LA Charter Schools To Shut Down Over Alleged Cheating

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles Board of Education is set to shut down six charter schools across the city that have been accused of cheating on 2010 standardized tests, officials said Wednesday.

The board made the decision on Tuesday to close the schools, citing the improprieties and an insufficient response to the allegations, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Executive director of schools John Allen, founder of the Crescendo organization, allegedly ordered principals and teachers to use actual test questions to get them ready for the exams. Several teachers at the schools alerted the district about the tactics.

Despite an earlier recommendation by district staff to reauthorize the schools for another five years, the board revoked the charter of the Crescendo organization, the Times said.

The Times reported Crescendo’s problems on Monday and by Tuesday incoming Supt. John Deasy recommended an investigation by Inspector General of the Los Angeles Unified School District Jess Womack.

The results could determine if a one-year renewal contract could be considered, Deasy said.

The schools may stay open through the end of the year, pending the length of the revocation process.

Allen initially denied wrongdoing and was demoted, according to district documents and interviews. Principals received 10-day suspensions.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • BobbyGibby

    Well at least they actually taught the test questions instead of doing like the Atlanta Public Schools did, just have a teacher/administrator after party and correct the answer sheets.

  • Leona

    There is plenty for journalists to investigate if they have the will to do so.

    At least one valley charter principal is in jail for fraud. Others charters have been closed for lack of results. Some cheat on tests, some lie to parents and abuse their rights.

    The rightwing agenda behind many of them is highly suspect.

  • Ashley

    As a public LAUSD teacher, I am sitting here laughing because everyone thinks Charter schools are the answer. They arent, and when the charter schools can not deliver, they resort to shady tactics like this to make their test scores seem better than they are. Stop blaming the teachers and hold the parents responsible for their child’s education. My students never do homework, they always have their phone out, and when I call home, parents say its not their problem when their kids are at school. Get rid of administration and start implementing teacher-run schools.

  • concerned parent

    Ashley that is opposite of what I get as a parent, I get teachers who don’t know what assignment they are giving until the day it is given and then when I as a parent email to try and get assignments so I can make sure my son is doing his work they are offended and bothered by a parent contacting them and making them accountable so they give my son a bad time saying do your work so your mommy doesn’t have to email me! Teachers don’t want parent participation because just like the students it holds them accountable to their job!!!

  • Sharon Marshall

    We as parents have a responsibilty to our children to help them succeed in school. It starts at birth. We turn off our phones and read to them. Turn off the dvd in the car and talk to them. Turn off the computer and hand them a book. The job isn’t easy, we can’t point our finger at the teachers if we aren’t doing our job.

  • NU

    Charter schools are not the answer to problems of school not delivering. The teachers are doing their best, the resources are there but the problem is home upbringing. You have to be proactive on your child’s education. Again lack of discipline is one thing that will bring public education down whether charter or public. If a teacher has no right to tell a kid to put down the phone or reprimand a child for act of disobidient. The teacher’s hands are tied behind him/her. Some parents are out to use their kids to make money through lawsuit and no teacher or school administrator will want that, then the kids become as wild as untamed animals. Let us get back to basics. The charter schools have no magic wonder for any of these, we parent have. Train your kids from home for charity begins at home.
    As for the giving away some of our public schools to private, it is recipe for disaster because expect more of cheatings for they are out there to fill their purses, no single interest of the kids at heart. I bet you they will eventually fail because they don’t have the solution but parents do. I can never allow my kids to go to the private charter school because I know they are fat cats ready to feed from the poor kids. That is the worst decision I have ever seen in a school system but I know the mayor and his allies are looking for cheap popularity at the expense of our kids. I bet you it will come back to hunt them in future.

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