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Saturday, June 27, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: TN: When Charters Abandon The Community

CURMUDGUCATION: TN: When Charters Abandon The Community

TN: When Charters Abandon The Community

So here we go again.

Another angry piece written about the abrupt closing of a charter school-- two, actually. This time it's a pair of KIPP schools in Memphis.

The closings were announced in April, the reasoning a little fuzzy.

KIPP Memphis Preparatory Elementary and KIPP Memphis Preparatory Middle were par of Tennessee's failed experiment, the Achievement School District, a collection of schools taken over by the state and, generally, turned over to charter groups to run. In April, the board of the two KIPPs voted to shut them down. It was the Covid, they said. The Covid "prevented opportunities for the schools to receive long-term funding from historic philanthropic resources," which maybe-- I mean, reports were that the pandemic hasn't been hard on the rich folks. And aren't charters supposed to be able to operate on the same per-pupil dollars that public schools get? I mean, how many public schools are depending on their philanthropic backers to help them do well? The rest of the explanations don't get any better.

James Boyd, chairman of the KIPP Memphis board of directors said in a statement, “We strongly believe this decision is in the best interest of our KIPP Memphis community and is a step in the right direction to improve our organization’s ability to build a stronger network of schools.” This sounds at least a bit more honest-- "We did what was best for the company as a whole."

David Pettiette, a volunteer at one of the schools (so presumably not funded by philanthropists), lays out what happened after the announcement:

In an effort to limit bad press, KIPP offered a Q&A conference call to address the school closures so CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: TN: When Charters Abandon The Community