Nexus Academy of Indianapolis by Better Blended Learning for Indiana - looking to open up 3 campuses in Downtown Indy, Southern Indy, and in the Carmel Clay School district. This is a blended learning/college prep charter school serving students in grades 9-12 with expected enrollment to be 300 students at each campus. Blending learning is a combination of face-to-face learning in a building and virtual/online learning.
From their application: "Nexus Academy of Indianapolis will be part of a national network of blended charter schools serviced by Connections as an EMO partner. There is no formal separate business plan for these schools, however. Rather, the Nexus Academy schools are part of the overall business plan of Connections Education, which is on track to continue expanding its charter school network as well as its curriculum/instruction/technology sales to education agencies at all levels and to consumers." (emphasis is my own) This is not a charter school with a mission to provide quality education. Be very worried. Do we want charter schools that highlight their business plan and not their education plan? Connections Education is part of PEARSON. Connections Education and Pearson will be making profits from Indiana taxpayers.
How will they make bigger profits? Each of the three schools will have 1 principal, 1 administrative assistant, 5 teachers, 4 success coaches, 1 guidance counselor, and 1 special education teacher to be shared by the 3 schools. Less money will need to be spent on human capital, but they will still receive $7, 331 per pupil which is one of the highest per pupil revenues in the state. Interestingly, Indiana Connections Academy (which is part of Connections Education) saw a 24.4% increase in per pupil funding from FY2011 to FY2012. This is a virtual charter school. So we are seeing charter schools receive more funding and traditional public school districts receive less funding. OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE IN JEOPARDY!
Who are the individual people involved with this charter school? Jeffery William Reed - part of his bio is below with my highlights.
Jeff Reed serves as the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice's State Marketing and Public Relations Director.
Jeff joined the Friedman Foundation in February 2010 as State Programs and Government Relations Director, a role he held till March 2012. In that role, Jeff coordinated the Foundation’s efforts to prepare target states for the introduction of school choice.
Previously, Jeff served as Education Task Force Director for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the nation’s largest individual membership association of state legislators. He also served in ALEC’s public relationships department.
Jeff is an alumnus of the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation’s “Koch Associate Program,” which trains young leaders in Market Based Management®, a management philosophy that promotes operational excellence in nonprofit organizations.
Anytime you see the name Koch, ALEC, or Friedman connected to a charter school...RUN!
The decision will be approved or denied on October 15, 2012. Unfortunately, I didn't take a close look at this until today and the deadline to submit comments has passed.