KIPP Indianapolis College Preparatory

IT MAY BE DO OR DIE FOR INDIANAPOLIS CHARTER SCHOOL; November 6, 2010; Indianapolis Business Journal (IN) 
It’s crunch time for an embattled Indianapolis charter school.
Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) College Preparatory School faces its seventh—and final—review this year, a review that could determine its survival.
KIPP officials insist they’ve solved the management issues that led to financial problems and a revolving door of staff and leadership. Not only is the board bulked up with more expertise, they say, but test scores are rising, leading to hope the San Francisco-based organization will be reauthorized by the mayor’s office…
Through its first six years, KIPP Indianapolis dealt with considerable staff turnover—last year the rate was 55 percent—and episodes of questionable financials…
In two on-site monitoring reviews by the state Department of Education, the school was found to have maintained an imbalanced budget and made undocumented transactions, among other problems.
In 2008, KIPP Indianapolis returned more than $8,000 in Title I funding that had been improperly used on items ranging from teacher salaries to spa services at a professional development retreat.
“There was a lack of oversight,” said Pelino, who didn’t join KIPP until the following year. “The school simply did not have the operational expertise that was needed.”…
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The mother of a 14-year-old girl who says she was sexually assaulted by four male students during an out-of-state trip has sued an Indianapolis charter school, claiming negligent supervision.
The incident occurred three years ago in a Boston hotel room, according to the lawsuit, which names KIPP Indianapolis College Preparatory.
The suit alleges that the girl -- who is mildly mentally retarded, her attorney says -- was made to perform sex acts on the boys.
Such an allegation illustrates the increased risk of liability schools assume when they take students off school grounds, legal and education experts say. School officials could be at fault for any harm if they fail to provide a reasonable level of supervision.
Whether KIPP staff did so is likely to be a central issue.
Indianapolis attorney Robert D. King Jr. said the girl had finished the seventh grade and was among students who qualified for the five- or six-day reward trip to Boston and New York.
The lawsuit, filed July 14 in Marion Superior Court, provides few details about the incident. King said the boys, who were visiting the hotel room the girl shared with three other girls, exploited her disability and coerced her into performing sex acts…
Many of the school's staff and administrative positions have turned over since the June 2007 incident…

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The Perimeter Primate said...

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