June 6: Minneapolis district cancels North Side charter school’s lease

  • Article by: Steve Brandt , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 17, 2013 - 8:22 PM

Officials cite testing and financial problems for the move. The district plans to reopen Cityview building as a K-5 school.

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mmp14yrJun. 6, 1311:23 PM

This school exemplifies everything that is wrong and suspect about charter schools. Namely, questionable test results (cheated scores and incomplete rosters, meaning not all eligible students are tested) and an unwillingness to serve all students.

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jsmithxcJun. 7, 13 5:10 AM

I am not denying that there are problems at this school because there clearly are, but to paint all charters with this brush is wrong. If you want to look at cheating scandals you have to look no further than Atlanta public, Chicago public, Houston, Washington DC. Keep in mind charter schools are public schools as well and they do serve all students.

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supervon2Jun. 7, 13 6:34 AM

I have no doubt that the Unions were working overtime to take this one down. They are moving in on two other schools with undercover employees in St. Paul and laughing about it.

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EdwinHJJun. 7, 13 8:01 AM

Another example of why we need a moratorium on new charter schools and a thorough independent review of their operations and effectiveness.

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doingrightJun. 7, 13 8:19 AM

Minneapolis school board gave three choices to Minnesota School of Science; evicting students with special needs was one of them. Why is it then spoken of badly if this was one of the choices, for a school as young as MSS?

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jlmmccJun. 7, 1310:41 AM

Mss serves a portion of our population which is greatly undeserved and was failed by msp. Now wonder they are fighting and slandering any signs of academic progress and success. The teachers work hard and are dedicated. It makes me sad to see their work and the work of the students denigrated for msp political means.

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reader22Jun. 7, 1310:48 AM

Why wasn't there more oversight by MPS as their authorizer on these issues (financials and academics)? If this state law was enacted re: payment of rent, shouldn't MPS have known this would present a problem for the school down the road? Why was this allowed to balloon to a $500,000 problem when someone should have stopped it much earlier? I am not saying the school doesn't have issues but it seems as if MPS went into this agreement with MSS, let things spin out of control, and now wants to play the victim.

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change1Jun. 7, 1311:14 AM

It is all about Kids. MSS doing great job in its first two years.Teachers are dedicated worked hard to raise to test scores.

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cjnorthJun. 7, 13 1:04 PM

This school has been amazing for both of my kids. We pulled our kids out of their district school after repeat issues with teachers in different grades. MSS has been there for my kids, pushing them to excel and be their best. The teachers are amazing with the kids. These kids come from all different backgrounds and the school does everything to make sure each child has the best education. The teachers teach the kids to believe in themselves and that they can overcome whatever their situation is. I stand by this school, I support this school and I will not let it go down without a fight. I am a parent of 2 kids that attend here and we work very closely with all of the educators involved in their lives. I have never seen or heard of issues with testing. This is one thing the school takes very seriously. I stand by the school. They are for the students.

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ohpuleezeJun. 7, 13 2:24 PM

Mr. Brandt: Do your homework next time before being a blind shill for MPS and the teachers union, smearing an otherwise successful charter school. You mention financial and performance issues but give zero evidence of either in this article. Not. One. Scrap. By all studies and all measures, this school well exceeds most of its peers in test scores and especially exceeds the mainstreamed unionized schools. Performance problems? Because MPS is cheezed that this charter school would not take the hardest to educate and special needs students out of their unionized classrooms - a move which would have in turn brought down the charter school's performance and test scores, and caused the district to cancel their charter? Check the State of MN Dept of Education website – you will see this charter school has no such issues – its all public record. By all studies and all measures, this school well exceeds most of its peers in test scores and especially exceeds the mainstreamed unionized schools. Financial problems? You must be referring to the withheld state lease aid – an issue with is zero fault of the charter school, as ALL charter schools rely on state lease aid because they are public schools! MPS and the teachers union are clearly on a mission to destroy school choice in urban education. Two weeks ago in the news they refuse to sell a vacant and derelict building to a charter school willing to invest in education on the north side. Now it is not enough that they terminate this charter schools lease due to the state conflict clause and the lease payment, but they have to go further to raise red herrings of financial impropriety and poor performance with no documented evidence with no proof or real implication of either. You Mr. Brandt, just did their bidding through an alarmist headline and one sided reporting. If you are a charter school authorized by MPS, better start looking for a new authorizer now if you want to survive, because MPS and the teachers union will be coming after you next.

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