More charter school problems

From Scathing Purple Musings

by Bob Sykes

Earlier this week Missouri’s education commissioner asked Imagine to close its schools at the end of the year. Imagine CEO Dennis Bakke has been in St. Louis this week and has named a new director. From Elisa Crouch writing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Charter school operator Imagine Schools Inc. on Tuesday named a top executive to oversee its six struggling schools in St. Louis.

Alan Olkes, who managed the company’s charter school operations in Texas and is former superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, now has the task of leading Imagine’s underperforming St. Louis schools that face increasing pressure to close.

Olkes replaces Sam Howard, who is on administrative leave after the Post-Dispatch reported $32,000 in payments were made to a “Sam Howard” in 2007 by a contractor hired to renovate Imagine school buildings. Howard provided the newspaper no explanation for the payments.

Dennis Bakke, chief executive of Imagine Schools, spent last week in St. Louis providing additional support and direction to the company’s six schools, which enroll about 3,800 students.

No word whether or not Bakke will be in Florida anytime soon to check on his three failing charters here.

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