Greater Works Charter School will no longer open in Rochester in 2015, part of the continuing fallout over lies in the resume of its 22-year-old founder.
Ted Morris Jr. represented himself to the New York State Education Department as a precocious businessman and educational advisor with bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees earned mostly online. In fact, he has no college degrees and scant professional experience.
He resigned Nov. 25, the day most of the misrepresentations came to light and just a week after the school gained approval from the state Board of Regents. At that point, both Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Peter Kozik, who took over as the school's trustee chairman in Morris' wake, said the school would open as planned without him.
But a NYSED spokesman said Monday that the department had asked the board of trustees to rescind its application, and the trustees complied in a letter dated Nov. 29. They are also asking the Board of Regents to take back its approval.
You'd think NYSED would take responsibility for this mess now that they've admitted there was a problem by asking the board of Greater Works to rescind the charter application.
But you'd be wrong about that:
In response to questions about how the charter was approved in the first place, given the holes in Morris' resume, NYSED spokesman Dennis Tompkins said: "We don't grant charters to individuals. We grant charters to boards based on the application."
NYSED would not make Bill Clarke, its charter school office director, available for an on-the-record interview, and did not respond to specific questions about Greater Works, but spokesman Tom Dunn said the department is reviewing its charter school application process.
That the charter school office director at NYSED is in hiding from the press says volumes here.
It's a shame the accountability people at NYSED don't like to be held accountable themselves.
But that's par for the course when it comes to the education reformers at NYSED - or education reformers in general.