Georgia Cyber Academy responds to state board special ed concerns: DOE didn’t provide assistance or clarity

In light of the state board of education concerns about Georgia Cyber Academy, I asked the director of the online charter school to make a statement.

Here is a response from head of school Matt Arkin:

GCA has been committed to working collaboratively with the Department of Education since our launch in 2007. When, in early 2012 Department of Education staff came to us with concerns regarding the growth of our Special Education population, GCA met with DOE staff, provided all requested information in a timely manner, and cooperated fully in a completely transparent manner.

When the DOE identified a list of issues to be addressed in May, GCA moved swiftly to address every issue identified in a comprehensive manner (including the addition of over 25 new special education teachers and support staff), and met every deadline that was identified by the DOE without delay.

GCA has met every deadline and addressed every issue identified by the DOE to date, as Lynda White, the consultant that Debbie Gay, the DOE Special Education Director, personally selected for us to work with has confirmed.

Lynda is a former superintendent in Butts County and special education director in Cobb County, and she has been working very closely with GCA staff on improving special education at GCA since May and has a very different perspective on the work that we’ve done than what you’ve heard from the DOE.

I am providing a letter sent from her to the Odyssey/GCA Board chair in September (after the substantial work of addressing the DOE’s concerns had been completed), and I would call your attention to a couple of specific comments in the letter:

•     “I consider (GCA) to be in substantial compliance and anticipate acknowledgement of this by the DOE”

•     “(I)n my opinion, GCA is currently as compliant with regards to Federal and State Special Education regulations as any other public school district in Georgia that is currently serving 1200 students with disabilities.

From an academic perspective, comparing the results from GCA’s students with disabilities to the state average on the tests you referenced you’ll find that GCA students outscored the state average on 4 out of 6 of the tests (above in Math 1, Biology, and 3rd & 8th grade Reading; below in 3rd and 8th grade Math), in addition to beating the state average in 8th grade science and 9th grade Literature & Composition.

We agree that improving the academic performance of students with disabilities remains an important priority for all schools in Georgia. As to 2010-11 AYP results, GCA met 29 out of 30 AYP indicators (including all 5 indicators for Students with Disabilities), failing only to meet the remaining one indicator by 0.1%, or 8 students out of nearly 4,000 tested.

Misleading results like these are one reason that Georgia chose to move away from the AYP system last year.

As far as parent complaints, the DOE has received complaints from less than 10 parents of GCA students with Special Needs out of over 1,200 Special Education parents over the last 18 months – a very small percentage. We have still yet to be informed of any identified issues from a comprehensive monitoring visit by DOE staff last month, nor have we had any opportunity to respond to any of the concerns raised.

The process that we have been subjected to by the DOE is one that appears unique to a state charter school like GCA. In addition, we have made a number of formal and informal requests for assistance from the DOE for GCA Special education students and staff over the last 18 months – all of which are provided to students in traditional districts. Specifically, the DOE:

•     Neglected to provide the school $1.4M in state funds it was owed during FY12

•     Neglected to provide access for GCA administrators to the state special education data system during FY12

•     Neglected to provide access to the state Medicaid reimbursement process during FY12

•     Continues to neglect to provide GCA students or staff access to the Georgia Learning Resources System (GLRS)

•     Continues to neglect to provide access for GCA students to Georgia Network for Education and Therapeutic Supports (GNETS)

•     Continues to neglect to provide access for GCA students to regional related services co-ops available to other (non-charter school) districts around the state

We have strived to work collaboratively with DOE staff throughout the process they have identified – unfortunately negative comments were made publicly before providing the school or our Board with a report or opportunity to respond to any findings. We plan to continue to work as we always have to continue to improve the academic experience for our students with Special Needs and all GCA students.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

79 comments Add your comment

bootney farnsworth

November 14th, 2012
7:02 pm

this is the one are where chraters should kick serious butt. a group of students who need intensive support and intimate educational support.

that said, charter/no charter, the DOE and its local parasites, the BOEs remain the real problems.
until Georgia parents and lawmakers are ready to deal with that….

Pride and Joy

November 14th, 2012
7:07 pm

Sounds like the local BOE wanted the cyber charter to fail and was doing everything in their power to close it down.
Cyber charters and other charters are a threat to the local BOEs and the people that financially benefit from sucking tax payer dollars out of the traditional public schools to line their own pockets.
Plenty of corruption in traditional public schools and boards.

Amber

November 14th, 2012
7:20 pm

As the parent of a special needs child at GCA, I can say that he has gotten better service through GCA than he ever did in the local public schools. He has grown and become so much more confident in his three years with GCA than he ever was in seven years of public school. Thank you GCA and Matt Arkin for everything you have done for my son.

No

November 14th, 2012
7:23 pm

Oh, let me guess- GCA is non-union?

Simonsmom, GCA schooled and proud of it

November 14th, 2012
7:28 pm

Turn about if fair play. When the state BOE decides to quit playing favorites, quit putting politics ahead of our children, maybe we can get something done. This is ridiculous. Give the Schools, the teachers, and the parents they need , and they will show you results. Everyone gets a choice in this life. We now, thanks to the vote , have an option. That means choice in education for all of our children. We need to focus on the kids. The entire State of Georgia Education Department needs an overhaul. And trust me… our GCA parents are fired up right now to the point that we are willing to do whatever it takes to support our school and protect our choice in education. Matt Arkin and the team with GCA is second to NONE in this state in working WITH parents, children, families , etc.. to involve the WHOLE community around that child to make sure each child has what he/she needs. Yes we have issues, but good grief what school system in this nation does not. I implore the BOE to think about the steps that they are taking. We expect the State Board of Education to hold just as accountable EVERY single Public School in the state. We have children dying in schools because of lack of concern or neglect… children being locked in closets, children being beaten, bullied, and God only knows what else. The BOE should work with us , not try to dismantle what we work so hard for every day.

schooling Mom

November 14th, 2012
7:37 pm

My son is a GCA special education student. My son never got the help he needed at our local elementary school. He has excelled with the help of GCA special education dept. All of the teachers and staff are always helpful. If you are going after GCA, I think you should go after every school in the state. In my county they refused to look at his medical file. Is that helping special needs kids. My child actually gets the help he needs. GCA is wonderful. Teacher and Administration included.

catlady

November 14th, 2012
7:43 pm

P and J: Did you read the intro? GCA IS NOT a locally-approved charter school! Hence, the local BOE has no influence over it, nor obligation to it! Indeed, since it is a state-wide charter school, which local BOE ae you saying is trying to get rid of it?

Really?

November 14th, 2012
7:48 pm

Gotta get them outta the way so the new one that fronted all the money to get the amendment passed has room to move in.

So obvious.

GCA proud mom

November 14th, 2012
8:23 pm

GCA has by far exceeded the quality of education my children receive in comparison to our local brick and mortar school experience. GCA has not only followed my child’s IEP down to every detail, but has worked hard to make sure we receive all necessary special ed services in a timely manner; Which is something the local school failed to do. The teachers at GCA have worked diligently to find my children’s strengths and weaknesses and make sure all learning concerns are addressed as quickly as possible. I hope the BOE holds each and every traditional school as accountable as they are making GCA.

I am here

November 14th, 2012
8:54 pm

GCA is my choice for my child. The brick and mortar school denied the diagnosis the doctors gave and did not provide him the services he needed. As soon as I found out restraints were used we moved to another school only to find out at an IEP meeting he was “lost” or that he “left the playground and when they found him”. How did they tell me this? As justification for him not needing physical therapy. Right. My child who has spine surgery at least twice a year. Not one person called me when he was lost or the day it happened. GCA is not being investigated for cheating on the CRCT or stealing free school lunches. My child has regular visits in the home by contracted therapist for GCA and classes that are progressive and he moves at his own pace, learning. He has caring teachers who ask what they can do and advise me as his learning coach. He is not “census” for a B&M school. He is a person who is being provided the services and guidance he needs to learn. If I had anything to do with it, his funding would follow him. Without GCA we would be home schooling on our own simply because of the danger the county school system places him in. If only the BOE would investigate all schools…they have over crowed class rooms, not enough aides, and the teachers are stressed. GCA is a better way for us. My child cannot come home and tell me what is happening to him. I am his voice. I will not put him in harms way. I will not lose the services GCA is providing. Not if I can help it.

creative mom

November 14th, 2012
8:56 pm

You got to say, after all this is said and done, GCA rocks. For it to come to light ,all they have not been given and still only 10 parents have complained about the special Ed department. Wow.. can you say that about brick and mortar schools that are given twice the amount to educate children. We not only get less from the state, we also get no local funding and still manage, to only have 10 complaints out of 1,200 special needs students.

living in an outdated ed system

November 14th, 2012
8:57 pm

symptomatic of an outdated education system. There are two sides to every story. Seems to me we are seeing ever-increasing signs of a failure of leadership at the DOE. It’s very telling when the DOE decides to leak reports into the court of public opinion before the facts were discussed with GCA.

This is gonna get ugly, I’m afraid, and simply feeds into the paranoia from commenters on this blog, most who oppose the charter school amendment.

living in an outdated ed system

November 14th, 2012
8:59 pm

Bravo, Schooling Mom. The Digital Education Council can use your firsthand testimonials because when used correctly, virtual learning can be effective.

Ron

November 14th, 2012
9:03 pm

A cyber academy? Got to be kidding.

I am here

November 14th, 2012
9:11 pm

GCA is my choice for my child. They have provided services he needs, they have fine tuned his IEP and everyone is on board. They provide therapists who come into my home and work with him, following his IEP to the letter. Teachers work with him to help identify what he needs and motivate him to work to his potential. His progress has been amazing, thanks to GCA.
I send him back to the B&M schools. They never provided what he needed, denied his documented medical diagnosis and acted as if the tests never existed and they never heard me. Maybe the BOE needs to look around.

Momoftwods

November 14th, 2012
9:17 pm

Catlady…where have you been? Local BOEs pushed so hard to have the Amendment not pass, why? Because they claim it takes money from them….their state money that they would get if the charters were not in existence. So yes, they dont want ANY charter schools because they believe it takes their money. Is this correct? No but that is what local BOEs believe.

bootney farnsworth

November 14th, 2012
9:49 pm

nice to see the charter zealots tip their hand.
if charters fail, we did it.

thanks P&J

bootney farnsworth

November 14th, 2012
10:00 pm

there’s nothing wrong with a digital academy for some kids, but it’s not a one size fits all

Silence Dogood

November 14th, 2012
10:13 pm

Matt Arkin and GCA = a class act.

LarryMajor

November 14th, 2012
10:25 pm

Momoftwods, I don’t know how Cat could have been clearer. This school has a state-wide attendance zone and there are no local BOEs involved. The only parties are the school and the State BOE. Nothing in your comment is relevant to this issue.

As to creative mom’s question, yeah, I think brick and mortar schools can make exactly that claim.

Based on the number of GCPS students in the seven state SPED categories, this translates to over 200 state level complaints in the same time frame. No, the State BOE isn’t getting nine complaints a week from Gwinnett parents and I doubt that any school system could approach this level of dissatisfaction without ending up on the front page.

lahopital

November 14th, 2012
10:26 pm

Pride and Joy – this is the STATE BOE complaining about this school – not the local BOE. The STATE is who the recently passed amendment put into the charter school business. Wonder why they don’t like this one?

Truth in Moderation

November 14th, 2012
11:18 pm

“Wonder why they don’t like this one?”
I would guess it’s the money. For many special needs kids, a home school environment with professional support for their disabilities, is far superior than sticking them in a traditional school. Those that posted in favor of GCA have special needs kids and they all claim they were getting services they were DENIED in a B&M school. That means the more costly services are now being paid out of the State Budget and the program is growing in popularity among this population. That means even MORE money. They really don’t want too much success with this particular group of kids….cuts into bonuses, I guess.

Jmontour

November 15th, 2012
12:06 am

Only 10 parents complained? So only 10 out of how many actually spoke up? I’ve talked with 6 parents myself only in the past day that have had the same issues with GCA. I’m sure there are MANY more that haven’t made formal complaints.

I was having issues with the b&m school. I enrolled my kids into GCA. I thought this would be the perfect solution! My daughter wouldn’t have to miss school for her numerous appointments and surgeries. She would still get the same services that she has always gotten at the b&m school. Awesome! Yeah, not so much. It took so long to set up an IEP meeting that her IEP actually expired. When we did have her IEP meeting, it was the teachers first one! She had NO clue what she was doing! During the meeting we set an appt. for a Special Ed meeting. It NEVER happened! They NEVER started her special ed classes. They actually never started any services at all! They were expecting her to still complete the grade level work knowing she wasn’t able to. I was so disappointed, so angry. I withdrew both of my kids after only a few months. Never again. As much as I can not stand her b&m school, at least she’s ALWAYS gotten the services that she needs.

April Brewster

November 15th, 2012
12:11 am

GCA not only helped my child pass the CRCT last year, but gave him the self esteem he needed to achieve it! He has a whole new out look on learning now…a more positive one.Everyone saids he even looks happier, thanks to GCA! Every child deserves the right to a education, weather it be through GCA or B/M. GCA may not be for all familes, but it is a great fit for ours. My son deserves the right to a education even if that means stepping away from “tradition” to receive it!! GCA will always have my vote!

jw

November 15th, 2012
1:02 am

Oh, this story is going to get much uglier as it plays out in the larger context of the new wave of state chartered schools that is coming since passage of the new amendment. Don’t you just see the battle between the commission approving the schools and a state superintendent that did not support the amendment. It’s going to get really ugly…and unfortunately, it will be some of the most vulnerable students in GA that will pay the price. *smh* So very sad.

misstrippy

November 15th, 2012
4:06 am

Sounds like anti charter John Barge plotted against them.

AnnieAD

November 15th, 2012
5:08 am

Any competent educational leader would be able to access the DoE consultants and read and understand the compliance requirements. it does not matter whether you are a charter, on-line, or regular school system, to receive federal funding you must first meet the reporting deadlines.
If the GCA administration had done their job, the funds would be received. Any competent instructional leader would know how to develop an IEP and follow it through for a SPED child.
The report on GAC reflects incompetence in the leadership and oversight.

Pride and Joy

November 15th, 2012
6:42 am

lahopital you asked “Wonder why they don’t like this one?”
Because it cut into their money and power.
It’s all about money and power.
The teachers and children and parents and — education — don’t matter.
It’s all about money and power and those at the “top” of GA education don’t want to lose it.

Pride and Joy

November 15th, 2012
6:45 am

What REALLY matters is exactly what Amber said about her child:
“As the parent of a special needs child at GCA, I can say that he has gotten better service through GCA than he ever did in the local public schools.”
Amber needed and wanted something better for he child. Our state has a mandate to educate every child and the state wasn’t doing its job.
It doesn’t matter if a school is cyber, bricks and mortar, charter or traditional, WE have to educate the children.

mountain man

November 15th, 2012
7:30 am

And this is the STATE BOE that all of you opponents of the charter amendment 1 said was a valid alternative to the amendment? Looks like the State BOE and John Barge are just as bad as local BOE’s in terms of TRYING to make charters fail by strangling them with a lack of basic resources that are give to every other school system.

mountain man

November 15th, 2012
7:33 am

As far a Special Education students: it there ar Federal Laws and State laws concerning what services MUST be given to these students (along with jugements backing them up) then the funds for complying with these laws should come from Washington and the State Capitol respectively. Otherwise these are just unfunded mandates on the local systems. If you want something, you had dang better be ready to pay for it.

OMYGOODNESS

November 15th, 2012
7:48 am

I am truly investigating to sign my special needs child up for online classes, since the regular school system just doesn’t seem to understand or get the educational needs – thank goodness for this opp for my child – I wish the regular school system would get it –
I kept questioning why out of 365 homes in my neighborhool over 30% home school – I get it now with the concerns my daughter has and I – THANK YOU for being available GCA – truly concerned parent – when will the school system wake up and take care of the problem!!!!!!! – signed beyond frustrated parent – glad to have a work around wish all my school taxes went to this program

jd

November 15th, 2012
7:56 am

Here we go … Charter schools are treated unfairly by the State Board of Education — so, the legislature will amend the enabling legislation, and provide that the unelected commission is the only governance authority the for-profit charters will report to. The Yazoo land fraud is going to look like a kindergarten deal when the dust settles from this fraud.

CB

November 15th, 2012
8:24 am

Out of fairness to the school, the children it serves and the satisfied parents of those children, I would like to see this on the front page. The article yesterday was misleading at best and created much unnecessary anxiety to many.

SJS

November 15th, 2012
8:28 am

I just love the way people who are not familiar with GCA has decided that it is not a good school for whatever reason. My child has an IEP, put in place by GCA because my child’s previous brick and mortar school wouldn’t do it…amazing that all of the people who know the lingo and the law, also know how dance around it and make things look good on paper while the child suffers. GCA took my concerns seriously, while traditional public school only made things worse. Is it right, when a child has a 504plan to give extra time for school work, their PE and recess is taken away for them to keep working? Is it okay for a child to be sent to time out class because he can’t sit still in PE?! Traditional public schools did not have my child’t best interest in mind. I was in the counselor’s office Daily, in tears, trying to work with them to figure out what to do to make sure my child didn’t fall through the cracks. Around 12,000 kids are enrolled in GCA this year…this speaks Volumes! And with 1200 of those being SPED, with only 10% of the parents having any sort of complaints, GCA is better than any public school I have heard of. I also find it interesting that local schools aren’t slammed like this when they are atrocious when it comes to SPED, And regular ed students. If parents are happy with their children’s progress, and children are Finally Making progress, who is anyone else to speak badly about it? That’s the beauty of Amendment 1…We will have more choices. There are too many people who want more for their children, but have to work, or can’t afford a private school. They don’t want their children around drugs and violence…well now they will soon have a Choice. Most people Against Amendment 1 only see money…I see a brighter future for my child, one with choices. If I get to choose where I shop, what bank I use, what hospital I use, then why shouldn’t I get to choose what school my child attends? We should not have to wait 5-10 years for someone to figure out the problems with traditional public schools and fix them. My child will graduate in 6 years…we don’t have time.

Ron F.

November 15th, 2012
9:41 am

Sounds to me like this is more of a problem of communication and the doggone AYP mess. I know Lynda White well, and I’d say there are few who know special education any better than she does. If she says they are compliant, then I’d bet the farm they are.

I also see this as a challenge for the state board to understand how to effectively rate a statewide online campus. It’s a relatively new field, and serving students with special needs is a challenge in any type of school. At this point, I’d say we need to wait and see what the real information is before we judge compliance.

Maureen Downey

November 15th, 2012
9:47 am

@To all, I have to counter those who contend that there were political motivations to the state board taking issue with Georgia Cyber’s performance at its meeting this week. Some folks here say the state board is reacting because of the success of the charter school amendment.
But one of the chief critics of GCA’s performance at the meeting this week was state board chair Brian Burdette, a champion of charter schools and the amendment.
At the meeting, Burdette said: “We have very serious concerns. They have been warned several times that they are out of compliance. They have been given second chance after second chance.”
Some GCA parents have faulted those comments and others at the meeting as political in nature, reflecting an anti-charter bias.
But, in fact, Burdette is among the board’s staunchest supporter of charters, taking the unusual step of publicly criticizing State School Superintendent John Barge for his opposition to the charter school amendment at a meeting in August. Burdette also allowed the former head of the charter school commission to stand up at the meeting and blast Barge — these are not the actions of a guy opposed to charter schools.
I believe that GCA clearly works for many families, as indicated by the supportive parent comments here. It is one of the challenges of writing about schools. In every school, we can find many parents who feel that their children are being well served.
But the evaluation system of a school’s effectiveness is driven by numbers — and I do think the numbers for special education students as reflected by CRCT and EOCT scores are disconcerting. And it is not just charters that are judged by data — every school in the state is measured by the same yardstick.
Maureen

Ron F.

November 15th, 2012
10:00 am

Maureen: one issue with GCA might be that they are getting a lot of their special education students from schools where the parents have had bad experiences, judging from the comments of some here. I wonder if the pass/fail rate on tests is similar to what these special ed. students had at their brick and mortar school. While they may be compliant with the laws for services given, the test scores may still be bad if a large percentage of their kids were already failing in the original schools.

Carlos

November 15th, 2012
10:19 am

Looks like the DOE needs an enema.

Rose Bellefleur

November 15th, 2012
10:48 am

Hello I am a student journalist at Georgia State University that is doing an enterprise story on GCA and would like to interview a parent on GCA and how the school has bettered their life. Email me at rbellefleur1@student.gsu.edu if interested.

Matt Arkin

November 15th, 2012
11:19 am

Maureen, we can agree that numbers are one good way to evaluate a school’s effectiveness is driven by the numbers, and the CRCT and EOCT test scores that you referenced show that GCA Special Education students outperformed Special Education students across Georgia on that yardstick. If you find these students’ scores at GCA disconcerting, I’d be interested to hear your opinion on the State’s performance as a whole. While GCA Special Education students are doing well compared to their peers in other public schools, all of us schools in Georgia have a lot of work to keep improving the performance of all of our students.

Matt Arkin
GCA Head of School

Ray

November 15th, 2012
12:24 pm

I see here from some posts that Georgia Cyber Academy might have as many as 12,000 students state-wide, is that correct? And yesterday I think Maureen said that GCA receives between $4,800 and $5,800 per student from the state of Georgia, and it sounded like it was probably closer to the higher number. So by my math, that means Georgia Cyber Academy, part of the k12 out of state corporation, is receiving around $70 million in Georgia taxpayer funds. Is that correct? $70 million per year? Good lord.

Maureen Downey

November 15th, 2012
12:41 pm

@Matt, I did a quick look at CRCT scores for students with disabilities in Cobb, Gwinnett and Fulton.
While the failure rates are similar on the EOCT scores for Math I, there is a performance gap in math in third and 8th grades for students with disabilities between GCA and those system averages:
GCA: Third grade math: 52 percent failed to meet standards; 8th grade math 58 percent; EOCT, Math I, 70 percent
Cobb: Third grade math: 37 percent failed to meet standards;8th grade math 26 percent; EOCT, Math I, 63 percent
Gwinnett: Third grade math: 28 percent failed to meet standards; 8th grade math 39 percent, EOCT, Math I, 68 percent
Fulton: Third grade math: 32 percent failed to meet standards; 8th grade math 37 percent; EOCT, Math I, 72 percent.
Under your charter contract, what are the performance levels for special needs students? I understand that GCA might outperform some systems in how its special ed students perform, but did the charter include a pledge to outperform the state?

Maureen

Tami

November 15th, 2012
1:50 pm

My son was MOLESTED by another student while in the Brick and Mortar school system…was it reported…yes…did anything happen…NO..They actually put them together in the same class, sitting next to each other…The endless bullying by the teacher (2nd grade), not allowing him to participate in activities, not following his IEP…By the way, he has a 128 overall IQ…The fact that a 5th grader brought in crushed candy to sell as a drug…AND this is supposedly one of the best counties for education…No way…Since removing him from the B&M and placing him in GCA, he has blossomed, is looking forward to high school and college..He has received every opportunity with GCA to be the young man that he should be…I am a PROUD GCA Mom…

living in an outdated ed system

November 15th, 2012
1:59 pm

@Bootney, herein lies the flaw in your argument. You say you don’t believe in “one size fits all,” yet that’s exactly what you’re advocating when you oppose the creation of public charter schools….

Can’t have it both ways….

Angie

November 15th, 2012
2:04 pm

Question: If GCA receives that amount, then by all means fill me in on how much the B&M schools get per child. Then we will check and see how those monies are actually spent. I know that in small town/county schools that there is much cover up on this. Truth be known, I am sure there are 2 sets of books for most B&M schools, you have to be just as sneaky as them and talk to just the right people to get the right information. Sorry people, the money and power still hold a major issue with schools.

Angie

November 15th, 2012
2:14 pm

We left the B&M school for different reasons not just academics. In our B&N school you could only go as fast as the slowest student in the class. This didnt/doesnt challenge any child to their potential, GCA does this. I would like to see the results from the RYAP(Reaching Your Academic Potential) that 8th graders have to take, the results from the B&M and GCA/Charter Schools

middle school teacher
March 22nd, 2010
8:02 pm
It is not making innovative new learning environments readily available for those students who have not fared well in traditional public schools.

Can you offer any proof that the students who now attend these charter schools did not “fare” well in traditional schools? Did you mean academically or in some other way?

Just my guess, but I believe many who leave public schools do so for other reasons than just academics

SJS

November 15th, 2012
2:27 pm

http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/071312_az_school_spending/az-ranks-near-bottom-per-pupil-spending-grade-schools/

Found this report that lists what each state spent per student for public elementary school education in 2010…Georgia was paying over $9000 per child to traditional public schools, with a national average of $10,615. So if this still holds true, estimating of course, then $4700 per child for GCA is not much…where’s the extra money going?

Ray

November 15th, 2012
3:29 pm

There are so many posters on here talking about “B&M” schools. At first I didn’t know what “B&M” meant — it took a minute to figure out they meant brick and mortar. So many people quickly and easily using this anti-”B&M” lingo smells like a lot of people who have drunk the “cyber academy!” kool-aid, and picked up on the talking points. “Old, tired, ‘brick and mortar’ schools are just so old fashioned and so yesterday, don’t you know, exciting new on-line ‘cyber academies’ are the wave of the future!!

I suppose its easier to sell the cyber academy line to a bunch of home schooling whackos.

Matt Arkin

November 15th, 2012
3:30 pm

Maureen,

GCA enrolls students from 156 counties across the state. Our charter contract does not have any specific academic goals for students with disabilities. The academic goals we have in our charter compare our overall students’ performance to the state average, as we draw our students from across the state.

Matt Arkin
GCA Head of School