Seven questions for Paul Niles

A 'stonewall' does not make for a good charter school
Lighthouse School won't answer these questions, so we ask our readers to do so instead

By Walter Brooks

We first emailed the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School's (CCLCS) Director Paul Niles these questions on June 6.

On at least three occasions since, Mr. Niles has emailed to say he would start answering them, but now, a month and a half later, he has not yet done so.

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday, and it may have been an extra credit course when Paul Niles went to college, but since the questions are important for the taxpayers who fund this school, we now turn to you, our readers, for the answers.

Please answer one or all with your comments below. We will select those we feel are most reasonable and run then as a follow-up story next week. We also ask Paul Niles again to answer them himself.

These are the seven questions that Mr. Niles has not answered:

  1. CCLCS has always enjoyed a wonderful academic reputation until the problem making AYP in mathematics arose two years ago. What do you think happened? What has the school done to address this deficiency? What happens next if you don't make "safe harbor" this year in mathematics?
  2. How have student learning styles in the past 15 years changed? How has instruction at CCLCS evolved to pace those changes?
  3. The January 2011 board minutes mentioned the possibility of spending $6,000 on a redesign of the school's web site. Was that project put out to bid or anyone engaged to execute the redesign? Sturgis Public Charter School offers an excellent web design program for their students. We have been told they did their own web site and have executed web sites for mid-Cape businesses. Have you considered furthering your joint mission - and saving money - by having Sturgis do a new web site for CCLCS at a far lower cost?
  4. Now that the school is unionized, does that mean you'll be required to use only unionized labor on the construction work if the Harwich theater purchase moves forward?
  5. When a municipal school district hits a financial snag, they have the option of requesting a Proposition 2 ½ override or other support from their town government. What does a charter school do if a budget deficit arises?
  6. Many readers have asked questions about Mr. David Agnew. Does Mr. Agnew have a college degree? What Massachusetts education licensure does he hold?
  7. According to your board minutes, the state has ruled that a charter school cannot require a student to tour their facility or meet with staff prior to entering the lottery. How does CCLCS reach out to area fifth graders and their families to educate them about your school?

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