West Palm Beach Charter School Mystery Location

The City of West Palm Beach is once again stepping into unfamiliar territory by moving forward with the first city charter school, led again by Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell. In the very near future, the city will be upgrading and beautifying LA Kirksey Street, also known as 15th Street, from Australian Avenue east to Tamarind Avenue. The Roosevelt Full Service Center, which use to be the old Roosevelt High School,  is located on that corner.  It is a street and an area of the city that city officials care absolutely nothing about so my suspicions are raised. The entire surrounding areas needs to be re-developed so It seems odd that city officials would pick one strip of roadway, about a quarter of a mile long to make over. I’m wondering if that is going to be the location of the new charter school?One has to wonder because city officials won’t reveal their chosen location, not even to the school board. City officials have had two possible locations prior to applying to the school district for clearance. The school district’s application did have a question about location of the school. The city attorney advised not to give the location and to just say we haven’t a location.

In November 2013, the mayor and commissioners interviewed Mr. Conley, a possible candidate to run the city’s first charter school and they seemed to be pleased with him and all of his proclaimed successes in many different locations throughout the United States. When this man was asked about successes with minority children, he boasted about how the test scores were so high until you would have thought it was a suburban school and everyone was surprised because their faces were dark!  When questioned further about third graders, Mr. Conley replied,  “the children are too naive to know that they’re stupid and too little to know that they’re not very bright”  There wasn’t one outcry from any elected officials or anyone else on the dais about the disparaging remarks made about the very children they care so much about and who this man might be overseeing. There were two African American Commissioners who were present during this presentation and they, as well as others, said nothing about the thoughtless comment and did not publicly question the insensitive remarks in defense of children.

There is a good chance Mr. Conley will be hired to run the charter school for the city because our West Palm Beach leaders have a history of gravitating towards bad choices and failure. Many charter schools, under the guise of caring about children, are depleting resources from already struggling traditional public schools and are too often an investors dream of making money, at the expense of children, teachers and tax payers. If the city is not beautifying the small section of LA Kirksey because the city’s charter school will be housed at the Roosevelt Center then the up grading project is probably intended to benefit the Related/Rybovich Project down the road, tying the downtown, north to 44th and Flagler.

There should never be secret back room dealings, using tax payers money. Tax payers should be allowed to give input on every aspect of this and other inept ventures of irresponsible leaders, leading the city into fields the city has no expertise in and no business in. The public has no desires to just pay bills but want a say in how our money is spent otherwise, let the policy makers pay for their own passions and failures.