FORT WORTH — What started out as an ordinary school board meeting at Deion Sanders' Prime Prep Academy in Forth Worth Sunday night turned into anything but when parents unleashed on the school board.
I've been attending Prime Prep Board meetings since the charter school first started a year-and-a-half ago, and Sunday was the first night that parents — or anyone from the general public — has even shown up.
And they didn't just show up to be seen. They showed up to sound off.
We've been hearing complaints about the school academics and operations since day one, but few parents had been willing to go public with their concerns until Sunday, when the dam burst.
A teacher, several parents, and four students showed up to unload on the three Prime Prep board members in attendance, and on the school's superintendent.
Allegations included lazy and inexperienced teachers; some teachers being responsible for providing instruction in four subjects to poor curriculum; and lack of discipline.
Reginald Calhoun, the parent of one former student, summed it up this way:
"This is education, okay? This is education! You can't play with that, and we're playing with it," he said. "And right now, your constituents... the people that you are charged to do the right thing with... don't have confidence in the leadership at Prime Prep Academy right now."
Noticeably absent from this and every board meeting was Prime Prep founder Deion Sanders and CEO D. L. Wallace. Taking all the heat Sunday night was board president T. Chris Lewis, who welcomed the criticism, took the heat, and vowed to put all of his energy and effort into turning Prime Prep Academy around.
Academic performance ratings just released by the state showed Prime Prep getting the lowest possible score.