TKC BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! BIG REVEALS: INSIDER BREAKS DOWN THE FIGHT TO SAVE GORDON PARKS SCHOOL!!!
TKC NOTE: This morning, I'm gonna get out of the way and let an expert inform us on the deets in the EPIC FIGHT TO SAVE THE GORDON PARKS SCHOOL!!!
BIG REVEALS IN THE FIGHT TO SAVE GORDON PARKS SCHOOL
Gordon Parks Elementary School finally got its day in court, and it will get another day before a Jefferson City judge on Friday.
There were THREE BIG REVEALS that left courtroom observers amazed.
BIG REVEAL NUMBER 1, sworn testimony revealed state bureaucrats gunning to take down Gordon Parks actually held back favorable statistics about the school’s performance from the State Board of Education. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education bureaucrats also declined in meetings before the board vote to even consider third-party test results from the school’s university sponsor showing students were learning and growing.
BIG REVEAL NUMBER 2, a deposition shows a State Board of Education member confirmed he and a majority of the public governmental body met in a state government coffee room the day before their scheduled vaporizing of Gordon Parks and talked about – GORDON PARKS! No public notice, no invitation for Gordon Parks or its sponsor, the University of Central Missouri, to tell their side of the story. Even more shocking was who else was in the closed meeting – Dr. Chris NiCastro, head of DESE and a member of Governor Jay Nixon’s Executive Cabinet, and the top LAWYER for DESE, Mark Van Zandt. The Sunshine Law in Missouri requires 24 hours public notice of government meetings unless it is an emergency. So by the time of the State Board meeting the next day, "I sensed a negative tone almost immediately" testified Dr. Victoria Hughes, director of the Midwest Center for Charter Schools and Urban Education at UCM.
BIG REVEAL NUMBER 3, the judge took an interest and asked questions about the departures of Gordon Parks’ former school director and principal a couple of years ago for the shiny new Crossroads Academy downtown. The court was told Crossroads officials actually poached about 60 of the highest-scoring students from Gordon Parks, which would naturally lead to a slump in state test scores, which is what happened last year. But the latest state scores show Gordon Parks improving in all subjects this year. Dr. Hughes testifed that the latest state test scores show Gordon Parks is making solid progress in improving basic learning for the high-risk students the school is supposed to target. She says the third-party tests DESE wouldn’t even touch with latex gloves showed the same thing based on testing this year.
These sworn accounts of state shenanigans came as the day’s clock ran out. So Circuit Judge Dan Green told the parties to be back in his Cole County courtroom at 9 a.m. Friday, when Gordon Parks will continue calling witnesses and introducing evidence.
In his opening statement, Gordon Parks attorney and state capital superbarristerlobbyist Chuck Hatfield told Judge Green the State Board of Education acted unlawfully when it voted against renewing the 14-year-old school’s charter. He called it an “abuse of discretion” and a ‘wrong reading of the law.” The KC Star has already led one of its Gordon Parks stories by reporting last month that DESE and the school’s leaders agreed on one thing – that Gordon Parks was being singled out. http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/26/4315644/gordon-parks-school-to-graduate.html
GPES Board President Doug Curry told the judge how “generational poverty” creates scars that damage kids’ brains and behavior. He made the day’s most eloquent statement about the plight of not just Gordon Parks’ students but too many KC kids: “The lessons of poverty are a cruel tutor to these children." Curry told Judge Green that 15 of Gordon Parks’ students this year were homeless or living in shelters, which is about 7 percent of the student body. He said 96 percent of students receive free meals and all are offered sacks of take-home food. He added that the transient nature of the GPES student population included 15 homeless kids this year, about 7 percent of enrollment.
Meanwhile, Tess Koppelman at Fox4 had a sit-down with Mr. Peanut, who continues to put his personal shells in the game standing up for Gordon Parks!
Gordon Parks hearing extended through Friday
Hearing for embattled KC charter school to resume Friday
Fate of Gordon Parks Elementary School is now in court