Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Back to the BIG Issues at Hand

Our past few posts have taken us a bit off track and we feel that it is once again time to reiterate not only our dedication to MVRCS but to also restate the major issues and concerns that led to the creation of this blog. Many have accused us of being 'haters' of the school but nothing could be further from the truth. In September the Robert Hughes Academy Charter School in Springfield, MA was scheduled to close as a result of "mismanagement and misgovernance issues" (Hughes Charter School Must Close) after the Board of Education voted 11-0 to revoke their charter. That is exactly what we are trying to prevent through the use of this blog as a communication  vehicle> Our intent is to keep parents informed about issues and concerns that could potentially result in MVRCS facing the same type of voting situation. Yes, we could remain silent as the Board and Administration hopes that ALL parents will (and their attempts to encourage the same by limiting the information and involvement of parents) but we believe that their bad acts will eventually catch up to them and the children will ultimately suffer.Please let us know if you believe we overlooked additional issues or concerns.

A quick overview of the potentially damaging examples include:

Violation of Waitlist and Lottery Regulations
    1. Relatives being re-admitted/receiving preferential treatment:
      1. Finn's relatives being re-admitted;
      2. Gennetti's relatives being re-admitted;
      3. Questions regarding residency requirements;
      4. Questions regarding children of staff circumventing the lottery and waitlist process.
    2. The DESE requesting a copy of the lottery results and waitlist from last year.
    3. The demographics of the school that include a high percentage of non-minorities and lack of non-english speaking students.
        Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct Violations
    1. Hiring of relatives, friends and associates:
      1. Difference in treatment, expectations, and pay;
      2. Question of qualifications of some;
    2. Duty of Care and Loyalty
      1. Neill Kinnon serving on the Board and as City Councilor with the two 'agencies' doing business together;
      2. prohibits them from doing anything that would allow them to profit personally or indirectly because of their position.
        1. A trustee who seeks special privileges in school admission or other educational benefits for a member of his or her family violates the duty of loyalty to the charter school board;
        2. conflict of interest law generally prohibits Board members from taking advantage of their position to gain improper benefits for themselves, their relatives, their associates, or their friends;
        3. This restriction also applies to current Board members who have a contract with an agency separate from the school and who wish to enter into a contract with the school through that agency. (? Would the City of Malden be considered an ‘Agency’ and ‘City Councilor’ have a contract with them?);
        4. Must avoid conduct that creates a reasonable impression that they are likely to act, or fail to act, because of undue influence by any person.
          Special Education Issues:
    1. Kathy Kinnon’s qualifications, relationship to Neil Kinnon, and questions of work hours and responsibilities;
      1. Concern regarding parents who wish to appeal IEP's and/or decisions made by Kathy Kinnon being decided by a relative.
    2. Question of lacking IEP’s that fail to identify students current abilities and goal (as per 2007 DESE report);
    3. Concern regarding support and communication between classroom teachers/IA's and Special Ed teachers;
      1. Do all staff who work with children on IEP's receive a copy of their IEP before begin to work with student.
          Questions regarding school finances:
    1. Question of whether the school is following laws governing contractors and bidding requirements;
    2. Question of differences in financial records of Annual Reports v. financial records found on DESE website.
          Violations of Charter School Laws and Regulations:
    1. Open Meeting/ Executive Session Violations;
    2. Obtaining Meeting Minutes for Executive Sessions.


  1. That's more like it-keep pushing on the real issues.

  2. You do realize there is not one thing in this post that shows anyone did anything wrong?

  3. To Anonymous @ December 16th @ 8:17AM
    REALLY? Finn and Gennetti's relatives jumping the waitlist? Not wrong? The DESE stating that IEP's do not contain the required information? Going into Executive Sessions EVERY Open Meeting? Neil Kinnon hiring so many of his friends and relatives? Do you need us to publish the actual LAWS? Also, I believe the State Ethics and Attorney General may disagree with you on your statement.

  4. Sorry, that last post was mine.
    Since I'm not the keeper of the rules let's get into this a little deeper. Let's say I were to leave Malden and took my child out of MVRCS. How long would I have to be gone before having to enter the lottery again? if a sibling were still in the school could one child come and go several times?

  5. Andrew -
    If you remove your child from the school, they would have to have a younger sibling in order to get back into the school and or onto the waitlist (it rolls over so they would already have to be on it which they wouldn't be). They can't legally allow anyone to just re-enter the school, all MUST go through the lottery, it's the law. If your child was already in the school, then they would not have a spot on the waitlist. As for one sibling staying and one leaving and then trying to get back in, technically they would go to the front of the waitlist but that may only be a one time deal. Besides, neither of these examples kept a child in the school - one family actually moved to NH and then moved back.
    Another big no-no is for a teacher to be allowed to automatically get their child into the school, they have to go through the lottery process just like everyone else. So when a new teacher comes to the school and then suddenly their child gets in, a law has been broken.

  6. That's interesting. Not that I don't trust you but could you post the lottery regs?
    You must have them handy with such a speedy answer.

  7. I would like to ask this, what was the original reason you decided to go on this tangent of a blog, aside of your hatred of the Kinnons et al. Who peed in your cheerios just enough to get you to hate the faculty of this school as much as you do? and my other question is pure curiosity... How many people are directly in your little band of fools? Not counting your fake little counter on the home page, just the people you actually connect with, and discuss the travesty that you consider the charter school to be?

    Oh and while I'm at it, When are you going to start up your own charter school? Because from the sound of it, you must have an ulterior motive for creating such stories that could only cause harm to this school.

  8. To :)- This IS our school! Why should we have to start another school when we have this one? The only problem with it is the guy who thinks HE owns the school and the rest of us are just there to provide the money and the bodies to make his self image and career in his own way. The lines have been blurred between his role as a board member and the running of the school. Let's not even mention how he has used his position as ward councillor to his advantage while using the school as his bullpen for whatever he wants or needs to get done. Get rid of him and his relatives/friends and put in a professional educator and see how well the school runs. The focus would be on the children not the money or his ego.

  9. :) Any harm done to the school has been done by Kinnon and Krew. They will be the ones who bring down the school. The blog isn't breaking the law, it is them and their misdeeds. When the AG's office is done with Probationgate, it will have time to move onto the charter school. This blog is just shining a light on these people. If you can't take it or defend it, something is wrong with you as well.

  10. Well said! This school is run the very same way Probationgate and Sheriffgate were run. Kinnongate's time will come when the AG has the time to look at them. One can only get away with these unlawful acts for so long. It catches up with them sooner or later.

  11. Technically this blog has broken the law, and it's too bad the school hasn't picked up on it yet as they could have this shut down.

  12. Alright I guess you didn't have any of the facts on hand when you answered my question. How about some stats on the demographics of the sending districts compared to the school. don't have those either? That's ok. Can we go back arguing about nothing again?

  13. You should add a recommend button for the tools who like to pat each other on the back!

  14. Andrew25 -
    Oh how you like to taunt...of course the information is right at you go and just fyi, it came from:

    "The charter school must hold a lottery to determine which students to admit if there are more applications received than seats available. Every time an admissions lottery takes place, the process must be fair and all rules must be consistently applied. See Appendix 11, Memorandum on Enrollment Policies."

    "Even after all spaces in the school are filled through a lottery, schools must continue to draw the names of all students who apply and place the names of students not selected for an available space on a waiting list in the order the names were drawn from each category"

    "The anti-discrimination requirement is at the core of charter school enrollment law. Schools may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, athletic
    performance, special need, proficiency in the English language or a foreign language, or prior academic achievement. G.L. c. 71, § 89(l); 603 CMR 1.06(1)."


    Charter schools may not give preference to children of staff members or Board members.

    Charter schools specializing in music or art may not give preferences based on auditions.

    Charter schools may not make statements that are intended to discourage parents/guardians of students with disabilities, English language learners, or any other protected group of students from submitting an application to the school.

  15. To :) @ December 16, 2:10
    The blog was started as a way of informing parents as to what was going on out of site. The school has used intimidation and control as a way of limiting how much parents know, especially concerning the unethical, illegal, and/or corrupt actions. Many of us are also very tired of seeing too many children not meet their potential and/or feel like failures as a result of the schools inability and unwillingness to provide them with the education their are entitled to.
    No one hates the 'Kinnons et al' or the faculty but oppose individuals who believe they are above the laws that govern us. We believe some of the teachers work very hard and deserve to be treated better while others should be shown the door. We also dislike seeing so much of the schools funds be spent on individuals who are not earning it.
    The remainder of your post does not warrant a reply.

  16. Oh by the way :) - how has this blog broken the law? Do share with us.

  17. No, I figure I'll share it with the school first, to see if they choose to pursue.

  18. I don't know if this is the place to post, but I've heard that the school fired the athletic director. Wonder why?

  19. Yes, he was let go. He attempted to exert influence over the lottery process, and the audit firm who runs it immediately had him terminated. They have zero tolerance for the lottery not running 100% by the books.

  20. They also fired a sped teacher-could be a rumor though....

  21. Anonymous 5:14pm: It was mentioned they will pour more money into that house he lived in to convert it to office space for Dr. McCleary. Maybe the guy just couldn't drink anymore koolaid. He wasn't from around here.

  22. To Anonymous @ December 17 5:47PM
    Funny, cause I thought I heard his nephew got in several years ago.
    Oh and 'zero tolerance for the lottery not running 100% by the books' - - -hope you say that in jest as we all know THAT ain't true!

  23. December 19, 2010 9:49 PM, I think that you meant to say "Oh and 'zero tolerance for the lottery not running 100% by Mr. Kinnections book'"

  24. I'm still waiting for the information that shows the two people named in this post did something wrong. Good thing I'm not holding my breath!

    I realize there are a lot of simple minded people who enjoy the concept of group think on here but could we move away from the koolaid and kinnection comments? Borrrrrrrrrrinnnnnng!

  25. Andrew25 -
    Do you mean Finn and Gennetti? They allowed their relatives to re-enter the school after leaving. Finn's went to Saugus and Gennetti's to NH and then were allowed to re-enter. The regulations do not allow for re-entry and other individuals have been told straight out that spots can not be saved - once you leave, you leave. Neither got in through a younger sibling - both had had their youngest one in. The school must accept new students through the established wait-list. How do you NOT see what was done wrong here? Are you really that dense? (j/k before :) starts on my tone)
    BTW, funny for someone who DOESN'T know any of these folks, you knew where to sit at the holiday show....right up front within the sectioned off area reserved for Kinnon friends and family. Apparently your wife wasn't so sure but you made sure to direct her (for the rest of us, it looked as if all the seats in those first few rows were taken). Again, I liked the bright blue baseball cap, hope you took it off during the star spangle banner.

  26. Yes... I am that dense. You just laid out your position very well. Now just point me in the direction of the regulation that says this can't be done and you will have won your very first argument!

    First I was Neil Kinnon, then became Greg's friend and now I'm just some guy in a blue hat? I don't know if I can handle another demotion. The worst part is you actually have pictures of me to reference and still screwed it up! SO Sad...So Bad!

  27. Andy -
    Here you go and just to make sure you UNDERSTAND, if the student LEAVES the school, the school must select names from the waitlist to fill the spot. If it isn't filled by Feb 15, the spot is rolled over to the next year. In the case of Finn's relatives, with 2200 kids on a waiting list, since the 2 children in question left well before Feb 15, the positions would have been filled. Also, as the kids names were already taken from the lottery list/wait list, they would no longer be on any such list to be eligible for re-entry. Is it starting to click at all or are you trying to ski the slippery slope that your friends do?

    (d) Charter schools shall place names of students not selected in an enrollment lottery on a waiting list in the order the names were drawn. In conformance with M.G.L. c. 71, § 89, charter schools shall, when a student stops attending for any reason, attempt to fill vacant seats up to February 15th, excluding seats in the last half of the grades offered and in grades ten, 11, and 12. A vacancy not filled after February 15th moves into the subsequent grade, to be filled the following September if such grade is not in the last half of the grades offered and is not grades ten, 11, or 12. Seats for students who have accepted an offer of admission in the charter school but have never attended are exempt from 603 CMR 1.06 (4)(d). If a school has an odd number of grades, the number of grades in the last half shall be rounded up to the nearest whole number.

  28. AND, BTW - I don't think I'm mistaken about you wearing a blue hat but demoted you have been!

  29. Why was there reserved seating?

  30. What grade was the child in? Why did the person who originally made this allegation say their last name ended in a C?

  31. To Anonymous @ December 20th 9:44
    Although we didn't realize it at the time, the first few rows were roped off early, before the show began. At first we were under the impression it was for students or staff but later realized that it was for neither and didn't quite understand it. More recently someone questioned whether Neil Kinnon still saved a the first few rows of seats for his friends and family and it became clear as to why those seats were taped off.

  32. Andrew -
    No, the last name of Finn's relatives do not end in a 'c' but I believe Gennetti's relatives last name began with a 'c' (if I'm remembering the details correctly but do not have it right in front of me at the moment). Finn's nieces were in either K and 1st or 1st and 2nd....? Gennetti's were a bit older I believe and that family had 3 children. Defend all you want but both were wrong regardless of how you slice or dice it.