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Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:32 PM

Charter school chain with local ties runs into trouble in Pinellas

The charter school board responsible for two Mavericks High schools in Pinellas County plans to break with charter management company Mavericks in Education over curriculum problems and poor educational practices, according to a story in the Tampa Bay Times.

Mavericks, which runs nine charter schools in the state, including one in Osceola, switched to a new online curriculum that Pinellas officials said did not meet state standards.

Mavericks is also planning to open a school in Orange but has deferred for a year. They will have to submit a curriculum plan before opening, said Christopher Bernier, who oversees charter schools for Orange County schools.

In Pinellas, the Largo and St. Petersburg high schools enrolled about 850 at-risk students last year. Susan Latvala, chair of the board that oversees the schools, told the Tampa Bay Times that Mavericks changed the curriculum to get students to earn credits more quickly. A district review found that Mavericks told teachers to reduce assignments and assign grades based on their judgment instead of course completion, the Times reported.


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