Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ET and MC: Charter School Advocate Resigns

Yesterday, I told you that Vincent Ford, head cheerleader for the "Strong Foundations Charter School" in Easton, never bothered to tell anyone that he's been accused of sexual offenses in Monroe County. He's currently on ARD, a special program for first offenders. Not only does this reflect badly on Ford, but it makes one wonder about the judgment of other charter school advocates. I felt it was an important story.

Two things bothered me. I had no idea what led up to the charges. Also, though I was certain that Ford was my man, I wanted to give him an opportunity to explain. Fair play and all that.

I placed several calls for Ford at the charter school website. I also emailed the school. No answer. That's no surprise. Bottom-feeding bloggers like yours truly get no respect. Plus, he might have been just a tad irritated with me. I have that effect, I'm told.

It's a gift.

But I still wanted to know what had happened. I was getting ready to schlep up to Monroe County when The Express Times told me, "We got this!"

And so they did. Both The Express Times and Morning Call ran very complete stories that included Ford's reaction as well as the rather sordid details that resulted in the charges against him.  Fortunately, he resigned when confronted.

About the best a blog can do is to complement the ongoing news coverage provided by the dailies. There is simply no way I could acquire the information they produced in less than a day. Ford would not talk to me. I doubt other Shiloh people would speak to me as well, especially after African American activist Kevin Easterling had basically called me a racist for my coverage. The Magistrate's office, located in Stroudsburg, would likely be very slow to let me look at the file. I can guarantee you I'd get it, but it would take time.

Since Ford had every intention of being the "CEO" at this Charter School, exposing him was a public service.

Other Charter school advocates, like consultant Howard Kutz, told The Express Times he's sorry to see Ford go, calling him a gentleman. That should be enough to make one wonder whether the prime motivation here is education or sucking money from a school district to create a private school for Shiloh Baptist Church.

I have supported some charter schools. This is not one of them.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

You sullied a mans r4eputation and you are proud of yourself. You are a racist as most know. You can run but you can't hide form the truth.

Anonymous said...

2:56,
Nothing racist about bringing to light facts surrounding a person who would be a CEO of a school.
Save the race card for another hand.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, you wrote, About the best a blog can do is to complement the ongoing news coverage provided by the dailies. if i understand the sequence correctly, you broke the story, and the dailies should have given you credit as the source. perhaps they had the means to gather more information, but without you, they didn't know that there was a story.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. The ET had no clue, no one did any due diligence on this guy. Kudos for bringing down yet another fraud "charter school". These schools are bad ideas run by unqualified people with ulterior motives. Public schools are there for the kids every day and are properly vetted.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, As you know from past discussions we've had, I don't really care whether I am credited on a story like this. I believe the important thing is making the public aware of something they need to know. I was surprised yesterday when one ET editor called me the competition. That is the wrong way to look at a blog. We do not compete against, but complement each other.

Anonymous said...

Every news organization worth a damn will credit the person or organization that broke the story. The lack of a credit speaks to the amateurishness on display at the ET.

Anonymous said...

They just credited you Bernie on the ET's latest update.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's very nice of them, but my reward was seeing the public spotlight. That means more to me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

And this is not me being humble. When the dailies pick up on a story I've addressed, that means I have set the agenda. That is the only true power of a blog. Credit is immaterial, but appreciated.

Anonymous said...

They just credited you Bernie on the ET's latest update.

Which brought an angry response from Bernie's nemesis. A new name for the same.

It was a good catch Bernie. Mainstream media often dislikes crediting bloggers for bringing to light a story. They do see blogs as "competition" that they feel is cutting into their "legitimate" reporting. Instead of crediting the find and expanding on it they often try to give the impression that they broke a story.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The dailies filled in a lot of the blanks in my original story, and pretty quickly. They independently verified everything I wrote. I'm no expert on ethics, but I see no lapse on their part, and actually appreciated their efforts. We were both trying to inform the public on a matter that means something.

My only disagreement with them is the notion that I am competition, though I think the editor who said it to me was not being entirely serious.

I believe I complement news coverage, but could never replace it. Think what things would be like if you could only rely on me!

Anonymous said...

It's not that difficult to write the sentence: "As first reported by Bernie O'Hare on Lehigh Valley Ramblings…" You see this all the time in mainstream press.

Anonymous said...

BO
According to sources, the new "head" of the carter is a deacon at Shiloh church. Can you confirm Bernie?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Nothing to confirm. We all know this will be a taxpayer-funded private school run by Shiloh Church. I will have more to say in March. I think Shiloh demonstrated that they use poor judgment, as they did with a housing program a few years back. I doubt this has a prayer at this point.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious how it would work to start a charter school as a part of a church. What if some left-leaning heathen such as myself applied my kid, got through the lottery process, and got her a spot in there? What if a large number of us did so? Isn't part of the charter deal that they have to let anyone have a fair shake at getting in?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Absolutely. But as a practical matter, you won't do that. The net result will be de facto segregation. It will be almost entirely black bc the school will be populated by members of Shiloh.