FOIA Update To Kuumba and their $425,000 Charter Performance Fund Award & How Charters Can Commit Fraud

After I posted my article about Kuumba’s money problems and the rewarding of $425,000 from the Charter School Performance Fund, I started to wonder what they put in their application for that much money.  I couldn’t find anything on the DOE website, so I submitted a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request.  I got my answer emailed to me this morning.  Apparently, all the charter school performance funds are on the DOE website.  How you get to them is a mystery that needs to be solved.  But what is very interesting is the actual web address that was given to me: http://www.doe.k12.de.us/senate148/dcpspfg.shtml

Now what’s interesting is the part that says senate148.  Is this only available to members of the Delaware Senate?  Like I said, I searched everywhere for this link on the DOE website and it was nowhere to be found.  Once again, charter school transparency is very hard to come by in Delaware.  But why senate148?  The 148th General Assembly hasn’t even been fully elected or even assembled.  So who can see this data without submitting a FOIA request?

The actual application from Kuumba has lots of data about achievement gaps and minority and low income status, something that should be of considerable interest given what Kilroy came out with today!

Of particular interest to this special education blogger was Kuumba’s claim in the application that 10% of their student body were special needs with IEPs.  For the 2013-2014 school profiles on the DOE website, Kuumba had 298 students.  10% would be 29 students with IEPs, right.  But no, Kuumba had 5.7% as their special eduction population, or 17 students.  So which is it Kuumba?  Say you gained 12 more IEPs in the next 8 months and you were at 10%.  This means 10% of your students grades didn’t count for DCAS because your special ed population was too low to count in the proficiency ratings.  How very convenient for you when you are applying for a $464,000 grant because you have such great proficiency gaps.  This means that the greatest proficiency gap when it comes to standardized testing, that of students with disabilities, was not a big deal to you cause you knew the scores wouldn’t count anyways.

And that is how charter schools in Delaware are able to make themselves greater than they are.  The DOE knows it, Markell knows it, and now everyone knows it!  Does anyone have any confirmation on what that emergency charter school and DOE meeting was about a couple weeks ago?

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