Some witnesses walked out of court Thursday evening, with scathing review of the Excellence Academy Charter School.
In court, the woman who evaluated the charter school testified that the academy was anything, but excellent.
Outside the courtroom, she told us the same thing.
“Our recommendation was the school should not continue for a fifth year. The board voted on that and I think that vote should stand,” Kathleen Padian, a partner of TenSquare LLC said. TenSquare is the company that conducted the evaluation.
Yet, officials from Excellence Academy immediately fired back.
“Based on that the school board decided to close down a school, completely disarray 200 students and fire 27 people based on Mrs. Padian’s testimony and if based on that, they need to go and get their money back,” Roosevelt Wright, the executive director of Excellence Academy, said.
Padian argues that Excellence Academy failed to meet a list of criteria.
“The Monroe City School Board has a policy and they were aware of it,” Padian said. “They were given four years to make sure they were following all of those accountability rules and regulations.”
Wright’s business with the academy also stirred up controversy in the court room.
Attorneys for MCSB claimed that the school is leasing a building at a church Wright is a pastor at, for about $360,000 each year.
“The amount of money that was being paid to the church, Tabernacle Church, that jumped out as a very high expense for such a small school,” Padian said.
However, Wright claimed that the attack against Excellence Academy is personal.
“This whole day, all these thousands of dollars being spent is basically being spent to get Roosevelt and all of you heard in the testimony it was all about Roosevelt,” he said.