Schools Related schools coverage »
 

Friends of King Schools spent about $70,000 on all-staff retreat at Biloxi casino

Shortly after closing last school year with a near-$850,000 deficit at its newest school, charter management organization Friends of King Schools paid at least $69,000 to host an organization-wide retreat at a Biloxi casino.

The four-day retreat cost about the same as the savings from the charter organization’s decision to cut salaries 2 percent at cash-strapped Joseph A. Craig Charter School. CEO Doris Roché-Hicks informed the staff of the pay cut about a week after the trip.

The school also laid off several Craig staffers over the summer, reducing its salary costs for the current school year by 27 percent over last year’s, according to the school’s 2013-14 budget.

But from Aug. 4 to 8, Friends of King invited all of its approximately 180 employees, from hall monitors to principals, to the Beau Rivage for a retreat focused on staff development.

The charter organization booked 101 rooms at a rate of $109 a night, according to an invoice from the hotel. Most attendees stayed three nights; some stayed four. They ate ribeye steak, garlic-roasted shrimp and bread pudding with warm vanilla sauce. And they attended training sessions with titles such as “The State of Education: Where Do We Go From Here?”

Banquet dinners cost between $38 and $43 per person. Audio-visual equipment carried a stiff price tag, too; the hotel billed Friends of King $250 to use a projector and $25 for a power strip.

Roché-Hicks and board attorney Tracie Washington didn’t respond The Lens’ questions about the retreat, including whether it was mandatory for all employees. Washington said she would mail a copy of the agenda, but The Lens has not received it. (Update, Nov. 22: The Lens has received the agenda.)

Board members Gail Armant, Eartha Johnson, Hilda Young, George Rabb, Kenya Rounds, Sandra Monroe, Joe Long, and Washington all attended, according to the hotel’s list of guests. At least one attendee was not affiliated with the school – State Rep. Wesley Bishop, D-New Orleans, who said the organization paid for his two-night stay and his meals in exchange for speaking at two sessions.

During their stay, Friends of King faculty and staff heard presentations about how to use data to drive classroom instruction, Common Core standards, student learning targets and school bullying, among other topics.

One night, they attended a reception with a DJ and a bar stocked with beer, wine and high-end liquor — although employees appear to have paid for alcohol themselves. Hotel records indicate that the DJ was contracted by Friends of King; details of that arrangement were not included in the documents provided by Friends of King in response to a public-records request.

Some employees ran up about $420 in incidental charges, including room service and a fee for smoking in a room. Friends of King records state that employees paid $1,507.42 towards their own lodging; it’s not clear from the documents whether that includes the extra charges.

But most of the costs, according to public records, were paid from the general funds of Craig and Dr. King Charter School, as well as their Title I and Title II funding, which are federal grants intended to help schools raise achievement among at-risk students and increase educator quality. Federal Title I and II guidance permits the use of such funds for professional development.

The hotel billed the organization a total of $74,468.14, including:

  • About $41,000 for 101 rooms
  • About $29,800 for catered meals and buffets
  • About $3,700 for audio/visual equipment

However, the two checks provided to The Lens total just $69,372.96. Friends of King officials did not respond to The Lens’ inquiry about the discrepancy.

Bishop said he spoke during two sessions, one about board governance and the other, which he described as a “fantastic” question-and-answer session, aimed at the entire organization.

“This was one of the better ones [workshops] that I had been to,” he said.

It’s not uncommon for a charter’s nonprofit board to hold a retreat – The Lens annually covers board retreats of the more than 40 charter boards in New Orleans, held at various locations around the city. The Orleans Parish School Board holds a board retreat once every four years when new board members are elected. It’s typically held out-of-town, such as the board’s April Houston trip.

However, leaders of three charter-school organizations said they’ve never paid for any organization-wide professional development retreats out of state. Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools executive director Caroline Roemer Shirley said she wasn’t sure how common retreats like this are.

“Once, we had Common Core training at a synagogue in Metairie that we got for a very low cost,” Choice Foundation Executive Director Mickey Landry said in an email.

Friends of King officials have said that their $850,000 deficit for the 2012-13 school year was due to startup costs and the Recovery School District’s failure to classify an influx of special-ed students the charter inherited when it took over Craig. The organization’s board voted at a recent meeting to move $705,000 from Dr. King Charter School to help Craig cover its deficit – a transfer that state education officials say they are monitoring to ensure it’s done properly.

In an Aug. 16 email, Roché-Hicks announced to Craig staff that the organization would cut their pay by 2 percent. She later said that the cut could be made up by participating in staff development activities. It’s unclear whether she was referring to the retreat at the casino.

This story was updated after publication to note that the Lens received the retreat agenda on Nov. 21, the day after this story was published.

Help us report this story     Report an error    
The Lens' donors and partners may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover.
  • Waynell Jamison

    This is very personal. The Lens should report on REAL NEWS. Next, please…..

  • Waynell Jamison

    1) You all don’t know where the money came from. 2) Professional development money can be used for professional development. Jessica Williams you are being used by your editor sweetie. No one cares about your writing on the FOKS. I knew it was personal when your editor placed the FOKS on the banner. Its obvious that this poor writing organization has a personal issue with someone at the school. Did Attorney Washington rubbed your editor the wrong way? As a community member, please investigate the murders of the babies in this city. After the LENS USE YOU UP, where are you going to go? You all have been after the FOKS since August. This organization is much larger than your small writing staff. It saddens me that you all are frequently writing on the FOKS. We love the publicity because enrollment is at its all time highest. But, I think assisting the NOPD with solving murders may be more productive. If you look at other schools, you will see that retreats have been around before you was born. Stop being wicked and write on stuff that matters. Sadly, the entire staff at both schools are aware of your sources. The joke is on you and your editor. Let the games begin…..

  • Waynell Jamison

    Why you did not post the informative professional development sessions? Hmmm, maybe they were too positive.

  • Itsme

    This story really saddens me. As a teacher in another charter district, we took a retreat to Baton Rouge. Dr. Hicks does not deserve this at all. She has been a blessing to MANY people in this community. I agree with another person about how personal this is. Jessica Williams failed to provide the agendas on the excellent workshops/presentations. Why? Why is The Lens focusing their attention on The Friends of King. This should be illegal and Attorney Washington should file charges of harassment. My school spent well over $70,000 for our professional development. But, it was used for professional development. A source informed me that some disgruntled Craig staff is working with Jessica and HER editor. As a community, we should rally against the Lens and send them sailing. They go after one entity and attempts to harass them. This is awful and they should not have this power to do so. I was also informed that they are housed in Fox 8. This is why the man Lee covered the story. We must teach our children that retaliation is not the key to solve an issue. We all know Attorney Washington and Dr. Hicks are two smart young ladies. Eventually, the Lens will be history. Dr. Hicks, you and your staff have done an outstanding job for our students and parents. You must be doing many things right because the Lens is giving you all free publicity. Eventually God will reveal those demons who are doing this crap. The Lens failed to report on the protests at Carver, Clark and Lake Area. Why? The answer is because they are white charter organizations. Why are they not reporting on Renew and the CEO’s niece running the school. Why? Because they are also white. What about the the charters that wants Craig’s building. They won’t report on that because they are also white. The handwriting is on the wall. The idiots have even placed the FOKS on their banner. Too funny, Jessica and your editor.

    Dr. Hicks and Attorney Washington sue the hell out of them.

  • Itsme

    Perse, YOUR MONEY should go to the murders of babies in this city. YOUR MONEY should go to books for kids. YOUR MONEY should be better spent. Now, the way you spend your money is a scandal. SMH

  • Itsme

    Kudos to The Friends of King and Dr. Hicks. We love you..Keep doing amazing things.

  • FACTS/ FICTION

    This is really sad…. I have to agree with Waynell Jamison this report is so inaccurate the first thing that jumps out to me is the that JESSICA reports to Fox 8 that “NO OTHER CHARTER HAS EVER GONE ON AN OUT OF STATE RETREAT” that is a BOLD FACE LIE!!!!!! I can say as a Former employee of ACSA we went to FLORIDA for our retreat we all had our own rooms we didn’t have share as other so often do JESSICA did you take time to research that or here is another FACT a charter school just this summer went on a Cruise Jessica did you research that Anyone in their right mind can see this personal I have suggestion Jessica go to the Friends of KING see if you can fill Dr. Hick’s and her Staff shoes just one day I don’t think so Better yet try reporting positive information

  • Guest

    If this is true, this is outrageous. I am on a charter board that serves 3200 preK-12 students at 5 schools – we had our retreat in the same conference room in the Irish Channel school that we have all of our board meetings, and got plenty done, no need to spend that kind of money going to another state.
    Who cares where the money came from — if it was grant or federal – it should have been used for something other than steak, bbq and DJ music that only board members and guests of the retreat benefited from.

  • disqus_qtvF4sydqM

    How does this compare with the annual 4-day KIPP Summer Summit? The national conference was held in Las Vegas, NV last summer and in Orlando, FL the year before. It will be in Houston, TX next year. All KIPP teachers are flown in from all over the country, at no expense to them, for their professional development. This event, in which many local teachers participated, had to cost 100 times what Friends of King paid for their staff. Is this news? Is it against the law for teachers to eat steak and shrimp?

    Please check this source:
    http://www.kipp.org/our-approach/sharing-and-collaboration/kipp-school-summit-2013

    Fox News’ story makes it appear that the conference in Biloxi was paid for by cutting teachers’ pay. The conference funds, if they came from the federal Title II budget are for innovative ideas and professional training. Each of the schools operated by FOK has its own budget. Jessica, you can do better than this. Get the whole story. Talk to Doris Hicks or Hilda Young. Both of these educators understand the LDOE guidelines about planning out of state conferences. There is nothing illegal, immoral or sensational here. I am disappointed.

    NOTE TO EDITORS: Please remove the Friends of King Schools category from your site’s banner. The Lens is better than a bully pulpit. This is beneath your professional potential.

  • nickelndime

    We are only a heartbeat away from this particular (Friends of King) nonprofit getting slammed because it cannot be ignored (they doth protest too much) b/c it is small comparatively speaking, and the bigger fish will eateth and spitteth it out. I mean, if Pastorek can get spit out, then Friends of King can get spit out, including Doris, Gail, Hilda, and yes, even Wesley…Out Out damned spot. GULP!

  • boathead12

    WOW! Some of you people are defending this? You must not be on the paying end of the taxes. This is appalling.

  • SPEDteacher

    This is very important news. I am glad the Lens is covering these types of stories. While maybe not to this scale, behavior like this is common in charter schools. Charter schools are fundamentally profit-driven undertakings, even if under the guise of “non-profit.”

  • Jessica Williams

    Facts/Fiction:

    Neither story reported that no other charter has ever gone on an out of state retreat. We spoke with three organizations, and they each said they’d never gone on a retreat such as this one. We may do a follow up with more comprehensive information about who else has taken retreats.

  • Jessica Williams

    Disqus_qtvF4sydqM:

    Thanks for the information about KIPP – we reached out to them yesterday and haven’t as of yet received a response.

  • Jessica Williams

    Itsme:

    I was not aware that you had unsuccessfully tried to contact us. The lines of communication are always open: 504-483-1518 or jwilliams@thelensnola.org.

  • Itsme

    I have attempted to post several stories. For some strange reason, they are not getting posted. Why are Lens and Channel 8 NOT focusing on the many amazing things the FOKS is going for their students. This online gossip den and the reporter are very messy. Jessica is aware of the Las Vegas trip and the Florida trip. But, they are harassing this ONLY black charter school. Let me see if their stories will receive a banner and airtime.

  • Waynell Jamison

    Facts/Fiction: FROM JESSICA WILLIAMS.

    Neither story reported that no other charter has ever gone on an out of state retreat. We spoke with three organizations, and they each said they’d never gone on a retreat such as this one. We may do a follow up with more comprehensive information about who else has taken retreats.
    Really Jessica ??? The comments should have validated whether is fact or fiction. Comparing Biloxi to Las Vegas is like comparing you to a New York Times writer. You and The Lens are fully aware of what you all are doing. You all are constantly hitting and missing. What are you really looking for ? Do you want to work with this great district?

  • Waynell Jamison

    Don’t think we don’t know the motives and your sources…….

  • Waynell Jamison

    Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
    For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. Psalms 37

  • Waynell Jamison

    Since this is FREE publicity. NEW YOU CAN USE. Literacy night at the FOKS schools will be on December 3, 2013. All are invited to attend. The FOKS fed many homeless people this past week. Many students and their parents received Thanksgiving baskets on this past week. Staff members will assist Gusman with feeding the hungry on Thanksgiving day. Numeracy night will be held on December 5, 2013 at both schools. Everyone is invited to attend. The Student of the Month was a huge success. All students will receive three toys for Christmas. The Louisiana Department of Education visited with both schools and provided exemplary ratings. The reading video is being edited and should be released to the public. Second Cup (PTO) for all parents will be help on December 4, 2013 at both schools. The extended day program is going well and parents are seeing positive results. The Dads Club will meet on tomorrow as planned. The planting of vegetables and fruit are going very well. The students are excited to see it grow. Many staff members are working with State officials on developing and revising Common Core Standards. The revision of the playgrounds are beautiful. The data is showing that our students are excelling. More to come…….Stay tuned….

  • Waynell Jamison

    Obtain your facts before you make a judgment. Media sources make up stories too.

  • Waynell Jamison

    Why call when you all are ONLY harassing the FOKS? I read the other charter schools articles and the tone is different. You really dislike these great people. SMH

  • Waynell Jamison

    Hester, you made it back. You should not open your mouth at all. When you see Hilda, you are all in her face. How is your show doing ??????? I thought not…..

  • Waynell Jamison

    The Lens is pissed off at Atty. Washington and they are going after the FOKS. They have even placed the district on their banner. Yes, bizarre behavior and scary…. They don’t care about anything the FOKS is doing.

  • Waynell Jamison

    Go there like you just pop up at King. Or send in one of your many public record requests. Come on with these games……..

  • Waynell Jamison

    Guest, do you read everything that you hear ? Obtain your facts first. What about KIPP taking a lavish trip to Vegas. The way the staff at the FOKS work, I wish I had money to take them to Paris.

  • Bro. Keith “X” Hudson

    Perse, the Lens/The Uptown Messenger, et al are all tied-up with Fox 8/Nola.com/ so where you been or you just trying to advertise for the Lens as independent of other local news media. lol

  • Bro. Keith “X” Hudson

    Oh, oh, sounds like somebody know something that the Lens don’t know!

  • Bro. Keith “X” Hudson

    Itsme, not gonna happen. Sue, please, Tracie Washington don’t sue, she shows crooks how to manipulate the system like white-folks. This is her 3rd accusation. the 1) was with that crook rev. lois dejean, the 2) was with dr. hicks at mlk and now this one! How many times do you get accused before the FEDS start looking at Her or her accusers, hhhmmmmm!

  • Bro. Keith “X” Hudson

    Question for you Waynell, does Tracie Washington or Wesley Bishop work at either Craig or MLK?

  • boathead12

    I have no agenda except to see my money we’ll spent educating the children of this city. I believe Dr. Hicks might be a very good person, I believe Traci Washington May be a very good person, though with a very different worldview than mine…that is fine, different strokes for different folks.

    Those of you accusing the Lens of a anti-FOKS agenda need to wrap your head around the fact that the Lens DOES have an agenda…to expose waste fraud and abuse, and they have a special focus on charter schools because of the unique opportunities for abuse there. Where we’re you and your uppitieness when they were reporting on graft at Lusher? Were their facts all mixed up and missing when they reported on the abusive board at Lycée? No. Were all of you kicking and screaming when they reported on many of the charter school board’s improper closed door meetings? no, we never heard a peep then.

    But now they uncover a serious error in judgement by the board and administration of FOKS and you wanna kick and scream. Take a step back and look at what this board has cost this school! A less extravagant training and team building session might have provided ONE MORE TEACHER FOR A FULL YEAR! What children might that teacher have touched? How might a couple more young lives have been changed?

  • boathead12

    Are you seriously trying to justify this wrong by pointing out another wrong?

    “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
    Or didn’t your mama teach you that?

  • Joanne Hilton

    I have a basic problem with any Louisiana entity dependent on taxpayer funding leaving the state of Louisiana for expensive retreats.First off., they probably wouldn’t have to pay state hotel/motel taxes on accommodations if they stayed in Louisiana. That would save them at least 9% right there. (They probably would have to pay the 4% to the city, but I’m not real sure about that – total hotel taxes are 13% here, and I’m sure they are probably comparable in Mississippi or any other state.) I understand that individuals might go out of state to professional meetings organized by some other entity, but for a totally tax supported non-profit in Louisiana to take their considerable group business to another state, I have a real problem with that, especially in the summer, when the hotels and restaurants in New Orleans are sorely in need of business.I think it’s wrong when the judges do it (to Florida, etc every year) and I don’t think these boards/administration/teachers of any charter should do it either.

  • Joanne Hilton

    I read the retreat agenda, and it looked very interesting. I did note, however, that there were “sponsors” listed at the end of the program, and I am curious as to how they sponsored the event – did they give money, and if so, where were these funds noted on the total cost of the meeting?

  • boathead12

    Waynell, this IS great news. The families, staff, and students of this school clearly have a lot to be proud of. It would be a mistake to take from this conversation that anyone here is hating on FOKS or the Dr. or attorney. We all want more successes, which is why this excessive expenditure in a Mississippi casino has drawn attention and condemnation.

    As long as the name of the game is raising these children up, I’m behind you. If the plan is playing games with money intended to educate our children so as to get back at the white folks as Bro.X suggests above, well that is perverse, and I hope you are with me in kicking that mindset straight to the latrine.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    “we took a retreat to Baton Rouge.”
    New Orleans can’t even fix the street lights, traffic lights, sewerage, pot holes, pay for enough police or fire, and so on. And your school TOOK a RETREAT?????

    We all know Attorney Washington and Dr. Hicks are two smart young ladies.
    And what does Bl?ck community have to show for their intelligence of the last 20-30 years of community service?

    Dr. Hicks and Attorney Washington sue the hell out of them.
    If they sue, the defendants’ lawyers will definitely get many depositions asking for ALL SORTS of DOCUMENTS, not only from them, but others inside and outside the school.
    Definitely MORE evidence to talk about in the news, at least eventually, as the documents might be sealed, but not sealed forever.

    Just remember what happened to the JEFFERSONS. Lots of appeals and so on, but in the end…well you know what happened.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    Can you show to the residents of NOLA what these amazing things they have been doing for the last 20-30 years?

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    If other charters went to Florida for a out-of-state retreat, can you explain to the residents of New Orleans why there is no money for streets, lights, fix potholes, police pay and police recruits, firemen, etc?

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    To whom much is given, much is required!

    Actions speak louder than words.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    “The FOKS fed many homeless people this past week. Many students and
    their parents received Thanksgiving baskets on this past week. Staff
    members will assist Gusman with feeding the hungry on Thanksgiving day.
    Numeracy”

    If PUBLIC SCHOOLS did actually do their jobs in the past 5 to 50 years, why are there so many in need now, 5 to 50 years later?

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    Considering how many homeless and people who need handouts from all these events, should the families, staff, and students of this school be really proud of the track record of public schools?

  • Waynell Jamison

    Tracie follows the law. Bottom line…..

  • Waynell Jamison

    AhContraire, they are very smart young ladies.

  • Waynell Jamison

    AhContraire, Dr. Hicks has been educating students in this city for over 40 years. Dr. Hicks also blessed many parents in this city. You just don’t know about this amazing lady. Attorney Washington has been advocating for people LIKE you for over 20 years.

  • Waynell Jamison

    AhContraire, learn school law. Professional development money goes to professional development. Ask other schools like KIPP, Algiers and Renew……They traveled to Vegas, Florida and other places. Hmmmmmmm

  • Lisa Felton

    boasthead, please learn school law.

  • Lisa Felton

    AhContraire, so what are you doing to help our students in New Orleans.

  • Lisa Felton

    You must not be in education, AhContraire…

  • Lisa Felton

    Jessica Williams you have LOST your credibility with this story. You have so many holes in this story. KIPP flew every single person to LAS VEGAS. Do a public request on them? Each staff member had a SUITE. You are constantly writing stories without verifying your sources. 1) Custodians and Hall Monitors should not have a privilege to go on a Retreat ? Come on and stop this personal crap. YOU HAVE MADE ANOTHER FOOL OF YOURSELF. Why is the FOKS the only district on your banner? Personal crap…………

  • Lisa Felton

    Hudson, their sole motive is to write dog crap on the FOKS.

  • Lisa Felton

    Jessica Williams probably was instructed not to report any positive things on the FOKS. But, the joke is on Williams with this poor writing.

  • Lisa Felton

    Hudson, Attorney Washington is not a crook. She fights her tail off for many citizens.

  • Lisa Felton

    Jessica, you MAY do a follow up…..You have opened a can of worms. You are forced to investigate schools that you don’t want to. Send your public requests to them. We are going to be waiting.

  • Lisa Felton

    Jessica, you know darn well that you are not going to do it. You are after the FOKS for some strange and wicked reason.

  • Lisa Felton

    Many great things are happening within the FOKS.

  • disqus_qtvF4sydqM

    Tracie Washington is the attorney for Friends of King. She does not work at either school.

  • boathead12

    Well instead of attacking everyone who has an opinion different from yours, why don’t you make an effort to educate me?

    From reading your’s and the other’s protestations here, I take it that you all think that what was done here was perfectly legal. Well goodie. Ethical? “Hmmmmmmmmmmm”

    Since you seem to know about school law, perhaps you could answer a straighforward question with a straighforward answer. MAY unspent “professional development” funds be returned into the school’s general fund? If not, how MUST unspent “professional development” funds disposed of?

  • boathead12

    Hi Nicklendime, If you really are Sandra Hester, thanks…yes, we’ve seen your show, and …just…Whoa! You’ve got some big ideas. But you’ve been picking on the fraud and abuse in the school system since long before Katrina, long before the Inspector General. I clearly remember a school board meeting on Chanel 10 about two weeks before Katrina, where Hester had board member Torbin so spun up that he declared “this system is so broken, it would take a nuclear bomb to fix it.” Two week later the levees broke. The system is still not fixed, but if you go on lifting up rugs and skirts it’s going to make it a lot harder on those who would use up the money for our children’s growth.

  • Lestat

    Non-profits are nothing more than groups of people who join together, pay themselves high salary’s and get around paying taxes. There is no need for these so called retreats which are really just vacations paid for by the taxpayer. The Lens, along with several other new media groups have opened the eyes of the public as to just how corrupt our Lawyers and politicians have become in their attempt to destroyed the system. Tracie Washington has been called on the carpet in front of the city council many times.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    The City of New Orleans has the highest poverty rate in America, the worse public schools in America for the last 30 years.

    Can you SHOW me the blessings these parents in the city received from these two amazing people? As far as I can tell, I wouldn’t call them blessings.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    Why not learn the City of New Orleans is BROKE? There are a large number for companies that have left in the last 3 years have gone unnoticed. The Streets, lights, and so on are still NOT FIXED. The police understaffed and so on.

    All of these schools NEED to BELT TIGHTEN, PERIOD. Otherwise, say hello to Detroit and ti’s bankruptcy.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    Low income, poor students are SURROUNDED, by their very own dysfunctional and highly irresponsible family, relatives and ex-con immediate family members.

    Set up something to get students OUT of their dysfunctional, irresponsible, destructive community today. When I say, today, I mean LIKE NOW, via 1-way tickets to another family or even a boarding house outside of Louisiana.

    Get them to another city outside of Louisiana where they can learn to speak properly and not Ebonics or ghetto twang. This way they can far more easily get a JOB in the future.

    This has worked with great success for those 130,000 who left after Hurricane Katrina. Why shouldn’t it work today?

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    Why would I want to be in a NOLA education system that has produced a class of people needing handouts to survive for the rest of their lives?

  • Lestat

    ” Professional Development ” Where do they come up with this bullshit. These people need to do their jobs, collect their paycheck and go home instead of wasting money on bullshit trips to the coast. Expensive rooms, food, alcohol, and whatever drugs they bring with them doesn’t educate kids. Spend the money on education and not a bunch of drunken pig jackasses…………

  • Lestat

    Nobody brings up race till you come up, racist much ????

  • Nolaeducator

    Ms. Hilton,

    The sponsors provided gift certificates and baskets as door prizes. No money was involved. Other trinkets were donated to go in the retreat bags.

  • Lisa Felton

    AhContraire, well what are you doing to help New Orleans and the schools ? Don’t talk the talk, walk the walk.

  • Lisa Felton

    Lestat, you don’t make any sense. Tell that to KIPP and Renew who took their ENTIRE staff members to Vegas and Florida. What are you doing to help our students in the city? You are the drunken pig………..

  • Lisa Felton

    Again, what are you doing to HELP. Get off of your BIG tail and help a child to read in New Orleans. Assist the poor families with counseling, education and etc.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    This is where you and all the charities are completely wrong.
    See all that counseling and education over the last 50 years? Has it even shown any positive long term results? NO, NO, NO.

    In fact, the way your education and charities are going, there is going to be NO ONE LEFT to COUNSEL or EDUCATE according to the CENSUS.

    Basically, all your education and counseling is like PUBLIC HOUSING or FOOD STAMPS.
    For public housing, the government just kept throwing more and more resources and money at it until someone realized it’s not working and started with mixed income. Same with Food Stamps. Instead of paper stamps to reduce “stigma”, it’s now EBT, SNAP and WIC. But instead it’s has lead to 90-95% single mothers who are also obese.

    With 90% unwed mothers, your 50 years of education and counseling has basically DESTROYED the meaning of FAMILY in the Bl?ck community.

    If you have a school with more than 10% to 25% bl?ck, which means the poorest of the poor, forget it. That school needs to be split up as there is TOO many poor concentrated. This is EXACTLY what PUBLIC HOUSING was doing and now realizes it’s made a huge mistake in CONCENTRATING the POOR.

    All your counseling and education does is CONCENTRATE the POOR. It surrounds the POOR with MORE POOR within the school and even outside the school.

    Why would I want to educate or counsel the poor, when it’s YOU and YOUR social types that need to be educated and counseled on the BIG PICTURE?

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    I didn’t say ALL, but wouldn’t it be NICE to know what percentage are receiving handouts?

    Well, considering NOLA has the highest poverty rate, 30% or more people don’t own a car in a hurricane evacuation zone, a City Hall where 25% are on remedial courses, companies outside of Louisiana saying for decades there is no educated work force, and a low paying tourism and service industry, it’s wouldn’t be surprised if the Bl?cks, it’s 70-80%, or more, who are on HANDOUTS.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    Did you ever study history? If so, you will read before Civil RIghts, Bl?cks actually owned and ran a number of good businesses on Dryades St. But now, it’s named after another Civil RIghts activists and there are no businesses except those to HELP the Bl?cks…How ironic. Those who say they are helping have only produced hurt and pain.

  • sbeattyTheLens

    Steve Love: I have no idea why you think this is personal between me and Tracie Washington. That’s simply not the case, at least from my side of the equation. Perhaps Washington believes otherwise. I wouldn’t know because she doesn’t speak to me or reporters for The Lens. And that’s fine. We don’t need her to find facts that are presented in the documents we obtain. It’s a shame, though, that neither Washington nor any representative of the school board will discuss any matters with us.

    Also, our story didn’t say the $70,000 would cover the cost of the laid off employees. We said that amount is just about how much the Craig payroll was cut, shortly after the retreat. That’s pay to current employees. Further, we would have liked to post the agendas and summaries of the workshops and presentations, but FOKS did not comply with the law and provide us with those records before publishing this story. We’ve since gotten those records and will be publishing another story.

    Also, Washington criticized The Lens, Jessica Williams and me personally on her Facebook page, much like you’re doing here, saying we don’t cover positive stories. While it’s true that our limited staff doesn’t have time to attend Donuts with Dads, we did cover the story when FOKS was among the schools awarded the chance to get new charter campuses. We called the school leaders to let them comment on that story, but again, they declined to talk with us.

    We’re always happy to hear from school leaders and include their comments in our stories.

    Regards,
    Steve Beatty
    Editor of The Lens
    (504) 655-2375

  • http://thelensnola.org/ Steve Myers

    I have deleted the comments that followed that discussed poverty and social services because they are off-topic. If you have questions about this, you can email me at smyers at thelensnola.org.

  • sbeattyTheLens

    Dear Itsme: Your accusations are as repugnant as they are incorrect. No one at The Lens is using anyone for personal purposes. I’m eager to know what we’ve written that’s “fictitous.” Tracie Washington hasn’t pissed me off, but I can’t say for sure whether she’s’ upset with me. Perhaps you already know the answer to that. Channel 8 is our reporting partner. Sometimes they report stories with us, sometimes they don’t. We certainly don’t control their actions. For what it’s worth, we have an arms-length business relationship with the station and pay it rent. You clearly don’t know Jessica well because she’s not intimidated by much, certainly not by me. We’re happy to have you post your opinion here, but again, I’m eager to know what “false things” we’ve reported. If something is incorrect, we’ll run a correction. Always happy to talk and correct the record. Please cal me at the number below.
    Regards
    Steve Beatty
    Editor of The Lens
    (504) 655-2375

  • http://thelensnola.org/ Steve Myers

    I’ve deleted the comments that followed, which talked about how many people in New Orleans receive handouts. This is not related to the story. If you have any questions, you can email me at smyers at thelensnola.org.

  • Joanne Hilton

    Give me some information and I will be happy to check into it, as much as I can find on the internet. I would be curious to know: was this specifically a New Orleans KIPP retreat, or was it a national meeting? How many teachers/administrators from New Orleans were in attendance, and how were their expenses covered? Who organized the retreat, and where did the attendants come froM? Were expenses paid by using public funds (national, state or local), or were they covered by private grants, national philanthropies, or some other source? Why was Las Vegas chosen, and who did the choosing? Even if it was a national retreat, why wasn’t New Orleans chosen as the location? Many questions could be asked.

  • boathead12

    Lisa, it’s victims like you that make online commenting so entertaining. Just look at the way these mean ole reporters are printing facts! How dare they?!? And look over there at those other folks!! They are not printing reports about those folks today and today only about your school! How dare they report facts about your school and not every single other school in the parish on the same day? Why those mean ole reporters should be sued for being so mean and fact stating! YEAH! That will fix em! Threaten to sue em and tell em to “Look over thar’!”

    For a while there I thought the Salune-loonies were the biggest victims ever, but you’ve raised the bar to a new level.

    Hey, and while your at it, cry about someone’s skin color not being the right color or yours is the wrong color or her color is a shame ‘cuz she’s getting used for her skin color and it’s all about those meanies picking on lil ole me and my school all because of color. I’M A VICTIM!

    In the case of the questionable behavior of the Lycee board, the faculty carried on and continued to provide excellent education despite the antics of the board and a few parents. We can only hope that the faculty of these two campus’ are doing the same, and not indoctrinating the children into the VICTIM culture that you are pimping through your comments.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Helping a child to read isn’t going to work just like it hasn’t worked for the last 50 years.

    These children need to be completely immersed in a TOTALLY NEW COMMUNITY. Totally separated from their irresponsible and ex-con family members and community. Whatever you and other teach them is immediately forgotten when they step outside the school and into their irresponsible home and destructive community

    You have assisted the poor families so much, they have become IRRESPONSIBLE for their bad decisions and have only gotten worse and haven’t changed their irresponsible behavior know that someone will pay for their short-sighted, selfish, and irresponsible decisions.

    This is like giving a dollar to the panhandlers and homeless thinking they can purchase food when they only purchase beer and drugs and get chronically worse to a point of no return.

  • Bro. Keith “X” Hudson

    Felton, are you married to Julius? And the Lens wasn’t established to solve crimes of humanity, but CERTAIN crooks in this city, which just happened to be Blacks!, who imitate the the “Original Criminal” – not realizing that when you steal, as they do, they have a “get-out-of-jail-free-card!”. Now, I’m not a fan of the Lens, because of the make-up of it, BUT, does that make me do like majority of the people on here, to defend an “Alleged” wrong by certain people, like Tracie Washington & Wesley Bishop! I was informed that schools go on these retreats every year, so there’s NOTHING wrong with the retreats, and how much they cost, TO ME!! OK? But, the only thing I’m not HEARING in defense of these accusations, is whether Washington & Bishop WORK for MLK & Craig. None of ya’ll answered that question, because it sounds like ya’ll saying the Lens is investigating CERTAIN people, but if Washington & Bishop ain’t on that staff, there’s something smelly, here! Agree or not? I’m just trying to navigate through this.

  • Bro. Keith “X” Hudson

    To Waynell, and Lisa. TO YA’LL Tracie Washington fights her tail off, and she follows the law. Why didn’t Ms Follow the Law/Fight her tail off ANSWER the investigator’s questions? That’s the sure sign of a CROOK!! Do ya’ll remember Ellense Sims-Brooks – had the same attitude; what about Barbara Majors – same attitude – and I’m sure ya’ll remember Oliver Thomas – same attitude!!! When, they accused Jefferson of wrong-doing, who was front & center, barking about “drawing the line in the sand!?!” When, those wanna-be-white-negroes at St. Augustine called the Jesuits’ hand with that damned-fool John Rapheal, who was in the background supporting that b.s., knowing they ain’t had a leg to stand on. What ‘massa’ says goes!!! And last but not least, who, stirred up the racist e-mails, and when her real estate documentation came up with descrepencies, the accusations about the e-mails DISAPPEARED!! So, tell me, why ya’ll trying to defend people, who won’t defend themselves? I’m just curious.

  • Bro. Keith “X” Hudson

    I’m trying to find out who’s ELIGIBLE to go on these retreats. The article said staff & employees, and I’m not accusing ANYONE, I’m just trying to figure out, why are ya’ll on here defending somebody who’s an ATTORNEY!!! Tracie can defend herself! Right everybody? So, why are ya’ll defending an attorney, when the investigator asked her the question, she was QUALIFIED to answer RIGHT THEN & THERE, if there’s NOTHING WRONG with it. right everybody?

  • Bro. Keith “X” Hudson

    What is Wesley Bishop’s interest in Friends of King?

  • Lisa Felton

    sbeattyTheLens, WOW, you responded to me. 1) Why are you all harassing the FOKS? 2) Why do you have the FOKS on your banner? The only charter district on the banner? 3) False-The pictures you showed on The Lens and 8 were not how the rooms were decorated. They were set up to have a professional presentations and workshops. Several Louisiana State Department of Education employees spoke at the Retreat. If anything was done in an unethical manner, they would have reported it. 4) Please learn school law. Title 1 funds may be used for professional development and out of the state. 5) No high end alcohol was consumed. You must obtain your sources from credible people before rushing to print about the FOKS. 6) The retreat could not save any staff member or prevent layoffs. Again, please learn the school law. You must factor in salaries, benefits and retirement. 6) A DJ WAS NEVER HIRED. TOTALLY FALSE 7) The employees who had extra fees paid for their fees. 8) WE ARE WAITING YOUR INVESIGATIONS ON OTHER CHARTER SCHOOLS. ITS CLEAR THAT YOU HATE THE FOKS. THIS IS AWFUL HOW YOU HAVE BULLIED THE CEO, ATTORNEY, BOARD MEMBERS, STAFF AND STUDENTS. WE HAVE MANY GREAT THINGS GOING ON. PLEASE REPORT ON THE MANY AMAZING THINGS THAT ARE GOING ON. PLEASE RETRACT YOUR ERRORS. IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD.

  • disqus_qtvF4sydqM

    Wesley Bishop is the State Representative for District 99 which includes the lower ninth ward where MLK is located. He is also a member of the Education Committee for the State legislators. New laws concerning education including charter schools, teacher tenure, and higher education are vetted in the Education committee before they get voted on in the Senate. He also grew up in the lower ninth ward as a child.

  • Lestat

    “”Tracie Washington, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune today, “The reason we have not
    grown, the reason why we are sitting here four years later
    post-Hurricane Katrina saying, ‘What is going on? Why haven’t we
    recovered?’ is because frankly, nobody knows what the hell has happened
    with the money,” after the paper insinuated that the issue in this case
    is race more than open government because Washington had not sought
    email records from the Black members of the City Council, only the four
    white members.”" LOL, Really, If I can be sued for inaccurate stories then every media outlet from The Wall Street Journal to The Globe would be sued. I hope your not a Lawyer, you don’t know Jack !!!!!!!!

  • boathead12

    YOU

    PIMP

    VICTIM Mindset.

    Stop your silly empty threats.
    Stop pouting that KIPP did it so why can’t I.
    Stop complaining that these journalists are meanines.

    All they have done is report the facts they have been able to gather. The fact that FOKS has acted as if they have something to hide and have not complied with information requests does not diminish the facts that have been reported.

    Step up and advocate accountability. Teach that to your children.

  • sbeattyTheLens

    Dear Lisa Felton:
    1) We’re not harassing the Friends of King Schools. We’re reporting stories that, in our news judgment, will interest our readers. The fact that the entire school took a retreat came to our attention when we were reporting an earlier story. Our reporter went to the school to get comment, and she was told the entire staff was at Beau Rivage for a retreat. That caused us to ask for the receipts and all documentation related to the retreat. I think a reasonable person would find it unusual that an entire school’s staff is at a casino in Mississippi.
    2) Along our secondary navigation bar, we highlight stories that are generating a lot of interest. In fact, your incessant commenting on this story actually helped push it up there. Thanks! We rarely get this many comments on a story. If you’d looked at the navigation bar some months ago, you would have seen Lycee Francais charter school up there. We wrote dozens of stories about that school, and the difficulties they were having with that school’s leadership. At the time, they didn’t complain about being harassed, and they were the only charter school in that position.
    3) I have no idea what you’re talking about regarding pictures. You can look on this story for yourself and see that we have no pictures from the retreat, or anything purporting to be that. If you have a problem with images on Fox8, I suggest you get in touch with the station. You brought up the question of ethics. We did not.
    4) We’re familiar with the law. We never said what was done is not in alignment with with the regulations for Title I or Title II.
    5) and your second No. 6) We’re going by what the receipts from the resort show. As far as I know, that’s pretty credible. If the school was charged for something that didn’t happen, it’s probably worth advising the administration. Maybe they can get some money back.
    First No. 6) We never said the retreat could save staff members or prevent layoffs. We’ve simply pointed out that that the school was running a deficit when it took this retreat, and that the amount spent on the retreat is nearly the same as the payroll cuts. We did indeed point out that layoffs took place, but that was for context, not suggesting cause and effect.
    7) You appear to have correctly read our story. That’s what we said.
    8) We’re looking into other schools that commenters have mentioned. We did not survey all 40 school boards in the city. You can see from the story we called several for comparison. We’re grateful for the tips about the other schools, and you’ll see the results from that soon. Again, you’re jumping to conclusions to say I hate the school. That’s simply not true. I don’t believe we’ve bullied anyone. We’ve asked public officials to explain their actions. That’s what journalists do.
    I’m sure the school does great things, and we’ve reported on some. We’ve tried reporting on others (such as the solar panels installed there) but the administration won’t talk with us, which is a shame. Again, we’re happy to correct any errors of fact. We’ve not been told of any errors that have checked out.

    Again, I’m happy to discuss this with you by phone if you wish. Or we could keep writing to each other here for everyone’s entertainment. Your choice.

    Regards,
    Steve Beatty
    Editor of The Lens
    (504) 655-2375

  • http://thelensnola.org/ Steve Myers

    We report on every charter board in the city. As for Friends of King Schools’ placement in the “Focused on” section, this is where we highlight ongoing stories that we’re following. For months last year, Lycee Francais was in this area as we reported on their ongoing governance issues.

    Steve Myers
    The Lens

  • Lestat

    Now that NOLA.com has crashed and burned, keep this thread going. Steve was just kidding when he said you could call him, better you continue writing here…:)

  • sbeattyTheLens

    Dear Lisa Felton. It’s curious that you always refer to her as “Attorney Washington” with a capital “A.” That’s precisely how she wants people to refer to her. Interesting. It’s a pretty unusual construction.

    I’m not sure who you’re referring to when you say “the community” doesn’t believe we’re credible. What community? And again, we’ve written positive stories about FOKS, even when the administration wouldn’t comment. We’re generally a hard-news outlet. If you’re looking for stories that many would consider community news — which I view as important — you should look to the other outlets who do that kind of work. We’re filling gaps in news coverage that exist. There’s no shortage of community news outlets. Our mission is investigative news.

    Again, all the critics of our stories tend to use the same ambiguous language without ever pointing out something wrong. Please let us know if something is incorrect, and we’ll check it out. I promise. And please let us know how we’ve been unfair or unethical. And this isn’t the only charter school we’ve written critical stories about. But you’ve probably not read those. That’s cool, though.

    Interesting that you cite our stories on agendas at the school. That’s an issue that Washington has been deeply involved in. Hmmm.

    I’m not sure where you’ve gotten your figure of $2,500. We’ve raised substantially more than that. Maybe you’re thinking of our summer campaign to raise $25,000, which we achieved. Plenty of people think we’re credible and donate to us, and for that we’re grateful.

    And if Washington is “cruising” me on Facebook (I’m not sure what that even means), it has nothing to do with Jessica Williams’ reporting. And again, that’s very interesting that you’d know about how Washington called me out by name on Facebook. At the time, she apparently didn’t know that her page was public and open to anyone to see and comment. Hmmm, again.

    Regards,
    Steve Beatty
    Editor of The Lens
    (504) 655-2375

  • Nolaeducator

    Ms. Washington is the board attorney. Mr. Bishop simply spoke at the retreat, and is not involved or employed with FOKS.

  • Nolaeducator

    Ms. Felton,
    I know because I am a teacher at King School! This is why I clarified what the sponsors donated, I was on the retreat.

  • Craig

    This has the essence of Donald Trump all over it…
    Looking forward to your alleged update.

  • Jessica Williams
  • Guest

    I would personally like to thank Ms. Jessica Williams for taking the time to write this article, proving just how corrupt and selfish FOKS truly is. Being a former student of Dr. Martin Luther King Charter School, I know first-hand how completely selfish and unprofessional these people can be. These people could have put that money towards improving their schools, which i need not say that they are in debt by a large magnitude.But what did they decide to do instead? Go on a staff-wide retreat to a Biloxi casino, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. I can understand if they went on a retreat during summer vacation when there are no classes to teach and free time for the staff members, but they decided they just couldn’t wait that long. Once again, i would like to thank Ms. Williams for showing the scandalous behavior FOKS had they audacity to commit. Thank you.

  • Lisa Felton

    Mr. Beatty, it saddens me that you think these articles are entertaining. Actually, they are heartbreaking because WE work our tails off educating our students. People are commenting because of the credibility of Williams. Sad……

  • Lisa Felton

    Jessica, I can’t wait to read your upcoming stories about our charters. Who will take the banner next???

  • Lisa Felton

    Me. Beatty, ATTORNEY WASHINGTON does not care about her page being public. So, are you taking time to look at her postings. Come on Beatty, assist the NOPD with solving murders of babies in this city. If Attorney Washington has a problem with you, why punish the entire school with blasting us on your website.

  • Guest

    Correction. I didn’t realize that all this happened before the school year actually started. However, that doesnt compensate for the fact that they could have put that money towards more important things. It’s a shame how they wasted a this money on luxury when they could have put this money towards helping its students get a better education at the schools, which, from experience, they can truly benefit from.

  • Lisa Felton

    Thank you, Mr. Myers.

  • Lisa Felton

    Lestat, actually she just had a meeting with all members. Obtain your facts.

  • Lisa Felton

    Boathead12, what have you done lately to help a child…..

  • Lisa Felton

    Craig, we will wait for Investigator Williams to do that.

  • Lisa Felton

    Guest, I would like to personally thank you for your lies. Are you a disgruntled employee? If you was a former student, your writing would not be as poor. Stop with the lies and reveal yourself. Unprofessional people??? Name at least 1. Idiot, the retreat was NOT in the middle of the school year. Lies again….The retreat was at the beginning of August. You are comical because you are totally confused. Since you are a former student, answer the following questions. 1) What is the mission/vision of the school, 2) What is the current SPS score? Former FOKS students uses the pronoun I in a proper form. FOKS students will never place “i’ in sentences. Come on snake, who are you. LOL
    Jessica Williams can report on whatever excites are. The FOKS reputation is not tarnished by The Lens. We are moving forward for our students. Yes, thank you Jessica for the free publicity. I can’t wait to see your follow-up stories on other charter retreats. Guest, we offer free tutoring on Saturdays.

  • Guest

    Umm…excuse me? 1. How dare you attempt to correct me on my writing when, within the same sentence, you had a grammatical error of your own. “If you was a former student, your writing would not be as poor.” For further notice, it’s were, not was. Come back to me when you take a free tutoring session on Saturday, thank you. 2. Since you are so intent on me proving that I was a former student, the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Charter School is, “The mission of Dr. Martin Luther King Charter School is to create and maintain an orderly and trusting environment where teaching and learning are innovative and exciting; where students are taught to read, write, compute and think critically according to their fullest potential.” 3. The current SPS Score is 99.6, which is a C. Maybe you should be working on how to correct the errors that the school and not mine, thank you. As far as I’m concerned, the only mistake I have made was attending this school in the first place. But seriously, YOU should consider attending that tutoring session on Saturday mornings.

  • Craig

    Oh, but no, Ms. Felton. You have been threatening to unleash the results of “your own investigation” very soon. Time to put up or shut up!

  • sbeattyTheLens

    Dear Lisa Felton:
    I never said “entertaining.” I said these stories interest our readers.
    And again, I invite you tell us what Jessica wrote that’s incorrect that would lead to a credibility problem.
    Regards,
    Steve Beatty
    Editor of The Lens

  • sbeattyTheLens

    Dear Lisa Felton,

    Generally, no, I don’t look at Washington’s Facebook page. But when others in the community write to tell me that she’s criticized me by name on her timeline, I’ll take a look and respond. I guess she must care about me seeing her page since she’s blocked me, which is fine.

    And your insistence on telling us to go look somewhere else for stories is getting a bit old. We have other beats and cover other stories, including criminal justice. Jessica is an education reporter and will not be looking into murders in the city.

    If Washington has a problem with me, that’s a one-way street. As I’ve said before, I don’t have any ill will toward her, and the perception of such influencing our coverage is off base.

    Regards,
    Steve Beatty
    Editor of The Lens

  • Lovin life

    Craig, we are here to stay. You shut up.

  • Lovin life

    wowterrible, the waiting list too long. You are full of crap. We rock at the FOKS and the RSD.

  • Lovin life

    Guest, I see you can use the Internet. WOW, king taught you how to do that. I still say you are telling a fib and did NOT attend the FOKS nor any school in this city. Gobble, Gobble….

  • Lovin life

    Guest, guest, guest… There are plenty of excellent schools in the city. However, I stand by the FOKS, the RSD and the OPSB. What did you do when a former student stated how he/she was treated in the office? Just asking??????

  • Lovin life

    Nolaeducator, I commend the great teaching staff at King and Craig Schools. You all are working extremely hard for ALL students. I have visited King on several occasions. The teachers are teaching bell to bell. The culture of the school is so positive. I could remember observing a child skipping to class with a big smile on her face. I also commend the FOKS for NOT using a selected enrollment system. Many schools in this city constantly select certain students and this is illegal. Wowterrible made some false statements. I wish it was a way to identify these people. Maybe he/she wanted to attend or work at King or Craig. When a school is successful, many people try and destroy it. I want the staff at King and Craig to continue providing students with a quality education. No one can take anything away from the FOKS. Thank you again for your dedication to our students. You all deserve professional retreats. Happy holidays to you.

  • Lovin life

    Lovin life, after reading the comments by Guest, I don’t if she/he attended King. King students are very positive about King. They are taught in a nurturing environment and ALL are dedicated to their school. Guest, I feel sorry for you. I hope things get much better for you. Please visit King one day to see the many positive things that are taking place.

  • Guest_guestguestguest

    Lovin Life, mostly every comment on here is stating how wonderful FOKS is. That is really great because FOKS has a lot of value to the city. I greatly appreciate them for the education they gave to me. When the former student told me how they were treated. I was in shock. But, I know they weren’t use false language either. You see, at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School. They hate to see their students leave because they think that they get the best education from FOKS and no other schools are better. That’s not true anymore. So, when you go to pick up your final documentation, they give you a negative feeling and they become very nasty with you. Now, I still tell people what elementary and middle school I went to because I take pride in FOKS. But, things like this, only makes me wonder how good of a school can they be.

  • Nolaeducator

    Thanks. As I tell anyone that knows me, teaching is my career, passion, and above all my MINISTRY! If I were in this field for the money, I would have done something different years ago. Too often people jump on the band wagon and criticize things they know nothing about.

    I often wonder what are they doing to make things better. They are doing what’s being done here. They are blowing a lot of hot air . It does no one any good.

  • Bro. Keith “X” Hudson

    The article is about violating rules – if Tracie or Wesley is not a staff member, that means THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO GO ON THE RETREATS!, RIGHT?

  • boathead12

    So for those of you still discussing this taking from our city, lets cut straight through the lies. Title I and Title II funds are not exclusively for “Professional Development” of the sort that has led to the abuse detailed by Ms. Williams in her articles about FOKS and KIPP. At some, more accountable charter schools these Title I funds are used to fund intervention staff, who are available to step in when a kid needs additional attention to get back on the level with his peers. (have any of them at FOKS? Those kids were ripped off.) Also at more accountable schools, the Title II funds may be spent to hire a Human Resources director, who can help to free other staff to provide better education, and who can direct professional development from within the school. (think the whole school might benefit from that more than a junket to a casino?)

    And there you have it, the straight scoop on why every charter school is not running off for a 3 day weekend at the casino. They are accountably using their money to do what they were chartered to do, educate their kids.

    It would be a shame for me to lump the faculty in along with the board and administrators that have acted so unscrupulously. To those staff, I’m sorry you don’t have the added support that you deserve due to the greed of your administrators.

    Every one of you on this message board who has attempted to muddy the waters, you should be ashamed, but it is clear some are quite shameless. So bring on your double talk and your protests and your finger pointing LisaFelton. I’ve done what you asked, learned about Title I and Title II law, and it is more clear than ever that you are a mouthpiece defending some whose first concern is not educating our next generation, rather benefiting themselves and their friends.

  • boathead12

    NOLAEducator, I thank you for your service, and respect your work. I’m surely one of the folks complaining about the decisions made by your administration with my taxpayer money. Bringing this poison in the system to a head though does do good. It exposes the corrupt practices and keeps a focus on directing money towards educating and healing our children rather than padding the pockets of the administrators and their allies.

    Ask yourself, was that retreat to the casino so valuable that you should have to eschew an interventionist that might have bailed out some of your most struggling students? I think that is a shame.

  • Tia Love

    I LOVE THE FOKS DISTRICT!!!!!!! KEEP REPORTING ON OUR SUCCESS STORIES.