Secretary of Education Mark Murphy made his ruling against the Moyer charter school in Wilmington, DE. They will be closed by the state by the end of the current school year. I don’t usually agree with Murphy on much, and this might be the first, but this school had to close in my opinion.
From a special education perspective alone, this is a school that was deeply troubled. From the final meeting minutes with the Charter School Accountability Committee:
during the January 2014 on-site review of records, 67 out of 68 IEPs were found to be noncompliant in one or more regulatory areas, including evaluation, IEP development, meeting participants, and secondary transition. Ms. Mazza stated that, upon review of those same records in May of 2014, 29 remained noncompliant in one or more regulatory areas.
Ms. Mazza also noted that, with regards to the provision of special education services, Moyer’s response stated that teachers were contracted in January. She clarified that the Compliance Agreement between Moyer and the Department clearly states that concerns regarding special education and procedural safeguards were identified during the January 2014 monitoring process. In addition, during the June 11th meeting, documentation was provided regarding the employment of special education staff, which evidenced that special education units earned were not utilized in their entirety.
Ms. Mazza further noted that it was mentioned in Moyer’s response that the concerns that were identified during the January monitoring were isolated to this year and that there haven’t been concerns in the past. She clarified that, in the fall of 2012, an on-site record review was conducted by the Department and, in December 2012, Moyer received a letter identifying noncompliance in 21 regulatory areas, including IEP development, LRE, secondary transition, and IEP meeting participants. She stated that, based upon those results, a corrective action plan was developed, which described the strategies and steps that Moyer would take to ensure compliance with special education regulations, including correction of individual student noncompliance, procedural development, and a system of internal controls.
Ms. Mazza stated that she wanted to make clear that, while the Department appreciates the enthusiasm of the staff and all that the staff is doing, the Department entered into the Compliance Agreement with Moyer because the areas that the Department identified during monitoring resulted in violations of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). She stated that, while there was mention that some of the records that remained out of compliance had one area, if one area is out of compliance, the whole IEP is out of compliance.
I’m sorry, but 67 out of 68 IEPs being out of compliance is reason enough for this school to be shut down. And this is over a year after they had already been out of compliance with IEPs! Good riddance I say.
To read about every reason why there were shut down, read the following DOE link: http://www.doe.k12.de.us/infosuites/schools/charterschools/FormalReview201415/CSAC_Final_Minutes.pdf
To read more about Murphy’s decision, read here: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/education/2014/10/09/moyer-close-end-school-year/16988379/