Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, November 24, 2014

Why Not Make The 22 Year Old Charter School Guy Who Lied About His Diploma A Member Of The Board Of Regents?

Earlier today Diane Ravitch posted that the Board of Regents in New York gave a charter school slot to a 22 year old with an online BA and (perhaps) an online MA and Ph.D as well.

The fellow, who has never taught school, will be opening his charter in Rochester and "preparing the next generation to do better, and be better, than we've done..." even though he hasn't actually lived much himself yet.

Funny that.

But it gets better.

Ravitch updated that she received an email from the former principal of School Without Walls, the high school the 22 year old charter school fellow claimed to have graduated from, informing her that said fellow actually did not graduate from SWW:

I was the principal of Rochester, New York’s School Without Walls from 1987 to 2010. Ted Morris, the young man awarded permission to open a charter school in Rochester, NY, and claiming to be a graduate of School Without Walls in 2008, attended SWW for less than a year and then voluntarily left to be home schooled. He never graduated nor received a diploma from School Without Walls.
Dan Drmacich

Now before you get all upset and say, "How can the Board of Regents in New York give a fellow who has lied about his high school diploma and received at least one online degree a charter school, especially when he is only 22 years old and has never taught a day in his life?", let's remember who actually sits on the Board of Regents.

Here, for example, is the last appointee to the Board of Regents:

With 20-20 hindsight, lawmakers are asking themselves what happened during their vote to elect members to the state Board of Regents, which sets education policy.

During a rare joint session of the Legislature, Assembly members and senators on Tuesday re-elected three incumbent Regents. For the fourth seat, which had just been vacated, they chose a seeming long-shot: Sullivan County lawyer, activist, former community college instructor and website entrepreneur Josephine Victoria Finn.

Appearing before lawmakers just 24 hours earlier, Finn said she hadn't really been following the raging controversy surrounding the implementation of the new Common Core learning standards that has built unusual interest in the Regents vote.

In the hours after the vote, reports circulated that Finn operated several web ventures devoted to spirituality and weight loss, including a program in which clients could be coached by her at a cost of up to $3,600 per year.

The sites, which were marred by numerous spelling errors, were soon taken down and are now listed as being "under constructions."

Finn, whose nomination was formally introduced late last week, had prevailed over another candidate, veteran Albany school principal Maxine Fantroy Ford. And her election came as her predecessor unexpectedly resigned at the last minute.

You can see Ms. Finn's spiritual weight loss sites here and here.

I dunno, we're getting all up in arms over the 22 year old kid with the online BA and what appears to be at least one lie on his resume getting a charter school from the Regents.

But given the quality of some of the people on the Board of Regents, this kid might be selling himself short by just looking to run a charter school.

Why not aim higher and get on the Board of Regents?

He'd fit right in with the last personage elevated to the Board of Regents - they both seem to know something about trying to make a quick buck.


  1. The story behind Ms. Finn: Deborah Glick and Cathy Nolan, in the Assembly, chaired the selection committee for the last slate of Regents. Three of them were shoe-ins for re-election. Shelly Silver was under pressure to show that being a Regent was not an appointment for life and to respond to the parent/teacher uprising in the aftermath of John King's disastrous "Common Core" listening tour last year.

    The incumbent Regent from the Albany district, James Jackson, suddenly found himself without protectors in the Assembly. The two long-serving Assemblymenbers from the Albany district, Ron Canestrari and Jack McEneny, retired in 2012 so Mr. Jackson had no political "godfather" to protect him in the Legislature and was forced to resign from the Board of Regents the day before the election. Silver rejected the candidates proposed by Glick/Nolan and ordered them to hold a special one-person hearing without requisite public notice for Ms. Finn so that he could implant the fortune-telling Ms. Finn into the Albany district seat. Why Finn? Who knows. It served Speaker Silver's purposes for some reason.

    A large number of Regents are up for re-election next March. The Queens district is vacant but will be chosen by the Queens members. The Brooklyn Regent, Kathy Cashin, is safe. The Westchester Regent, Harry Philips is safe if he wants it again, otherwise the legislative members there are senior enough to put whomever they want into his seat. The Long Island Regent, Tilles, is safe or will only be replaced by the legislative members from Nassau/Suffolk. The two upstate Regents, Dawson and Bennett, safe. The At-Large Regent, Cottrell, probably safe but could be subject to Silveresque machination unless he's a "made man."

    Silver probably has no room to play games next year and may not feel the pressure that he did last year to make his move. Poor Mr. Jackson was wrong-guy, wrong-place, one of a kind minnow swimming around for a shark to eat.

    If you like your Board of Regents this year you'll probably still like it next year.

  2. Harry Phillips has announced that he is retiring in March. Sadly, this WSM would make a better Regent then whom ever they will most likely choose.

  3. Thanks for the update. That means his replacement will be chosen by State Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Ruth Hassel-Thompson and George Latimer, Assemblymembers Gary Pretlow, Shelley Mayer and a handful of others. Too powerful a crew for Shelly Silver to pull another "Finn" stunt.

  4. And there is more....