Fan Mail From Some Flounder

From: White Rabbit
Sent: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 3:11 PM
Subject: SWECC

Good morning, Nick.

Earlier today Académie Lafayette released a notice detailing their reasons for “stepping away” from negotiations with KCPS for SWECC. I have the sneaky feeling there’s more going on than what they state: what say you?

White Rabbit…

Dear WR,

Hmmm…here’s a scenario for you:

Recently KCPS announced SWECC requires $22 million in renovations.

This is somewhat of a surprise as less than 5 years ago KCPS stated SWECC only needed $3.1 mil in rehab. However the new $22 mil figure serendipitously gives KCPS an “out” to their vexing problem: they can just close the place. In fact today Dr. Green stated that he would only guarantee that SWECC would stay open through next school year. Which means he’ll close SWECC as soon as decency allows. 1

Then…suddenly…SWECC is up for sale! Wow, who’d of thought?

And as rumor would have it, there’s already a buyer champing at the bit to snap up SWECC: Bob Berkebile. 2 Ol’ Bob’s the founder and partner at Sustainable Partners.

Now maybe ol’ Bob hasn’t actually had a sit down, face-to-face with Académie Lafayette about SWECC, but we’ll give you 5 to 8 that someone from Sustainable Partners has done so. And more than once, at that. Were you a fly 3 on the wall those conversations would have seemed eerily familiar:

[putative conversation]
X: Hey! You know what? We’ll will lease a portion of the SWECC building we’re buying to you for next to nuthin’
O: Seriously?
X: Hell to the yeah! The neighbors would look more kindly on us if we keep a school in the mix of eclectic condos, chic gyms and posh art galleries and cafes we’re planning on developing.
O: Sounds good to us.
[/putative conversation – (isn’t this reminiscent of last summer’s Foutch Brothers/Académie Lafayette/Westport High School ménage à trois ?)]

Et voila! A couple years down the line Académie Lafayette has a high school in SWECC. 4

That’s what I say. 5 6

Fan Mail From Some Flounder

Show 6 footnotes

  1. No need for a vote by the pesky school board – simply decree “the cost to renovate is prohibitive.”
  2. Yes, Gunnar Hand’s direct report at BNIM, THAT Bob Berkebile.
  3. Or, given the latest valuation of SWECC, more likely a fly speck, a smeared globule of once-fly left behind by a harried teacher’s filthy plastic swatter.
  4. And all without having to pander to KC’s Black United Front, Freedom, Inc. (who let their internet domain fail, hence no link), MORE2, SCLC, Urban League, or the Urban Summit…because it will then be a 100% Académie Lafayette Joint. No partnership with KCPS.
  5. If by I one means a whole bunch of people who have been watching this process for a number of years; credit where credit’s due.
  6. Of course all the above assumes Académie Lafayette wants SWEC so bad it’s willing to wait until the 2016-17 school year – that’s the earliest this scenario would work, and maybe not until 2017-18. A lot can happen in the interim; if Académie Lafayette’s board wants a high school, they would have a serious Plan B, right?

8 thoughts on “Fan Mail From Some Flounder”

  1. So what this really means is that Dr Green has been no more able {or willing} to successfully negotiate with the entrenched black power organizations {Freedom Inc and others} than the previous KCSD Superintendents. Like his predecessors he’s afraid to take too firm a hand lest those orgs clamor for his removal, right? Which means that the school district will, at best, retain its provisional accreditation status but not actually educate the majority of its scholars. Wonderful.

  2. I’m the parent of an AL 3rd grader and all i can say is I’m glad she’s not in middle school – we’ve friends who do and they’re angry and disappointed with the whole process, even the ones who initially supported AL’s drive to get a high school. They just feel like the board led them down the primrose path. I feel terrible for those who have to figure out how to suddenly afford either private or church school tuition for their kids.

    Can I just say that while AL is a great school we’re ALL fed up with the Board’s pie-in-the-sky plans that end up just another bunch of empty promises? We don’t understand why the board has tied every plan to the Kansas City school district and continually rushed this along. This is the second Kansas City school district proposed scheme that has failed in as many years. What’s wrong with putting a long-term plan in place to finance our own building? If we can raise $3 million to take care of the 2 buildings we have now surely we could raise enough over 5 or 7 years to buy a school. Do something reasonable instead of all this nonsense. Is that too much to ask?

  3. I guess asking students from a failing school district to test into an advanced IB program was just too much, huh?

    I’m an AL parent and after listening to Rodney Williams state that asking KC school kids to test is was “divisive” I about lost it. What’s the difference between testing into Lincoln Prep and the proposed AL high school? Oh, the fact that AL middle school graduates didn’t have to test in?

    Well, see, the AL students would be graduating from one of the top schools in the state, with some of the highest scores in the state. And all they would be guaranteed would be admittance; if they couldn’t hack the program they would have to go elsewhere.

    Where would the KC public school kids be graduating from? Some of the worst run, poorest performing schools in the state. Of course they should test in.

    That’s not divisive, that’s just winnowing out beforehand those who won’t be able to hack an IB program. But I suppose it’s not politically correct any more to mention the majority of KCPS scholars can barely read and write, is it?

  4. Here we go again. And what do you suppose the Board will have to say to us tomorrow night?

    I mean of useful substance, that is. Anything? I doubt it.

      1. the school’s never been accredited as far as i know. i heard the board made some noises some time back about getting it done but it must not have been important enough for them to follow up.

        1. If someone here is going to listen to the board tonight @ 6 PM, perhaps they could bring up the topic? I wouldf think accreditation is more important right now than a high school sometime in the future.

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