The state agency, acting on a complaint filed by Judy DeHaven, found on Tuesday that the school had unlawfully withheld data showing the breakdown of the student population by grade, gender, race, ethnicity and other factors.
Attendees at the charter school’s graduation ceremony in Riverside Gardens Park last June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The Red Bank Charter School engaged in “outright fabrication” of data used to support its pending request for a five-year charter extension, opponents alleged Thursday.
The purported falsification, concerning the numbers of resident white and Hispanic children who attend private and parochial schools, was used “in a deliberate attempt to mislead the state Department of Education and to perpetuate the myth that the taxpayer-funded 200-student school reflects the pre-K through 8th grade demographics of the community,” according to two groups seeking a shutdown of the school over alleged civil rights issues.
Students at Red Bank Charter School took to the streets last Monday, January 16, carrying signs while marching through the community to mark the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. The exercise was part of a series of events held at the school on Martin Luther King Day, to teach students about the legacy of the slain civil rights leader.
The day began with teachers in every classroom handing out bagels to students, an exercise designed to create fellowship among students. Students also created a CNN-like news program in which they produced segments about the Dr. King, the Taliban, the Dakota Access Pipeline and the controversy over their own school.
The charter school’s five-year renewal request is pending with the state Department of Education. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The Red Bank school district has quietly but officially called for the non-renewal of the Red Bank Charter School‘s official sanction, district Superintendent Jared Rumage confirmed Tuesday.
In an October 13 letter to the New Jersey Department of Education, Rumage told acting Commissioner Kimberley Harrington that the existence of the charter school “greatly inhibits the ability of our schools to meet our goals” and imposes an “unfair financial burden” on both borough and state taxpayers.
Charter school Superintendent Meredith Pennotti speaking at the school’s eighth-grade graduation ceremony in Riverside Gardens Park in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
[NOTE: This post was updated to include a prepared statement from charter school Superintendent Pennotti.]
By JOHN T. WARD
A group of parents and Latino rights advocates have asked the federal Justice Department to “investigate and ultimately remedy” enrollment and funding practices at the Red Bank Charter School that they claim make the borough’s public schools the “most segregated” in New Jersey.
In documents released Tuesday, the Latino Coalition of New Jersey and the newly formed Fair Schools Red Bank claim the school and the administration of Governor Chris Christie have violated the civil rights of borough students by failing to address ethnic, socio-econonic and fiscal disparities between the charter school and the public school district from which it was carved out 18 years ago.
At 7:30 am on any other national holiday, children are nestled under covers, and sleepy from a bit of extra play, TV or reading before bed the evening before. Working and stay-at-home parents in charge of their children on holidays or sick days might also be doing the same.
Monday, January 19 found the roads around Red Bank quiet, but the Red Bank Charter School in full swing. Cars lined up to drop off their back-packed and uniformed students as if it were any other brisk Monday in January. But every single RBCS student, staff, faculty member arrived knowing that this day was to be a day of service learning in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his sacrifice for equality.
The decision by the department’s Office of Civil Rights to open an investigation “in no way implies that the OCR has made a determination with regard to its merit,” a government letter to the complainants said.
But the revelation set off a fresh round of sniping in a bitter battle over the charter school’s existence.
Kathy Horgan, Democrat. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
One year after Republicans narrowly displaced Democrats as the controlling party in Red Bank government, ending a 25-year reign, voters return to the polls on November 8 with five candidates to choose from for two council seats.
All five candidates have indicated they’ll participate in the West Side Community Group’s annual candidates’ forum at the River Street Commons at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18. For more information about the event, take it here.
To help voters compare the contenders in terms of personal background and positions on key issues,redbankgreen emailed them identical sets of questions late last week. Here’s what Kathy Horgan had to say in response.