CEP Gets More Criticism, And One Critic Wins A Victory

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Robert Kimball, whose criticism of the privately run school where HISD sends its troubled students was so stinging (or effective) that the school is suing to shut him up, won a round in court today.

Community Education Partners is suing Kimball because he's been making clear he believes CEP is a "dropout factory." They claim he's hurting their opportunities to sign contracts with other districts.

Kimball has demanded CEP provide him with whatever data they have on dropout rates; CEP has refused and even called on the judge to sanction Kimball for asking.

Today the judge ordered CEP to give Kimball the data, after they block out all identifying information such as students' names and Social Security numbers.

"[T]he court is not persuaded by [CEP's] arguments regarding privacy rights," Judge Reece Rondon ruled. He also ruled against the motion to sanction Kimball.

CEP has 28 days to turn over the info.

CEP is also taking another hit. The local LULAC chapter has sent out a blistering letter to HISD board members who recently approved the $19.3 million renewal of the company's contract.

Calling CEP a "prison camp type environment," LULAC chapter president Edward Ybarra repeated the allegations the Houston Press has reported on through the years: Non-existent discipline (or even teaching), violence in the halls, utter unconcern for the kids.

He added this intriguing nugget: "We have been informed that principals are complaining that a former area superintendent who is now a principal of CEP is calling them begging them to send her students," Ybarra wrote.

CEP just wants to serve, man. Leave them alone!!

Update: Turns out we saw a draft of the letter, not the final version. The final version tones down the language a bit, but still contains the allegation about the principal asking schools to send students.

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