DALLAS –– Following the dubious designation of the state’s lowest accountability rating, Deion Sanders is calling for a major overhaul of Prime Prep Academy by organizing a coup to oust his own charter school’s CEO.
The problems are mounting at the troubled school, which was started by Sanders and business partner D.L. Wallace, the school’s CEO, last year. The two united to create what they believed would be the most successful taxpayer-funded, charter school in the state and called it Prime Prep Academy. But less than a year and a half later, Sanders is orchestrating a coup.
"I've spoken to D.L. Wallace. I've spoken to administration. Immediate change needs to happen, from the top, from administration on down,” said Sanders. “The board needs to vote, then needs to do the right thing."
The right thing, according to Sanders, is the removal of his former partner as CEO of Prime Prep. The board took the first step Sunday night by adding a new member willing to vote Wallace out. The second step is to get upset parents to start showing up to Board meetings.
On Sunday night, for the first time since the charter school was opened in the fall of 2012, parents showed up to a Prime Prep Academy Board meeting to voice their concern.
"The problem is there's no structure,” said parent Kenneth Gormley. “Nobody is enforcing the rules.”
Another unhappy parent is Catrina Henderson, who also addressed the board.
"Everyone is not committed,” said Henderson. “So I don't know what kind of fire needs to be under their feet, I don't mind lighting a match.”
Even upset students showed up to the meeting to address the members. "We do have teachers throughout the campus who don't really do their duties that they are supposed to do,” said Prime Prep Academy junior, James Proche.
The irony for many in attendance is that, while their stable of nationally ranked athletes may be excelling on the court, a majority of students are failing in the classroom. Statistics show Prime Prep with the lowest accountability rankings given by the state, a “needs improvement” in all three categories.
One parent said the situation is so dire that some students are looking for a way to bail out.
"What do we tell these kids tomorrow that want to be at Prime Prep but can't leave because in some cases they can't,” said parent LaToya Williams. “They feel like they are trapped at Prime Prep."
Attempts to reach Wallace for comment were unsuccessful.