Mavericks Charter School Holds Job Fair, Insists Diplomas Are Legit

If you've always wanted to work for a company with a shady academic track record and legal headaches, here's your chance. 

Mavericks High in Palm Springs, the newest in a chain of for-profit charter schools headed by Vice President Joe Biden's brother, is holding a job fair next Monday. According to its website, the school is seeking teachers certified in almost everything -- reading,math, special education, English, science, and social science.

This hiring spree comes after a rough first year for the school that aims to help at-risk kids
graduate. The Florida Department of Education recently released data showing that Mavericks students earned the lowest FCAT reading scores in Palm Beach County.

Meanwhile, a former special education teacher has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging the school inflates attendance records and fabricates grades. Angenora Mechato's suit was the third whistle-blower suit filed against Mavericks in Education Florida, the company that runs eight charter schools in the state. Two former employees at Mavericks in Homestead filed lawsuits last year making similar allegations about grades and attendance records. They also alleged that Mavericks was not offering a standard "Florida High School Diploma."

Mavericks has disputed the former employees' claims, and has added information to its website to bolster its argument. "Mavericks High is an Accredited High School that issues diploma's [sic] recognized by the State of Florida," the site says. "The diploma's [sic] offered are the same as those issued by the district." 

The site includes a January 2012 letter from John Stewart, superintendent of Pinellas County Schools, to a Mavericks board member. "This letter serves as validation that the diploma a student receives from Mavericks High is the same as a diploma from any other public high school in our district, or for that matter any public school in the State of Florida," Stewart writes.

However, an official from the Florida office of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement tells the Pulp that no Mavericks school has yet been accredited by the organization. This means Mavericks graduates can attend community colleges, but they may have trouble getting sports scholarships or federal grants. Some Mavericks schools have applied for accreditation and are hoping to be approved at a meeting on June 23, Mari Thornton said.
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4 comments
Sunny
Sunny

Florida public schools like to play blind and deaf regarding the academic legitimacy of charter schools catering for "struggling students."  The fact of the matter is that they (the public schools) are in it up to their necks.  They use certain schools to funnel all of their low-performing behavior problems, so that their own FCAT scores look better.  If you charted the attendance at the "pump and dump" charter schools, you would see an uptick every year, right before FCAT testing times.  Therefore, those charter schools are always going to have the lowest FCAT scores reported - they've got a program full of the lowest performing kids, whom the public schools have dumped.  I'm in no way defending Mavericks, but that is the reason for the poor FCAT showing.

marylamb
marylamb

The SACS for accrediting process takes time. The process begins the first year any school opens and continues through several levels. School Districts tend to be able to umbrella all of the schools BUT charters must individually seek accrediting. Mavericks is in process in palm Beach - but other Mavericks which have been open longer are through it. The check list is lengthy and comprehensive.

Guest
Guest

Mavericks High of Palm Springs had to have a teacher job fair because they fired 8 teachers and academic coaches on 6/15/2012. And that's a fact.

krakalaka
krakalaka

Lisa, cant believe that Bob didn't cover it,so you need to check in. Gov Scotts take over attempt of Memorial Hospital System. The public meeting was yesterday and not a word in the media. Miami Hereld had a great response a few weeks ago, but need to keep this front and center.

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