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Florida private school gives diploma in 8 days for $399. State says there is nothing they can do.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 08:59 PM
Original message
Florida private school gives diploma in 8 days for $399. State says there is nothing they can do.
Edited on Sat Jun-04-11 09:03 PM by madfloridian
They claim they are listed at the Florida Department of Education website according to the school's accreditation page.

InterAmerican Christian Academy is Registered and Listed with the Florida Department of Education and meets all requirements as a non-public school, in accordance with State of Florida Statutes, Sec. 229.808.
Registered #135488
Tallahassee, FL

http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/information/privates...


I did a search and do not see Miami Dade County listed as a choice. Not even the word Miami.

Here is more from the TBO blog called Gradebook:

How to get a diploma in eight days for $399

Thousands of Florida high school seniors are graduating these days having completed four years of coursework, earning 24 credits and a 2.0 or better GPA, and passing the FCAT.

How insulted might they be at InterAmerican Christian Academy, a Miami-Dade private school (if you can call it that) that the Miami New Times has revealed as a diploma mill in its own backyard? From the reporter's first person recounting:

"Eight days and $399 in cash later, at the school's Doral "campus" a cramped third-floor office next door to US Lubricant LLC and across the hall from a hair extensions company I was grinning widely, accepting a framed diploma and an official transcript sporting a 3.41 GPA.

The degree is accepted at, among other local institutions of higher education, Miami Dade College. And it came blissfully free of that pesky annoyance suffered by thousands of local students graduating from high school this month: education.


All he had to do was take a series of tests. Here's how he did it. From the Miami New Times:

Doral school awards dubious diplomas

It began with a poster on a streetlight in downtown Miami: "High School Diploma. (305) 716-0909."

...."At InterAmerican Christian Academy, my new alma mater, to earn a diploma you need only to pass five very brief and easy take-home tests. Because I can't be bothered with such things, I distributed them to local kids ages 8 to 13 to complete. Then I copied their answers.

The youngsters didn't break a sweat. "This is medium-easy," said the 8-year-old girl who completed high school English literature for me. "No problems," commented the 10-year-old who nailed math.


InterAmerican's cofounder, Manuel Morante Jr., once served a year of probation after being charged with armed robbery and resisting arrest with violence. The academy is accredited by an agency that the U.S. Department of Education does not recognize and that a watchdog site terms a "fake." But according to attendance records filed with the state, it has "enrolled" 230 students during its 17-month existence. At least 88 graduates have used its diplomas and bogus transcripts to gain admittance to Miami Dade College, according to that institution's registrar. (Florida International University is apparently pickier. It has admitted no one from InterAmerican.)


Here's an even bigger shocker. The Florida Department of Education says that even if such a school exists they can't do anything about it.

There's no telling how many of Florida's 1,713 private schools which educate a third of a million students are run like InterAmerican. Even as Gov. Rick Scott leads a charge to privatize education on a historic scale, our state's private schools are among the least regulated in the nation. "If a school like that exists," Cheryl Etters of the Florida Department of Education said when asked about InterAmerican and its lax standards, "we might know about it, but we can't really do anything."


The FDOE apparently bars convicted felons from running schools, but guess what? According to them they don't do background checks.

It's getting easier and easier to say that accountability is only for teachers.

And the accreditation?

Told of the circumstances of my new diploma, Anderson, president of the accrediting agency, responded Tuesday that InterAmerican's accreditation "expired today... If your facts check out after a complete legal review, we will not renew them.


Here is their website.

InterAmerican Christian Academy

In big bold letters:

No classes to attend

No FCAT

Convenient

InterAmerican Christian Academy offers an Independent Study Program, our Diploma is accepted in most Colleges and Universities. Earn your High School Diploma from the comfort of your home, at a pace that is right for you. Our highly qualified staff is completely dedicated to your success. Take control of your life and GRADUATE today!


Remember, only teachers are held accountable. It's a free for all for every one else.
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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. In free market America, the only standard is the marketplace
if someone offers this "degree" and someone else buys it, it is a success

The free market is self validating

The free market is the Law of Nature
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MinneapolisMatt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. Good grief.
How vile.
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AmericaIsGreat Donating Member (611 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. How can they NOT do anything
What the fuck????
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. Good question.
Why can't they do something?

:hi:
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Ex Lurker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 03:07 AM
Response to Reply #14
44. most likely because the state legislature hasn't authrorized them to nt.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. I wonder how much they want for a law degree.
I could use me one of them.
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ellenfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. makes you wonder if michelle bachmann got hers there. eom
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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. k & r
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
6. Transworld Accrediting Commission that is listed on their site
Is not one of the three accreditation agencies that the State of Florida accepts:

While, as stated, the Florida Department of Education does not officially recognize any of the various accrediting agencies that accredit private schools, several accrediting organizations have been listed in the Florida Statutes in conjunction with the Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Program and a number of accrediting associations are recognized by the Florida High School Athletic Association for purposes of membership.

Section 1002.55,(3)(b)1., Florida Statutes, states that a private school participating in the VPK Program must be accredited by an accrediting association that is a member of one of the following associations of accrediting organizations:

National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA)

Sothern Association of Colleges and Schools

Florida Association of Academic Nonpublic School (FAANS)

http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/Information/Private_...
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Interesting, thanks. Especially since the state says they can do nothing.
Not much oversight at all.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
16. I'd have to call a friend but I think Jeb removed a lot of the oversight
My friend used to work at Department of Education, I think in the section that used to review school accreditation. I'll try to remember tomorrow to call her - I haven't talked to her for a while so it'd be a good excuse!
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Yes, Jeb did, and Scott is going nuts deregulating everything.
They don't even want the water supply monitored by EPA. Scary stuff.

Let me know what your friend has to say.
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #17
25. I can't wait for Miss Cleo to come back.
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Ummm these guys would never do VPK, or athletics... it is about $$$
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. They couldn't get with VPK unless they had brain uploading technology or some crap.
:P

It's designed to get suckers to pay up. It works OK for jobs like construction and crap but few companies with any rep would trust such a degree.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #10
23. Hey, look at the FTC FL tax credit voucher schools. Many unaccredited.
I did a search on Hillsborough County, and you have to scroll over to see accreditation.

http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/Information/PrivateS...
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Thanks. Sounded bogus.
No one is going to actually take a bullshit $400 paid for diploma seriously.
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
9. The uneducated GWB had lots of diplomas and degrees from America's finest schools.
"Legacy" was what they called folks like him. Those legacies bought their diplomas and degrees too.

I've got a feeling this kind of shit is gonna grow and spread.



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MikeMc Donating Member (636 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
29. He scored 25 on his High Stakes Air National Guard Test
One point above "too dumb to fly". Sez Greg Palast in "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy", p. 107.

See, in Yale as an undergrad, he was very busy branding pledges with hot coat hangers, so he couldn't learn enough to keep himself out of Vietnam.

Very interesting life-vignette from a guy who mongered war in Vietnam and Iraq, and who instituted High Stakes NCLB testing.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
12. Every graduate also gets a crucifix and a gun, too! nt
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
15. Here we have WASC, Florida has SACS
There are six regional accreditation organizations in the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_accreditation

In California, WASC has to certify the programs I've worked in, both K12 and post secondary.

The equivalent organization for Florida is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, http://www.sacs.org /

We have our loopy schools out west but they aren't taken seriously.
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StarsInHerHair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 04:18 AM
Response to Original message
18. everything they can do to destroy public education, like rabid dogs from every
angle........reminds me of fall of Rome
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #18
26. It has that feel to it sometimes. Like a frenzied rush to kill public schools.
It seemed to come on very quickly, and it is moving along even more quickly.

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StarsInHerHair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #26
43. oh this was simmering for a long decade on the 1980s in churches & Christian
schools, this did not come out of nowhere, but then, you already know that because of how well-organized they are. We have to use Twitter & Facebook & online forums like this to really organize & not act like 'the other right' deer-in-the-headlights look; how many years will it take these "Dems" to get it? Too long for education. I'll mention a n idea I've had for years: convert empty shopping malls into high schools, it has LOTS of bathrooms, lots of electrical outlets, they're built to hold many people. I've seen churches convert a shopping center into 1 of their buildings. For nutrition I got an idea from a thread here: school gardens, they could only eat what's in season, but it'd be a learning experience & can involve both science & math, even fruit trees come in mini sizes of 5 ft tall, they're called dwarf trees.
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NightWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:48 AM
Response to Original message
19. I busted several diploma mill colleges, but this is my first highschool diploma mill story
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BoWanZi Donating Member (502 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. Have you ever heard of Dixie Randock? Many many years ago I once supported her on a tech call
She used to run several websites and I had to help her on the phone a couple of times. This was way way back in the late '90s or so.

She became infamous in the diploma mill world.
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NightWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #27
35. dont remember too many names. I worked in New Orleans which appeared to be Diploma Mill Mecca
several people who were applying for government jobs were listing degrees from PO Boxes and small houses around NOLA and Metarie.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Speaking of New Orleans and Arne....
I know we weren't, but I will never forget the coldness with which he said that Katrina was the best thing to happen to New Orleans in education. Coldhearted.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
20. WOW!
And the graduates are qualified for any important Florida job.
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tuckessee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
21. Better than wasting several years in the public education system
and still coming out as one of the semi-literate, historically ignorant morons they produce with assembly line precision.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
22. Wow. 81% of Pre-K providers are private according to FDOE site
Provider Type Provider Type Number Provider Type Percent
Family Care 120 2%
Private Center 4,917 81%
Private School 24 0%
Public Schools 990 16%
Provider Type Total 6,051 100%

http://www.fldoe.org/earlylearning/account.asp

I hope the state demands more accountability in that area.

More on the funding here.

http://www.fldoe.org/earlylearning/funding.asp

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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
24. Throw in a ordained minister certificate for another $25.00.
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MikeMc Donating Member (636 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
28. I think Palin got her B. S. in History here.
All AP credits
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russspeakeasy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
30. Thanks, Mad...How many other states is this crap going on?
We seemed to be overly "blessed" with the diploma and drug mills in florida.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #30
34. Take a look at the FDOE link in the OP. Check out private schools' accreditation.
and scroll over for the private schools under accreditation. It's amazing how many are not accredited. And they can get public money for vouchers under a couple of programs.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
31. Doggone it, I hate it when they change the link.....updating Miami New Times link.
Edited on Sun Jun-05-11 04:16 PM by madfloridian
http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2011-06-02/news/interameri... /

You have to scroll down for the story, but it basically seems the same.

It was only 3 days ago. I hate it when they do that.

Here's the print link, maybe that won't change.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/content/printVersion/28173...
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moose65 Donating Member (525 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
32. LOL
On their "accreditation" page, it says they are registered with the Collage Board for SAT prep! Misspelled words on websites are one indicator of how legitimate an organization is.
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
33. A winner in the Race to the Top.
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radhika Donating Member (563 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
37. For $13.99 you can be a Saintly Healer...or
All these and many,many more at the Universal Life Church's Store

Sorceress
Druid
Child of the Universe....


http://www.themonastery.org/catalog/receiveareligiousti...
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Oh my, I chose to check ones in FL....here's what I got.
http://www.themonastery.org/?destination=wedding-offici...

Is that site for real? Check out the one from Okeechobee.
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radhika Donating Member (563 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. It's not a Florida Ed Site - but it does exist.
It's connected to the long-standing Universal Life Church, which lets millions conduct weddings and the like as ministers.

This is their gift area - I posted it just for a fun alternative to a for-profit degree.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
39. But, but, but it's Christian! It can't possibly be a scam!!
:sarcasm: :sarcasm: :sarcasm:
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
40. This is so fucking heartbreaking and infuriating!! Pardon my language but I just
spoke with a friend who's significant other has been a public school elementary school teacher for 27 years. She loves teaching kids but is quitting after next year because she just can't take all the bullshit and crap the school administrations require now.

Then a few minutes ago I saw the video of the high school student a head taller than his teacher backing her into a door and getting his clock cleaned by a 64-year old art teacher who couldn't take that kind of behavior. I showed the video to my wife who was a teacher's aide in middle school for two years. She said that she saw kids do that to teachers all the time and the administration of the school said that the teacher's responsibility was to deal with the child in a non-disciplinary manner UNLESS the student's actions were threatening the entire class. My wife quit that job out of sheer frustration and she LOVES teaching and working with kids.

No wonder our teachers can't get their jobs done.

Sorry to hijack the thread but I'm really angry about how our teachers are being treated. And how the administrators are coddling kids who are bullies.

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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
41. I am glad I received a real education...
this shit is absurd.
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cppuddy Donating Member (40 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
45. do they have a PHD. program
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msider Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
46. YAY!
for charter schools!
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