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Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Massacre of Online Charter Schools

I am the parent of two Allprep Academy students. Allprep is an online public charter school that serves several Oregon school districts As you may know, the Oregon Department of Education and the teachers union, now flush with cash from the passage of Measure 66-67, are killing our school. In a clever two-pronged attack, they tied up our staff resources with an accusation of misuse of funds while simultaneously hitting us legislatively in Salem. How are they killing us? ODE has halted all cash flow to Allprep Academy. Why? Well rather than wait to see if there was any merit to the charge of misuse of funds to (in the Sisters Oregon School District) they simply choked off all funding to every Allprep Academy in Oregon, including the Estacada based Academy that our family is signed up with. What do I want from you? Well do you know of anyone willing to join me in our fight to save our kids school of choice? I am looking for media allies.

After after a meeting with Representatives of Allprep and the parent community I came away with a few initial observations:

1. Tim King, the head of Edchoices/Allprep olnline charter schools in Oregon, is a "political innocent" that walked into a meat grinder in the Sisters Oregon School District. That was the start of his/our troubles.

2. The OEA (Oregon Educational Assoc) aka "the teachers union" launched a two-pronged attack through the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) by hitting us in Salem while our people were tied up in Sisters.

3. The group that has been most successful in pushing back has been the Beaverton Village Home/Allprep parents. We got Salem to slow down the passage of a bill that would do damage to online charter schools all over Oregon.

4. While this is a team effort, Allprep staff lacks a clear survival strategy. Staff needs help to consolidate the constituent base of support (Allprep families and media allies) an make a proactive plan for success.

Those of us who are ready, willing and able to do something (more than sit passively and spectate) can be mobilized for the effort to push back against this current crisis.

What say you?

Greg Bowman


At 8:10 PM, Blogger snootyfrog said...

Well, Greg, this is what I say:

I am also a parent of an AllPrep student. My family has also fallen victim to AllPrep, Tim & Tami King and some outrageous mismanagement of EdChoices/AllPrep. Our school actually closed its doors this month with over 80 days of school remaining in the year. Greg, I have to respectfully take issue with your rant. I find it to be very irresponsible. I am afraid your facts are terribly, terribly wrong. I'm not sure with which representative(s) from AllPrep you met but it seems they have given you grossly false information. As of 5:00 pm yesterday (03/26/2010) ODE has not pulled any funds from EdChoices/AllPrep. Some implementation grant money has been frozen but in terms of per student funding, nothing has been denied/withheld. I understand you are angry, but please, consider verifying such serious allegations prior to posting them as it just continues to spread misinformation. I too am very, very angry. I am angry because public trust has been violated, I am angry because my child's teachers are heart-broken, I am angry because few individuals benefited while many are now unemployed or waiting for the ax to fall and emotionally wrecked due to an untenable situation. What I did I do with my anger, RESEARCH. I've gone to Salem and sat with the good folks working hard at ODE (when they're not on a furlough day), I've talked with other parents, teachers and administrators involved with EdChoices/AllPrep. I've contacted some of the superintendents of the SIX sponsoring districts in Oregon. I've talked with the offices of the North Clackamas School District and I am more than happy to give you all the PUBLIC DOCUMENTS I have regarding the AllPrep scandal should you care to get some actual facts. The Oregon Department of Justice has now stepped in to investigate this unprecedented mess so you may certainly contact them for further information. If you think this is some vast conspiracy by ODE and the OEA I’m glad to say, in the end, you will be very disappointed!
-Elizabeth, Portland, OR


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