McKeesport board nixes charter school
McKeesport Area school board has denied for the second time an application for the Young Scholars of McKeesport charter school to make its way into town.
In March, the district hosted a special meeting to take action on two charter school applicants, the Young Scholars of McKeesport and Leadership Academy of Math and Science. Both applicants were denied, and the Young Scholars initiative revised and resubmitted its application to open in the former St. Nicholas school, which housed a Propel Charter School in its early stages in McKeesport.
During Wednesday's board meeting, Superintendent Timothy Gabauer held up the original Young Scholars application, comparing it to the revised document in a binder three times its original size.
“The charter review team had really gone through the binder and looked at it very closely,” Gabauer said. “What has changed since the original application is that what was a lack of reference to a Standards Aligned System through the Pennsylvania Department of Education is now referenced in a variety of areas within the application.”
Those referenced, Gabauer said, fail to address the identified lack of a comprehensive curriculum that was discussed in March.
“What they have done in this particular application is gone to the PDE's Standards Aligned System and copied it and pasted,” he said. “It appears to be 800-1,000 pages of curriculum framework. There's a large difference between a curriculum framework and a curriculum. Framework does not include strategies. It does not include activities, time frames, resources or assessments.”
Gabauer and school director Trisha Gadson referenced the lack of genuine community support for this particular charter program. Residents of McKeesport Area communities — McKeesport, White Oak, Dravosburg, Versailles and South Versailles Township — have reported unethical solicitation of signatures for a petition to open the school.
“I have been in discussion with members of the community who have shared with me that when they were asked to sign that the way information was presented to them, they were not aware of what it was when they were signing,” Gadson said. “What looks like a lot of signatures by residents is somewhat misleading.”
Gabauer said there are many examples of that, including residents being followed to their cars and people being offered raffle opportunities for signing their names. Young Scholars representatives falsely stated that their charter program would bring relief to overcrowded McKeesport Area classrooms, he added.
Based on that discussion, the application was denied 7-0, with Joe Lopretto and Mark Holtzman absent.
McKeesport Area Education Association president Matthew Mols said district teachers are pleased with the board's second denial.
“The school board made the right decision,” he said. “The teachers are part of the charter review board, and we are in agreement that (the application) lacked the necessary academic focus.”
Officials of the Young Scholars of Western Pennsylvania program, which applied for the McKeesport charter school, could not be reached by presstime.
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Time catches up with longstanding Port Vue group
- Lincoln refines its public works dept.
- West Elizabeth seeks funding to replace borough garage, fire station
- McKeesport teacher among winners at Champions of Learning awards dinner
- Clairton schools honor alumni in mentoring program
- McKeesport property deemed ripe for development
- Washington County sex offender gets 25 to 50 years in plea deal with Mon Valley victims
- Wrestling up-and-comers to strut their stuff at PWX Wrestleplex
- McKeesport man: Ex-girlfriend ‘attempted to run me over’
- Mon Valley schools honored for commitment to music education
- Police arrest suspect in fatal Wilmerding shooting