Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Dr. Ted Morris Greater Works Charter School Edifice Comes Crashing Down

If you've been following the story of 22 year old Dr. Ted Morris, the proud owner of a Regents-approved charter school in Rochester, you know that Diane Ravitch, Peter Greene and Merecedes Schneider all raised questions about Dr. Morris' background and qualifications in the last 24 hours.

The Democrat and Chronicle published a puff piece about Morris yesterday, but the same writer came back with a piece tonight that confirms Dr. Ted isn't all he was cracked up to be in the D&C piece yesterday.

It is now confirmed that Morris didn't graduate from School Without Walls in Rochester as he first told the Democrat and Chronicle he did:

He said Sunday that he graduated from School Without Walls in Rochester, but clarified Monday that he withdrew from that school in 2008 and graduated later that year from Penn Foster High School, a private online high school based in Pennsylvania.

Former School Without Walls principal Dan Drmacich and the Rochester School District both verified that Morris left the district in 2008.

"From what I remember, he was very articulate, a great conversationalist, but ... he didn't go to many of his classes," Drmacich said. "We constantly worked with him through his teacher adviser and the school counselor, to no avail — to the point he realized and we realized he was just coming to school and hanging out versus attending classes on a regular basis."

Morris denied not attending class regularly but said he did not feel challenged at School Without Walls, part of the reason he left for an online school.

It had been reported that Dr. Morris had a BA from an online college, but it turns out that he may not actually have a BA at all.  In addition, his MA and Ph.D claims are also in dispute (which makes sense since it doesn't seem like he actually has a BA):

Morris said in interviews and in paperwork submitted to the state that he got a bachelor's degree from Western Governors University, an online college based in Salt Lake City. But a school spokesman said he attended classes there but did not graduate and is not currently enrolled.

From 2008 on, Morris' education included little time in a traditional classroom. He also took classes at the online Grand Canyon University and eventually got a master's and doctoral degrees from Concordia University Chicago through a program that required him to be on campus for one weekend a month, he said Tuesday.

Representatives from Penn Foster, Grand Canyon and Concordia could not be reached to verify those claims.

The D & C reported that Dr. Morris didn't give a resume with the 2014 application for his Greater Works Charter School, but the resume Morris handed in with a 2013 application for the charter had several "misrepresentations" (i.e., "lies") on it (UPDATE - Mercedes Scheider writes that he did give in a resume with the 2014 application and that it contains many of the same items from the 2013 version.)

Morris wrote he was the assistant chief executive officer for the Hickok Center for Brain Injury, with duties including "developed and implemented all program policies and procedures" and "served as acting CEO in the absence of the CEO."

Elaine Comarella, the center's CEO, said his title was actually administrative assistant, and that the responsibilities he listed in the resume were "a little overshot."

"He worked on all those things, but he didn't actually do all that stuff himself," she said.


 Another of the jobs listed on his resume was director of Church Women United's Task Force on Courts. That was accurate, but in the resume he submitted to get that position, obtained by the Democrat and Chronicle, he claimed he had bachelor's and master's degrees from Almeda University, an unaccredited online school in Idaho.

That apparently isn't true. He said Tuesday he'd never heard of that school and didn't know why it was on his resume.


A third job listing was senior administrator for Victory Living Christian Faith Centers from 2003 — when he was a few months shy of his 11th birthday — to 2010. The resume said he "hired, trained and supervised a staff of seven administrators ... (for) a national Christian organization)."

Morris reiterated Tuesday that he did in fact start serving as an administrator at age 10, "as little as I was," and "did all the official paperwork" in those seven years. His hiring and supervisory responsibilities started when he was around 15 or 16 years old and were done together with other leaders, he said.

Victory Living didn't return a call seeking comment Tuesday.

And so Dr. Ted Morris' Greater Works Charter School dream comes crashing down in a clatter of lies, half-truths, misrepresentations and delusions.

That the New York Board of Regents approved this dude for a charter school gives you a glimpse of what the future is going to bring after they raise the charter cap or eliminate it completely.

Regents Chancellor Tisch said the following to the Daily News post-election:

“As we look to this legislative season, people are going to say we need to raise the charter cap. I personally am a great believer in charter schools ... I believe in opening them aggressively” Chancellor Merryl Tisch said on the John Catsimatidis radio show. “I’d like to push more charter schools.”

If Dr. Ted Morris, the 22 year old with the unconfirmed online high school diploma (who lied about graduating from School Without Walls), the disputed online BA, a disputed MA and Ph.D and a phonied up resume could get a charter school in New York State before they eliminate the charter cap, just imagine what's going to happen after the cap is eliminated.

This is an embarrassment for the Board of Regents and I don't think it's going too far to say that the individuals who approved Dr. Ted and his Greater Works Charter School need to be forced out immediately.

In addition, the Regents Chancellor herself needs to be called to account for this mess.

I am under no illusion either of those things will happen.

But if there were any justice in this world, they certainly would.


  1. Leave it to a dumb 1%er like Tisch to get played by a 2 bit con man, not even a good one.

    1. Seriously. Even a rudimentary check on this dude would have turned up that he wasn't what he said he was. And let's be honest - any 22 year old who claims to have a BA, an MA and a Ph.D, along with three consultancies, should have been checked out. That the Regents didn't check him out and instead rubber stamped him is going to come back to haunt them if I have anything to do about it. This is the lead argument when the charter cap battle comes.

  2. I have a high school diploma and a BA from real schools. I am way past 22. May I have a charter school?


    Here's a news story with a handsome, telegenic male reporter who forget to check if Morris had actual credentials... and Morris arguing that his lack of experience actually gives him an advantage over seasoned education professionals.