Mavericks Schools Founded by Former Head of Controversial Ohio Charter Schools

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Mavericks High in Homestead
Mavericks in Education Florida, the Fort Lauderdale-based charter school chain promoted by Frank Biden, has ties to another for-profit charter school company that has been highly controversial in Ohio.

Mark Thimmig, the founding CEO of Mavericks, is the former CEO of Akron, Ohio-based White Hat Management. Founded in 1998, White Hat developed an educational model that Mavericks would later call the "next generation in education." Its schools were housed in strip malls and students herded in to sit at computers for three shifts a day. But state auditors weren't so fond of the company.
While each school was run by a local board, White Hat kept 96 percent of the state funds it received, and the company refused for years to reveal how those millions of tax dollars were spent. Meanwhile, many of the schools were on "academic watch" or emergency,  according to New Times' former sister paper, Cleveland Scene.

Last year, the boards of schools in Cleveland and Akron sued White Hat to terminate their contracts, alleging that the schools were run without local input and that money wasn't reaching the classrooms. This August, an Ohio judge finally ordered White Hat to open its books.

Thimmig was one of White Hat's early leaders. As CEO from 2001 to 2005, he helped the company grow into one of the largest charter-school chains in the country, including some schools in Florida. Two years after leaving White Hat, Thimmig alleges in court documents, he was approached by Palm Beach Gardens developer Mark Rodberg about launching a new chain of charters schools in Florida.

According to Rodberg's sister, Mavericks manager Lauren Hollander, Rodberg had helped build some White Hat schools and got to know Thimmig in the process. In 2007, Rodberg, Thimmig, and other investors launched Mavericks.

They opened four schools before internal squabbling began to plague the company. In 2009,  Thimmig resigned over disagreements with the other founders. He later sued Mavericks for back salary and money he said he lent the company. Rodberg and Hollander fired back, accusing Thimmig in court documents of "misusing federal and state grant funds," mismanaging the budget, and asking Mavericks employees to leave their jobs for other work.

The Broward Circuit Court case has not yet been resolved. Now running an automotive company in Canada, Thimmig declined to comment.

Mavericks now has eight schools in Florida, including two in Broward, one in Palm Beach, and two in Miami-Dade.

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Doug Martin
Doug Martin

Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post has picked up this story about Biden's group, so word is getting around about these corporate school reformers out for taxpayers' money. http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

Patriot501
Patriot501

Biden is pushing forward to help these kids.  Thimmig is long gone... whatever the lawsuits say, the kids in these classrooms are moving in the right direction...  The kids are learning to read instead of stealing copper from the thousands of foreclosed homes in south florida...

Gefiltefish
Gefiltefish

Any prove of that statement. Any link of test scores. It seems everyone states success these days without prove and everyone is buying it.

This is our current generation of robots and sheeple that takes every word someone they deem important as the gospel of truth without a shred of evidence.

I still believe these charter diploma mills schools are a scam for opportunistic leeches with riches in their minds seeking to take advantage of a gullible and quite frankly disgusted populace with the corruption and bureacracy at the local school boards that they will take anything thrown at them.  I am still searching for the American Corporation that has govern and run in the best interest of the American population. But hey, we can continue to hope for the best. These days that is but all we have.

Lifelong Dem
Lifelong Dem

These flighty, skeletal schools are the precise institutions that gave rise to Jeb Bush's reputation in national GOP circles as "an education expert," which I'm sure we'll start hearing over and over in 2013 in preparation for the "dream ticket" of Jeb and Marco Rubio. So get prepared now for writing letters to the editor by looking up Florida's education standing nationally during the Jeb years -- 45th to 50th in every category, except, of course, funding to charter school corporations. These GOP voters live in Fantasyland.

Anony
Anony

This is what the Rodbergs do ladies and gentlement..it happened with D.wade and the sports bar resturants, and they did it again with Mavericks. They are in it for the money. Look at the current rate teachers are paid in these schools...its pathetic. Frank Biden should stay away form this..cause its about to BLOW UP!. Biden listen B...get out while you can.

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