It was clear to teachers at the Einstein Montessori School in Orlando that something was very wrong when school opened for business last fall.There were no computers for student use. And although the school focused on students with dyslexia, there were no reading texts.
Teachers said there was no set curriculum and no library."It was a disaster," said Brittany Clifton, a first-year math teacher who took on additional duties as principal for several months. She said students weren't getting what they needed. "It should have been shut down before the end of the semester."The charter school closed in February, two months after Orange County Public Schools warned the privately run public school that it was violating state law and its own contract with the district. It had about 40 students in grades three to eight...At Einstein, teachers said their training was haphazard, paychecks were late from the start and payments meant to compensate them for a lack of health insurance stopped after a single check. Three teachers who left in December and January were never paid several thousand dollars they were owed, they told Orange County Public Schools officials.Things were also falling apart in the classroom.The principal quit to save on salaries, and two of the five teachers were forced out, former teachers said. Further defections left a revolving door of substitute instructors, according to former teachers and the Einstein Montessori board chair, Rebecca Simmons...When approved by the district in 2010, the school's application promised an accelerated, innovative curriculum for students with dyslexia. It delivered far less, teachers said."The students never had any grade-level materials," said Jill Nicholson, who taught the specialized reading program for dyslexic students, known as LiPS, on which the school was based."We were all first-year teachers and we didn't know what we were doing," she said. "It was more like a baby-sitting service."Computers weren't set up until a few weeks before the school closed. A promised partnership with dyslexia experts at the University of Central Florida never materialized.And parents weren't informed what was going on...
Einstein Montessori School
“Another failed Orlando charter 'a disaster' for students, teachers.” Orlando Sentinel (FL), 3/4/2013