Thursday, April 24, 2014

False advertising and Concept Schools

This coming fall, Concept Schools will be adding two more charter schools to its collection. Both are in Chicago and come courtesy of the Chicago school board members who voted to approve the two proposals in January.

The promotional brochure designed to attract student enrollment states: “Concept serves 12,000 students in 30 high-performing charter schools across the Midwest, including 3 schools in Chicago.” (1.0 MB pdf) But Concept Schools is intentionally  misleading Chicago’s parents.

The following tables display academic, graduation, and enrollment figures for Concept’s 19 schools in Ohio.

Note the large number of “F” ratings that appear on their most recent Ohio School Report Cards (click “C”, then “Community Schools”).

Note the low student retention at the four high schools. The enrollment figures come from the database maintained by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

In no way can Concept truthfully claim that its 30 charter schools are high-performing!

Community members should seriously consider filing a false advertising complaint with the City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection or with the local Better Business Bureau. At the very least, Chicago Public Schools should be challenged for allowing Concept to perpetrate this type of fraud.

For additional evidence of Concept’s *consumer* deception, look at the deep analysis of state test scores, SAT and ACT scores, and graduation rates in the aptly named 2011 presentation by CASILIPS: “The Concept Schools model: success in education or success in marketing?”

And to learn more about Concept Schools, watch this.

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