MILWAUKEE (WITI) – Students are the ones returning to the classroom this fall, but with so many schools to choose from, its parents who need to do their homework.
Charter schools, vouchers schools, and online schools aren’t all the s100_0018ame – and they often don’t even have to meet the same educational requirements to operate.
After his daughter recently tried to get into college, David Sheriff, a dad of two, says he understands the ongoing concern about quality control in non-traditional schools.
He chose a charter school for his girls, who were struggling with learning disabilities. He wanted them to go to a school with small classrooms, so they could get a lot of teacher attention.
“We went to the school to meet with the principal and some of the teachers when they had their open house,” he says. They thought the school, the Wisconsin Career Academy, an MPS charter school, was a great fit.
school 2David’s daughter Amanda enrolled and attended all four years of high school. She graduated, and got her diploma in 2009. After working for a few years she decided this summer she’d like to apply to college, so she says she looked into the medical assistant program at the Milwaukee Career College.
“When I got there they looked up the school and to see what high school I graduated from,” Amanda says.
The Admissions Director said she’d have to get her GED because the charter school she attended wasn’t accredited. Amanda says she was shocked.
“I’m like, so basically you telling me that I have a 8th grade education, right now?”
“All I know is my daughter was in tears because she could not pursue her dream to go to college,” says David, who called the FOX6 Investigators for help.
“The reason I contacted you guys is that I don’t want any other parent, any other child or student to go through what my daughter had to feel and I had to feel as a parent,” he says. “It’s just wrong. These schools need to be held accountable for what they are doing.”
The school David picked for his daughters was chartered by MPS in 2000, but at the end of the 2011-2012 school year, it lost its charter. A performance audit showed its students weren’t performing academically, and the school was having some financial issues.
The school re-opened the following year as a voucher school, and it changed its name to Wisconsin College Preparatory Academy. After a year of more problems, like when a teacher was accused of sleeping on the job, it finally shut down for good in June after having lost its accreditation.
The Milwaukee Career College says that’s why they thought Amanda’s diploma was no good. More…