Gompers Takes a Bow

Fluff piece would be the least criticism that could be made about the article. Ignoring the misspelling of Keiller, the article is riddled with inaccuracies and overly one-sided. Beginning with the name of the school being Gompers Prep. While that is the name of the newly opened high school with 9th graders only, there is a 6th through 8th grade Gompers Charter Middle School (GCMS) still in operation. There was a recent U-T article that brought to light the somewhat nebulous reason to merge the schools. Mostly, the ability to bury the middle school and forget that it's in Year 3 of Program Improvement and not have the high school loose a $450,000 federal grant received by every new charter school that is opened. This money grab by charter operators is only just being exposed to the light of day. Mainstreaming Special Education students does not change the fact that they may still be identified as such and must receive services per an IEP. GCMS could still have 18% of its students identified as Special Education. Gompers did not "hire" the El Dorado County SELPA but had to apply to join. While Gompers may have a large Special Education population, charter schools as a group have a much lower percentage of such students due to their ability to put up barriers to enrollment. Interesting that GCMS would like to emulate the Preuss Model school as it has one of the lowest Special Education populations and yet insists it does not cherry pick students. Most charter schools will continue to abandon Special Education students as educating them can be quite costly and they don't really fit into their vision. Also of interest, is that the school's Director and several other top level administrative staff of the school, remain employees of the San Diego Unified School District. Wouldn't it be nice that these "District" employees were subject to the same "at will" employment contracts as GCMS employees. The continued privatization and profitization of public education under the guise of "public" charter schools continues. It would be amusing if it wasn't so scary but the question about the root of all evil is all to apt and should make the taxpayers greatly concerned. A game indeed!
— December 12, 2009 6:46 p.m.

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