Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Rod Parsley's Voucher-Receiving School Doesn't Meet State Standards

From today's Dispatch. H/t PFAW Right Wing Watch:

    About 500 students attend Harvest Preparatory Academy. Thirty-six teachers and two aides educate them.

    But only eight are licensed, the Ohio Department of Education says. And more than one-third of staff members hadn't had a background check more than midway through the school year.

    The private Christian school must meet state requirements or face serious consequences: It could be kicked out of the statewide voucher program or, worse, lose its state accreditation. That would mean students couldn't earn a state-certified diploma and might struggle to get into college.
PFAW highlights this for the Darn Good Questions file:
    “Harvest Prep has a problem, and we knew about it,” said a state department of education spokesman, although apparently only now is the department conducting rudimentary inspections of voucher-funded private schools, and beginning to uncover basic certification problems.
I'll add this to that file: One of the problems with the voucher program is that there is no check on discrimination by the schools participating. Parents get accepted into the school, then apply for the voucher. Parsley proudly proclaims he is a "Christocrat," and that he believes his version of Christianity is the only true faith. Does Harvest Prep nonetheless accept students of all creeds? Or is Parsley's school allowed to take state education money and discriminate on the basis of religion?

3 comments:

bryan said...

yeah, they take students of all creeds. in addition, the dispatch article was pretty bad. harvest prep is actually in compliance w/ state requirements re: private schools.

Eric said...

One of the problems with the voucher program is that there is no check on discrimination by the schools participating.

"08" schools are private, religious schools; the state has little basis for regulating them. Perhaps they ought not be voucher eligible. Here's the rule for "oh-eight" schools:

3301-35-08 Non-chartered, non-tax supported school

A school, which is not chartered or seeking a charter from the state board of education because of truly held religious beliefs, shall annually certify in a report to the parents of its pupils that the school meets Ohio minimum standards for non-chartered, non-tax supported schools cited in paragraphs (A) to (H) of this rule.
...
(D) Teacher and administrator qualifications. Teachers and administrators shall have received a bachelor's degree or the equivalent thereof from a recognized college or university.

The nondiscrimination requirement in rule 3301-35-05 (Faculty and staff focus) has an exemption to permit consideration of religious affiliation in 3301-35-12 (Chartered nonpublic schools). So chartered Catholic, Jewish, and Lutheran schools are barred from employment discrimination, with the exception of their employees' religious affiliation. 3301-35-04 (Student and other stakeholder focus) applies to public and chartered private schools: "Establish and communicate clear, high expectations for academic performance, attendance and conduct for all students regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, English proficiency or disability;"

08 schools are also exempt from the requirements to promote the principles of democracy and ethics.

Cam said...

Providing first hand knowledge, Harvest Prep has a problem, the leaders of Harvest prep have a serious problem regarding the direciton of the school, and, most of all, the children are the ones who stand to lose the most. I could go on to say many things regarding specific problems. However, in the wake of such events as the Juanita Bynum reports and Paula and Randy White reports, I feel it more necessary to say to pray for Harvest Prep, World Harvest, and their leaders. It is indeed a tragedy when the love of money takes hold of men.