Middle East studies in the News
Minnesota Charter School Overseer Novation Appeals Denials [incl. Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy]
A nonprofit organization that oversees a dozen Minnesota charter schools has filed a legal challenge to the state's denial of its bid to take on eight more schools.
Novation Education Opportunities wants the Minnesota Court of Appeals to reverse the decisions, made by the state Education Department in June.
To stay open, all charter schools are required to have an authorizer, an organization such as Novation that monitors school finances and academics.
Novation served as an authorizer to four charter schools in 2010-11 and applied this spring to monitor 19 others, its attorney said. The state approved nine of the requests.
On Friday, Novation appealed eight of those 10 denials, arguing that the state's decisions were capricious, grounded on unlawful procedure and overstepped state authority.
The eight schools named in the court petition are Achieve Language Academy, Dakota Area Community School, Duluth Edison Charter Schools, Face to Face Academy, Nerstrand Charter School, New Heights Charter School, RiverBend Academy and St. Paul City School.
Novation attorney Charles Long said Wednesday that to his knowledge, none of the eight schools was forced to close as an immediate result of the state's rejection letters.
State officials said a month ago that two schools -- Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA) and Lake Superior High School -- were issued shutdown instructions for lack of monitoring this summer after the state denied requests to transfer the schools to new authorizers.
Long said he believes that many of the eight schools named in Novation's appeal were able to extend the relationships they had with their existing authorizers, adding that he does not know the details of each school's situation.
Wednesday afternoon, state officials did not answer several questions about Novation's appeal, including a request for an update about the eight schools. The state will respond to the petition in court filings, an Education Department spokesman said.
The petition does not challenge two applications that Novation submitted unsuccessfully to oversee Beacon Academy and TiZA. Beacon Academy found a different authorizer, Long said. Novation's request to oversee TiZA -- a school whose many troubles include a lawsuit claiming that it promoted religion -- was rejected for reasons beyond those common to the eight schools in the court petition, he said.
According to court documents filed by Novation, state officials cited two reasons for rejecting the eight transfer requests: They objected to Novation's bid to oversee more schools than called for in its five-year financial plan. They also expressed concerns with its performance as an authorizer, saying it had misrepresented on its website how many schools it oversaw -- which Novation disputes.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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