For the second time in four years the state is investigating the enrollment process of the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology after complaints the elite charter school illegally screened applicants.
The complaints stem from the charter school's 2011-12 application, which appeared on the Gwinnett County public school's website for weeks as parents rushed to enroll. The application asked for math grades, test scores, gifted education and disability status, English language comprehension -- all so a student could gain entry into a public charter school that by law must have open enrollment.
The application also said the school would not provide services for those with disabilities or offer English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes.
“Public schools have to provide those services,” said Louis Erste, state charter school division director. “ That is why you can’t put that on your forms. You would be breaking the law if you used the information to exclude the students.”…
Erste said he has no evidence Gwinnett intended to screen students. But in a document obtained through open records, the AJC found associate state superintendent Garry McGiboney admonished GSMST in late January for its application: “Our initial review indicates your current application does not comply with state or federal law or ... your charter contract."…
Tony Roberts, CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association, is not so certain. He visited the campus a few years ago when it was under its inaugural administration. Roberts said he was asked for advice on weeding out applicants who couldn't handle the rigor…
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Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
VIOLATIONS OF FEDERAL LAW PUSH STATE TO MONITOR GWINNETT SCHOOLS CHARTER LOTTERY, DISCRIMINATION ALLEGED AT GWINNETT SCHOOL; February 15, 2011; Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)