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A timeline of King High School events

By the Notebook on May 9, 2011 01:40 PM

Jan. 24- The District announces the second cohort of Renaissance Schools. King High School is designated a Renaissance Match Charter. The charter for King stands to be worth approximately $60 million over five years.

Feb. 3- Community members learn more about the Renaissance Schools process at a public meeting.

Feb. 18- Students from King walk out of school in protest of the turnaround plans for the school.

Mar. 8- Approved charter providers Mosaica Education and Foundations Inc. make presentations to King School Advisory Council, or SAC. They are the only two providers in contention for King.

Mar. 14- The SAC at King votes 8-1 in favor of Mosaica over Foundations to be the school’s turnaround provider.

Mar. 16-

  • The SRC convenes to vote on matching the Renaissance Match Charter schools with their recommended providers. On the agenda is a resolution matching King with Mosaica, reflecting Superintendent Ackerman’s endorsement of the SAC recommendation.
  • Chairman Robert Archie recuses himself from the King vote due to a conflict of interest involving his law firm’s prior work for Foundations. State Rep. Dwight Evans, who has a long history of involvement with Foundations at King, makes a public, last-minute appeal to the SRC to ignore the recommendations and choose Foundations over Mosaica. But after a short recess, the remaining commissioners vote 3-0 to approve the match with Mosaica, dismissing Evans’ plea. Mosaica Vice President John Q. Porter says he is “elated” that his company will be getting the charter to manage King.
  • Immediately following the long SRC meeting, Chairman Archie convenes a closed-door discussion involving himself, State Rep. Evans, Mosaica's Porter, and District Deputy Superintendent Leroy Nunery. The meeting remains a secret for over a month.
  • Ackerman receives a phone call later in the evening from a “confused and deeply troubled” Porter, although she does not acknowledge this call publicly for over a month.

Mar. 17- Porter informs Ackerman that Mosaica is withdrawing its bid to manage King. The District announces that Mosaica has withdrawn in order to focus on the other Renaissance school it was awarded. In an interview with The Notebook/WHYY NewsWorks, Evans takes credit for persuading Mosaica to step aside so that Foundations can manage the school.

Mar. 18- Ackerman, via spokesperson Jamilah Fraser, tells Notebook/NewsWorks reporter Benjamin Herold she was “shocked” when she got the letter from Mosaica announcing its withdrawal. She disavows knowledge of any effort by Evans to lobby privately after the SRC meeting on Foundations’ behalf. Nor does she mention that her top deputy was part of a private meeting with Evans, Archie, and Porter.

Mar. 22-

Apr. 12- Members of the King SAC tell reporter Hangley they would rather remain in the District than have Foundations manage the school. They prepare to testify before the SRC the next day. Mosaica officials tell Hangley they are willing to return to King if they have full community support.

Apr. 13- The full SRC meets privately to discuss the future of King with two members of the King SAC, who later say Archie pressured them to accept Foundations and forget about Mosaica. This meeting takes place in apparent violation of the state Sunshine Act.

Apr. 19- A Notebook/NewsWorks investigation breaks the news that SRC Chairman Archie took part in a secret, closed-door Mar. 16 meeting with Evans and Porter, immediately after the SRC meeting. In his first statement on the matter, Archie says his purpose in the meeting was to “facilitate collaboration among Mosaica, Representative Evans, and the District.”

Apr. 21- Citing "unrelenting hostility," Foundations withdraws its bid to manage King High. Archie tells The Inquirer that an unnamed “District representative” participated in the Mar. 16 meeting.

Apr. 22- The District reveals that Deputy Superintendent Leroy Nunery was the “unnamed District representative” in the Mar. 16 closed-door meeting. A statement issued under Ackerman’s name says he sat "shocked" at what he was hearing. Nunery declines comment.

Apr. 23- Ackerman releases a statement saying she found out about the Mar. 16 meeting from Nunery that evening after it occurred, but did not learn "explicit details," contradicting her statements via Fraser on Mar.18.

Apr. 25- Mayor Nutter orders Chief Integrity Officer Joan Markman to investigate the controversy. No deadline was set for the completion of her report

May 4- The District announces that King will become a District-run Promise Academy in the fall after the King SAC selects that option by an 8-1 vote.

May 6- The Inquirer editorial board calls for Archie to resign from the SRC.

June 2- The District announces King's new principal, William Wade of Vaux Promise Academy High School.

June 21 - It comes to light that Evans met privately with the SRC on March 16 before its regular meeting, raising questions whether the session violated the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act.

Sept. 16 - Recently departed school superintendent Arlene Ackerman says that she was pressured to go along with Evans and his plan for King, claiming that if she didn't embarrassing personal information about her would be leaked.

Sept. 19 - SRC chair Archie and commissioner Johnny Irizarry resign.

Sept. 22 - Chief Integrity Officer Markman issues her report. Public officials call for further investigation.

October - Experts and others weigh in on the importance of transparency in doing public business.

December - The remade School Reform Commission makes a public commitment to transparency.

This story is part of a news-gathering partnership between the Notebook and NewsWorks.

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Comments (2)

Submitted by Audax (not verified) on May 9, 2011 3:07 pm

So, to sum it up: Archie is a lying manipulator who probably violated State-Ethics laws or at the minimum grossly abused his power and acted immorally.

Dr. Ackerman lied, then admitted she lied, and then without admitting it allows the public to make one of the following two conclusions: she's either clueless about what her staff does (and should be fired for mismanagement) or she knew and lied about it (which should lead to her being fired for trying to manipulate the process and being a fraud).

King got screwed out of their choice and are now set to be run by the Queen's minions with a ton of resources that many other public schools will be losing in this latest budget.

Oh, just another day in "As the District Turns"!

Submitted by Regina (not verified) on May 10, 2011 2:06 pm

If this were facebook, I would "like" this comment.

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