A day after 22-year-old charter school founder Ted Morris Jr. resigned precipitously after lies were discovered on his résumé, state Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch deflected blame for the charter's approval and said the school, without its founder, should still open next fall.
Morris was the lead applicant for Greater Works Charter School, which got approval from the Board of Regents to open in 2015 as a high school with a particular reliance on technology.
He claimed to have accumulated a wall full of degrees, mostly from online schools, and served in leadership roles for various local organizations. One of those schools, Western Governors University, said he did not in fact get the bachelor's degree he claimed to have.
Another lie became apparent Wednesday: Morris also claimed to have master's and doctoral degrees from Concordia University Chicago, but a representative from that school said it had no record of him ever attending.
Those revelations led to an obvious question: why didn't the state Education Department and the Board of Regents catch the deception?
Tisch said the board only sees applications after they've been recommended by the state Education Department, suggesting it wasn't the members' normal responsibility to vet them for errors.
"When it comes to the board, it comes with an endorsement from (NYSED) and the local regents," she said. "What we hear is whether ... they've put together a sound application. There's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, and I think people in (NYSED) need to address that with you."
Bill Clarke, the director of the NYSED charter school office, was not available for comment. A NYSED spokesman said no one else would be available either because of the snow descending on Albany.
Two of the state Regents are based in Rochester, Andrew Brown and Wade Norwood. In a statement released Tuesday before Morris' resignation, Brown said: "We rely on a considerable amount of data and information provided by applicants, along with conducting many in-person interviews before reaching a decision. If it were to turn out that we were deliberately provided misleading information by an applicant, that would of course call for further review of the issuance of the charter."
You're not surprised, right?
Tisch "deflects" blame onto the local Regents and NYSED, NYSED can't be reached for comment because of a couple of inches of snow and the local Regents who gave the okay say "It's not our fault because Dr. Ted lied to us."
In short, no one's at fault except Dr. Ted.
Let's imagine what these clowns would say if a public school hired a con man like Dr Ted to run the show.