Charter School Applicant Seeks Probe of Pittsburgh Public Schools
Zlatos, Bill, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
A charter school applicant is asking the state to investigate Pittsburgh Public Schools, accusing it of unfairly rejecting charter schools.
"Education Innovations, Inc., is requesting an immediate investigation of misconduct, misuse of public funds, and violations of the civil rights of students in the charter review process of the Pittsburgh Public Schools," wrote its CEO, Salvador Wilcox, in a letter Wednesday to Gerald L. Zahorchak, Pennsylvania secretary of Education.
The Education Department did not respond to requests from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for an interview.
Wilcox sent the letter on the same day that the city school board rejected three applications for charter schools, including his. Education Innovations proposed a charter school in East Liberty that eventually would have served children from kindergarten through 12th grade. Also denied were applications from Polaris Academy for a K- 12 school in Carrick, and Three Rivers Youth Leadership Academy for a high school in East Liberty.
Wilcox contended that the district rarely approves charter schools.
A school district review team recommended against approving the school, claiming it would engage in excessive testing and lack parental involvement.
"If you had to summarize our philosophy of standardized tests: We don't like them," Wilcox said yesterday.
Education Innovations said it would consider practice tests every seven weeks if it did not meet federal academic standards. …