No individual can hold our government accountable and public officials accountable alone. The Lens serves as that ever-present watchdog, working on our collective behalf and serving our community at all times.
The terminations at James M. Singleton Charter School follow an investigation by the state Department of Education. The state voided tests for at least 177 students, nearly half of its enrollment. A lawyer for the fired educators said they did nothing wrong.
It will cost $30 million to bring students to and from public schools this year, compared to $18 million the year before Katrina. The increase appears to be a consequence of citywide enrollment and the shift from a centrally-run school system. A few schools are working together to negotiate busing contracts.
In three recent testing years, 33 public schools have been flagged for problems and possible cheating on standardized tests — 12 more than once. A testing expert says these irregularities indicate cheating by teachers and administrators, who have a lot riding on their students’ performance.
A long-anticipated wellness center and natatorium in the works next door to James Singleton Charter School is nearing completion. The school’s board of directors, which also oversees the Dryades YMCA that operates the charter school, received a status report on construction of the wellness center and indoor pool at its monthly board meeting Jan.
Lower than expected enrollment numbers have led to reductions in staff at James M. Singleton Charter School for the 2012-2013 school year. According to Principal Debra Robertson, the October 1 student count is 648, well below the school’s enrollment goal of 740.
Board members of the Dryades YMCA and James Singleton Charter School welcomed new principal Debra Robertson at their monthly meeting on August 21. Wasting no time, Robertson updated board members on teacher preparation efforts during the summer.
James M. Singleton Charter School Finance Committee Chair, Ed Shanklin, opened the June 12 public budget hearing at 5:06 PM in front of a small crowd in the school’s multipurpose room. The purpose of the meeting was to publicly announce next year’s budget and to allow for public comment.
The Lens received written notice that Dryades Y and James M. Singleton Charter School will host a public hearing for their 2012-13 budget at 5pm on Tuesday June 12, at 2220 Oretha Castle Haley. Singleton Charter’s regular board meeting will be held at noon on June 19 at 2220 Oretha Castle Haley.
Reporting to the school’s board of directors at their monthly meeting, May 15, chief financial officer Catrina Reed said James M. Singleton Charter next year will be in compliance with state rules that limit administrative costs to 30 percent of the budget. The state Department of Education had notified the school last year that it was failing to meet the state requirement that 70 percent of the budget be spent on instruction, Reed said Singleton currently is spending 72.9 percent of its state funding on instruction.
By Marta Jewson, The Lens charter school reporter |
A federal i3 grant to expand enrollment was up for discussion at the James Singleton Charter School directors meeting, April 17. The i3 program describes itself as designed “to turn around persistently low-performing schools through the development of new public charter schools.” The grant would provide up to $1 million.
Quarterly benchmarks for and math language comprehension were a focus of attention at the monthly meeting of the Dryades Y James M Singleton Charter School board of directors, March 13. Testing of third- through eighth-graders shows progress, principal Melrose Biagas told the board.