Superintendent Franklin D. Smith wants to turn over control of 11 D.C. Public Schools to Minneapolis-based Education Alternatives Inc. (EAI). But the Washington Teachers’ Union, which has stubbornly blocked any reform that might result in pink slips, has issued a report on the private, for-profit company’s performance in Baltimore and elsewhere. The union claims that Charm City schools managed by EAI saw a 4 percent decline in reading scores and a 3 percent decline in math, while scores at city-run schools rose 4 percent in reading and 6 percent in math. After EAI fired 30 Baltimore special-education teachers, the federal Department of Education found the company violated laws governing the teaching of special-ed students. The report also notes that EAI took federal Chapter 1 funds earmarked to help disadvantaged and low- achieving children, and invested the money in computer labs. As part of its investigation, the feds recommended that Maryland recover $94,000 of “EAI’s general legal costs improperly charged to federal funds.”

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