor record of performance and red flags in several key areas highlighted in this 2014 report prepared by the Schools and Communities United coalition.

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 7.31.06 PMA report like that would seem to surely ensure the school’s removal from the city 2R charter program given such a long track record of poor performance, but who needs to be held accountable when all you have to do is go to another school system. That’s exactly what King’s Academy did at the August 13, 2015 CSRB meeting in announcing that they would no longer be seeking a contract with the city and instead would be heading back to the Wisconsin voucher program (so called Milwaukee Parental Choice Program):

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 7.40.00 PM

This was the response from Schools and Communities United to Board President Michael Murphy on King’s Academy and their sudden transition back to the voucher program, effectively dodging any accountability or track record as a school.

King’s Academy and other sham school operators will continue this voucher shell game of legalized corruption that fails Milwaukee students. Voucher schools run from accountability and hide from transparency. Public tax dollars belong in public schools. It is far past time to declare a moratorium on the failed private voucher system in Milwaukee.

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2 thoughts on “How a City of Milwaukee Charter School Dodges Accountability

  1. Please explain to me how failing to communicate with children so they learn for success is Christ centered. If families want their children to attend a private or parochial school, then let those schools provide the funds for those who cannot afford the tuition. I will say it again. The doors of public schools have always been open for all children. I was talking to my son at Thanksgiving. I said politiians want to take over running of public schools. He said so they want to privatize schools. I said yes, but not every family will be able to afford that. He said, well how are their children going to be educated? That’s the problem. I’m with Martin Luther King. The American Dream is for all. It has always been through education for all children …a better life. We must stand up for all our country’s children…not just the chosen few…All!

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  2. I think this brings to light a very important question, and one that politicians refuse to answer. Why are we continuing to expand a voucher program that still has not policy in place to hold partner schools accountable? The reason Kings Academy left the city Charter Program is because they knew their time was up. As has been mentioned before, thanks to the hard work of three community members the door has been thrown wide open on how the City of Milwaukee’s Charter Program runs.

    I will admit, I am a charter advocate, BUT I also support the need for greater transparency and accountability for all educational programs. Charters that have worked within Milwaukee Public Schools have a far better record then that of the 2R Charter schools housed under UWM and the City of Milwaukee, but to me the major culprit for making charters in Milwaukee look bad is the City of Milwaukee. The CSRB for years has been lax on cracking down on failing schools and this does not help the children of Milwaukee. By allowing failing charters to stay open, the City of Milwaukee gave all charters a bad reputation.

    While the city of Milwaukee Charters have made a lot of mistakes, the primary offender of crippling education for our children has been the Parental Choice Program (voucher schools). Parental Choice on paper is not a bad policy, but there were no checks and balances set in place for choice schools back when the policy was created so this gave voucher schools free range to make up their own rules. Voucher schools must be held responsible, and if we are to keep the choice program in place, then measure must be put in place to hold schools accountable when they do not meet the same expectations placed on traditional public schools and charter schools. When a voucher fails, their program should be put on probation or even better, cut. I personally do not believe any public money should be going to religious based schools, but the priority should be reigning in all the currently failing voucher schools.

    I apologize for the long rant, but it was something I need to get off my chest. Happy Holidays to all.

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