Test Scores Low at St. Paul Charter School Under Investigation

Updated: 02/05/2014 7:34 AM
Created: 02/04/2014 10:10 PM
By: Jay Kolls

The Community School of Excellence (CSE) faces two investigations: one from the FBI, the other St. Paul Police. Now, former teachers are critical of its classroom habits. 

The FBI is looking into improper billing of student meals, and St. Paul Police are investigating claims that school administrators did not immediately report possible cases of child abuse. 

The charter school has 960 students, kindergarten through eighth grade, and state test scores show relatively low performance in reading and math proficiency.

One former CSE teacher tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, "I think school officials know what they have to do, but they do not have a handle on how to do it."

Jeff Cater taught at CSE for a year and a half but left two months ago because, "I felt the students were not getting what they deserved, which is a quality education."

Cather says taxpayers are not getting their money's worth out of the $9 million they give to CSE every year.

Cather says that in all of his years of teaching, "this was the worst experience I ever had." Cather says the staff is hard-working and dedicated to helping the students, but the school's administration is not doing a good job of helping students prepare for high school.

CSE officials told us they were too busy for an on-camera interview but say they have a higher percentage of English Language Learning (ELL) students and, among those, they have higher test scores than other comparable charter schools with a high number of ELL students.

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