Thursday, March 29, 2012

Alpha Academy Charter School Performance Report

Alpha Academy Charter School
Fayetteville, NC opened 2000
215 K-8 students enrolled for 2010-2011

Corporate entity holding school charter:
Student Enhancement Services, Inc.
Federal Tax I.D. 56-2151813

The North Carolina Constitution Requires "A Sound Basic Education"

The North Carolina Constitution states the following: "The people have a right to the privilege of education, and it is the duty of the State to guard and maintain that right." 

In the matter of Leandro v. State of North Carolina, (N.C. 1997) the state Supreme Court found:
We conclude that Article I, Section 15 and Article IX, Section 2 of the North Carolina Constitution combine to guarantee every child of this state an opportunity to receive a sound basic education in our public schools. For purposes of our Constitution, a "sound basic education" is one that will provide the student with at least: .

(1) sufficient ability to read, write, and speak the English language and a sufficient knowledge of fundamental mathematics and physical science to enable the student to function in a complex and rapidly changing society;

(2) sufficient fundamental knowledge of geography, history, and basic economic and political systems to enable the student to make informed choices with regard to issues that affect the student personally or affect the student's community, state, and nation;

(3) sufficient academic and vocational skills to enable the student to successfully engage in post-secondary education or vocational training; and

(4) sufficient academic and vocational skills to enable the student to compete on an equal basis with others in further formal education or gainful employment in contemporary society.” Id. at 255.
President Bush and Congress recognized basic education as a national right in 2001 with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Alpha Academy Charter School Student Performance

Alpha Academy made adequate yearly progress 2010-2011 and 80-90% of its students were proficient in math and reading.

Alpha Academy's first time federal and state achievement standards do not compensate the hundreds of students who attended the school from 2000-2009 and who received an unsatisfactory education. During this same time frame a number of North Carolina charter schools were successfully providing their students with basic math and reading skills. If the NC Blue Ribbon Commission's recommendations re consistently non-performing schools were the rule, Student Enhancement Services, Inc. would have had its charter revoked in 2007.

Alpha Academy Charter School Students Left Behind 

State records show that for the 2006-07 term, fewer than 50% of Alpha Academy students were at grade level.  The 2008-2009 Alpha Academy Charter School ABC Performance Report does not find marked improvement: 57.6% of Alpha Academy students Grade 3-8 were proficient in reading and 68.5 % were proficient in math.

Alpha Academy Charter School Student Performance on the End-of-Grade Science Tests at the end of 2009:
Grade 5: 38.5% of Alpha Academy students passed science tests
Grade 8: 33.3% of Alpha Academy students passed science tests

Alpha Academy Charter School Classroom Instructors

The No Child Left Behind Act defines a “Highly Qualified Teacher” as a professional with full certification, a bachelor’s degree and demonstrated competence in subject knowledge and teaching.

Alpha Academy educators were 100% licensed and highly qualified for 2010-2011 but since the school's founding, the Student Enhancement Services, Inc. board has employed a number of individuals who were not qualified to teach. For further information re the board's 2003-2011 employment practices please link to NC School Report Card web site.

Alpha Academy Charter Renewal

In 2004 the State Board of Education deemed Alpha Academy an Effective and Efficient Operation (EEO) and granted Student Enhancement Services, Inc. a 10-year extended charter.

Alpha Academy/Student Enhancement Services, Inc. Board of Directors 

Eugene Slocum, the long-term principal, is the founder and CEO of Alpha Academy. Don McQueen, one of the Alpha Academy Board Members, is the executive director of Torchlight Academy, a low-performing charter school. Other Alpha Academy Board Members include Norma J. Campbell, (Chair), Susan Slocum (Alpha Academy secretary), Tommy Evans and Jerome Scott.

In 2010 Alpha Academy and other charter holders filed a federal complaint: "Charter schools allege inequity in state policy."

North Carolina Charter School Financing

Charter schools are tax-payer financed, privately-managed K-12 public educational facilities. Since 1997 North Carolina charter holders have received more than a billion and a half dollars ($1,558,404,984) in state funds for their school operations.

The state paid charter school management boards over $200 million ($200,058,046) for 2010-2011. This money was allocated to ninety-nine charter schools.

Charter schools also receive federal and county funds.

Alpha Academy Charter School Funding FY 2010-2011: $1,714,210

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction reports that the Alpha Academy charter school received $1,330,670 in state and federal funds for 2010-2011. The breakdown is as follows: state $1,170,970 and federal $159,700.

In addition to state and federal support, charter schools are entitled to county appropriations provided to local boards of education: "If a student attends a charter school, the LEA in which the child resides shall transfer to the charter an amount equal to the per pupil local current expense appropriation to the LEA for the fiscal year." (LEA: Local Education Agency)

Cumberland County, location of Alpha Academy, allocated $78,831,036 to local boards of education for the year ending June 2010. The average daily membership (the state's method of counting students) for Cumberland County 2010-2011 was 52,208.
Based on Alpha Academy's ADM of 254 students,  Cumberland County paid the charter holder $383,540.

Alpha Academy Charter School Expenditures

In contrast to local education agencies, North Carolina charter holders have unrestricted use of their allocated state and local education funds. The only exception to this rule is that these entities may not purchase buildings with public money.

Alpha Academy Primary Fund Expenditures 2010-2011: Salaries 48%, Vendors 31%

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