Promise Charter School

SAN DIEGO -- About 200 students will have to find a new school before the new school year begins after the San Diego Unified School District voted on Tuesday to close the Promise Charter School in Chollas View.

The school district said the Promise Charter School mismanaged its money, failed to comply with its charter and violated several state laws including laws requiring the school to report instances of child abuse.

Earlier this year, an investigation by the 10News I-Team exposed several reports of inappropriate behavior between former teacher Jose Valencia and his preteen female students...
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“District Takes Step Toward Closing School.” Voice of San Diego 8 Jun 2011
The San Diego Unified school board narrowly decided Tuesday night to take the first step toward shuttering Promise, a Chollas View charter school where a district investigation found a long list of violations, from keeping faulty financial statements to running afoul of open meeting laws.

The K-8 school has been bitterly split into two camps of parents and teachers — those who back the principal and those that don't. But one message rang out from everyone Tuesday night: Don't close our school.

Even parents who backed a school district investigation that found Promise had violated state laws on conflicts of interest, failed to follow rules on student suspensions, and a long list of other problems, said they didn't want to dissolve it. Despite turmoil, Promise ranks in the top 10 percent among schools with similar challenges statewide...

Attorney Paul Minney said Promise would gladly pay for an outside mediator to bring parents and teachers together to work through disputes. But the school district concluded that Promise had still done too little to remedy the problems, blaming some on past leaders and simply denying others.

The school board voted 3-2 to send a letter to Promise that would trigger a hearing where the school could make a case for why it should stay open...

The controversial step toward closing Promise comes as San Diego Unified has reassessed its relationship with its charter schools, tightening its oversight and offering charters-in-the-making less help. Promise has been ground zero for its debates over charter freedom and accountability. Such shutdowns are rare: The last time a charter school was shuttered by San Diego Unified was five years ago, though others have dissolved on their own after being warned of problems...
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CHARTER SCHOOL SHUTS OUT INVESTIGATOR; March 3, 2011; Voice of San Diego (CA) 
…San Diego Unified has been investigating Promise Charter, where a group of parents and teachers say Principal Jose Orozco has intimidated parents who disagree with him on school decisions by barring them from campus and harassing their children. Orozco and his supporters have denied the allegations and stood behind his choices.

The school district launched an investigation into the concerns last month, interviewing parents and staff and poring through documents. In a letter to the charter school board, Moises Aguirre wrote that when he came to the school in February, Orozco demanded that he leave and escorted him out.

Aguirre, who helps oversee charter schools for San Diego Unified and is assisting the investigation, wrote that keeping him out of the school was a violation of state law and grounds to revoke the charter.

"This conduct obstructs the District's ability to meet its oversight obligations and will not be tolerated," Aguirre wrote…
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Parents and teachers at a small charter school in Chollas View are demanding that San Diego Unified launch an investigation of their school after the principal and new board members made a string of controversial decisions.

The Promise Charter School board changed dramatically last summer after some of its existing members, including the principal, voted to eject members and later added new ones.

Parents and teachers upset with the leaders allege that Principal Jose Orozco has intimidated parents who disagreed with him on everything from scheduling to staffing by barring them from campus and telling them to leave the school, and harassed their children by questioning them about their parents.

Fourth grade teacher Vicky Toscano said after one teacher was fired and others were told to reapply for their jobs, teachers have been afraid to question irregularities at the school, such as allegedly enrolling students who are too young for kindergarten. Teachers at the school have petitioned to form a union…

The same demands were made by teachers and parents from Tubman, another charter that has been in turmoil. Tubman teachers recently joined the San Diego teachers union and have fought the firing of a teacher, alleging she was discriminated against as a labor leader.

"Charter schools cannot be mini-dictatorships that exist on the dime of the public taxpayer," Barrera said. "And we need to make sure that we guard against that."

Charter board members are often chosen by other board members, not elected like a school district board. While some charters opt to have representatives who are chosen by the parents or teachers, voluntarily putting it into their own rules, it is not required by law. That means that charter boards can sometimes veer from what parents or staff want, and it can be hard to say who speaks for the school…


Anonymous said...

Promise Charter has a history of misconduct. They had teachers serving as voting board members and those teachers dismissed many principals.

Anonymous said...

Many of those teacher and parents who are afraid for alleged irregularities are the same people who ran the board for years and never did anything to solve all the problems, but now they say are caused by M. Orozco

And I wonder, why until now are concerned about those problems?

The reason for their anger is because they lost the power to manage the school according suited their personal interests?

Please Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Orozco will get rid off whoever does not agree with him. If you are not with him you are agaisnt him. Its only black and white.

Anonymous said...

Orozco will get rid off whoever does not agree with him. Its black or white if your not with him your against him. Is this what you want for our kids.

Anonymous said...

Im so sick & tired of all this drama..everyone who was at Promise knows the truth..Promise was run by people that wanted only but the power of that school..untill Orozco come in..he wanted to change the school for the best..but some people didnt want that change..he didnt want to give up so the District close the school with out caring about the student at all.All of this is just shady.. Promise was a good school..and they know it..but those who wanted to take control didnt have that any more so they couldnt take that..and in the end..the students were the ones that lost...and that was shady!!!!