Last night the Oakland, California School Board voted to close 3 American Indian Charter Schools for financial irregularities. The problems surround the charter's relationship with the founder and former head of school Ben Chavis. From an article by Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"A 2012 state audit found several instances of financial impropriety in the organization, including $3.8 million in payments to founder and former director Ben Chavis and his wife through real estate deals, consulting agreements and other services, raising ethical questions and conflict-of-interest concerns."
"He gives his kids detention if they are a minute late to school and requires them to sit on the floor if they don't do their homework because "having a seat is a privilege." Mr. Chavis removed all technology from his facilities because "no one will break in to steal an algebra book." He will address kids directly who are not performing up to his standards using phrases such as "you are the laziest Asian I have ever seen." Mr. Chavis believes he is simply telling the truth. "The kid is Asian and he is lazy."
The American Indian high school, middle school, and Kindergarten through 8th grade sites continue to be one of the highest performing educational institutions in the state. The school will be appealing the decision.