Ricardo Flores Magon Academy: Petition outlines concerns about charter school

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A group of parents associated with the Ricardo Flores Magon Academy is airing its concerns about the charter school, which was the subject of our recent feature story, "A Hard Line." They're circulating a petition to remove the school's leader, Marcos Martinez, and have sent a list of concerns to the media and to the Charter School Institute, which authorized the five-year-old school.

Among their concerns:

  • That the school does not have a nurse.
  • That if a student does not attend tutoring, he or she is placed in a lower grade.
  • That the discipline of kindergarteners and sixth-graders is the same. One parent wrote, "As part of the school's discipline, students are taken outside during their lunch recess. They sit on the ground under the sun, facing the wall and (are) required to do their homework. I am concerned about children sitting under extreme conditions."
  • That staff members scream at the children.
  • That the student-to-teacher ratio is too high.
  • That Martinez has not been responsive to parent concerns. Another parent wrote that Martinez told her that he is the "owner of the school, that things run the way he wants them to run, and if I have an issue to feel free to leave the school."

Martinez declined to respond to those concerns for this story. In the past, however, he has denied similar allegations and chalked the complaints up to sour grapes. "What this comes down to is there's people who are unhappy with the way the school is run or they don't get their way, or whatever it is, and they lash out," he previously told Westword.

One parent, Dulce Solis, says that Martinez once asked her if she "wanted a war." The comment, Solis says, was in response to her request for a copy of the school's grievance policy. Solis says she was concerned about the school's lack of air conditioning and a nurse's office and had questions about its food and custodial services.

After she asked for a copy of the policy, Solis says Martinez removed her from the parent booster committee charged with fundraising for the school, explaining that he couldn't work with her. Solis says he also sent her a letter informing her that her daughter would be moved to a different classroom because she was behind academically. Solis has since removed her daughter, who was in kindergarten, from the school.

The petition claims that Martinez is "intimidating" and that he "lacks proven skills to communicate." It also says that staff members who stand up to him are forced to quit and that he is "not objective and allows personal feelings to obscure what is best for the students." The parents claim that those who signed the petition are no longer allowed in the school. Martinez also declined to comment on that.

The school's charter is up for renewal this year. The nine-member board of the Charter School Institute is scheduled to vote on whether to renew it on February 21. The school has also applied to become a part of Adams County School District 50 and to expand to Brighton and to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where it has already won conditional approval.

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Ricardo Flores Magon Academy: Read the lawsuit filed by former teacher Claudia Mitchell."

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Rosa Islas
Rosa Islas

My daughter got held back just because she missed alit of school obe year. When ger step dad died and a mobth later my dad died too. so she missed alot of school and martinez decided to keep her in the same grade again.. She has always had straight A & Bs.. I think he was just full of sh..e. He wasvso rude to us when all this happen..

Worriedparent
Worriedparent

Folks,Thing is we have to look at it as Ricardo Flores Magon Academy has and is doing WRONG to its children & to the community....can you ONLY imagine what other charter schools are also doing that have done the same thing. ABSOLUTELY! Lets ban together and get Charters outlawed or GOVERNED by the state....where in God's name is CDE - Charter School Institue!!!! MY other question is...have you seen Charter School Institute website - do you see how many charter schools they have - that they are probably NOT watching or governing over like at Ricardo Flores Magon Academy. Would you send your child to any of those charters - WOW! SCAREY THOUGHT! NOT ME! I would not send my worst enemy there - I would not even send Ricardo Flores Magon there. Its scarey to think how the other charter schools being awarded charter schools under Charter School Institute and what they are getting away with...YIKES!  And the Hard Line story mentions Antonio Vigil doing the same thing as Marcos Martinez...where is he right now! Teaching kids and harming them still but in a different environment! What is going to be done about him - COLORADO - CDE - CSI - DO WE CARE!! and when is enough - enough!!!!!  LETS PUSH CHARTERS OUT OF THE SYSTEM!

teresa
teresa

they brainwash there parents they promiss them that it is a great school but no its the worse thing to ever happen as a dps parent i would never choose a charter school not even for my dog they act like there the shit yeah right parents get your kids in to dps and let us boycot charters

former parent
former parent

I agree with you. We need to get together and boycot charter schools, well atleast this charter school. It is definitely a horrible place for a child to spend their learning days in. They tell parents that it is a very advance school and I have my doubts that it is because martinez is probably making changes to grades to make them look better. But the truth about the school's academically level I came to learn about it when I moved my child to a dps school and was way behind in his classroom. He had not been taught any american history in this school and his math was a 3grade level math compare to 5th grade level. I and the school worked very hard to get him caught up with his class and is doind great. I feel the same way, I would not send my DOG to that school nor my cat.

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