Frank Biden, younger brother of the man who is second in line for the White House, has a flair for the dramatic. Last year, he called the Mavericks High charter school in Palm Springs a "hope factory" and said its management company, Mavericks in Education Florida, was "on a mission from God."
Now, he says Mavericks schools are going to "save the country." As he wrote on his blog yesterday:
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Frank Biden plans to save the country, one student at a time. With the dropout rates in the state of Florida and in the entire nation reaching alarming levels, the brother of US Vice President Joe Biden is dedicated to eradicate eradicating the silent epidemic by serving as the President and Director for Business Development for Mavericks in Education.
Well, it's true. Mavericks does serve students who would otherwise drop out of high school. But the West Palm Beach Beach company is also facing three whistle-blower lawsuits alleging that two of its schools inflate attendance records and improperly alter grades. Many of the Mavericks schools have graduation rates below 15 percent. They score "incomplete" on state report cards because so few students are taking the FCAT.
In February, the Palm Beach County School Board was so concerned about Mavericks' academic record that it denied the company's request to open three new schools. Yet the company continues to profit from its eight existing taxpayer-funded schools.
Is this a trend we should be proud to export to the rest of the nation?