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Response from Randle Richardson regarding the CEP report

As noted before, Randle Richardson, the CEO of Community Education Partners (CEP), left a comment on the Hair Balls post in which Houston’s LULAC chapter and the Texas ACLU raised concerns about that report evaluating CEP’s effectiveness. He left a similar comment on my post, and also sent me an email with a couple of other documents, which I will provide here. The comment, which he reproduced in that email he sent me, is as follows:

Response to June 12, 2010 Off the Kuff article entitled, “Not everyone was impressed by that CEP report”

I am writing to address the issues raised in your June 12, 2010 article entitled, “Not everyone was impressed by that CEP report.”

Members of LULAC 402 and the Houston Press questioned the integrity of the report since CEP paid the evaluators and you raised the issue that this should have been disclosed up front. Not having the facts, I understand why you would raise the issue. Here are the facts:

· HISD selected the evaluator. CEP was contractually bound to pay the evaluator regardless of the findings.

· When CEP initially requested the cost of the evaluation be shared by the District during the spring 2009 contract negotiations, HISD explained it was their standard procedure to select the evaluator and the vendor was required to pay for the evaluation.

· The contract between HISD and CEP detailing the terms of the evaluator’s selection and payment is a public document. It has been on file with HISD, therefore available to the public since the contract was executed in March 2009.

I do not believe this small faction of LULAC 402 members, nor the Houston Press, would question the findings of the evaluation or payment terms if the evaluation had been negative toward CEP.

Your article also mentioned that transparency was an issue raised by the Texas ACLU. The ACLU has never visited the CEP Program, never requested information from CEP nor ever expressed a concern to CEP. The contract is a public document and all student data is entered into HISD’s Chancery System. All data is routinely monitored by HISD’s Office of Federal and State Compliance. This information is available to the public.

The LULAC 402 report questions the professors’ methodology and states, “the profs were working with incomplete data.” The standards to evaluate CEP were set forth in the contract and the professors’ were required to analyze the data per those standards.

LULAC 402 is being less than honest in their claim that the professors were working with incomplete data. The A&M professors clearly indicated their first report was a “partial” report; that all data had not yet been collected and that no conclusions could be drawn until all data had been collected and analyzed The analysis done by LULAC 402 was not an analysis of the finished evaluation. Instead, LULAC 402 “analyzed” the partial report. LULAC 402 deliberately ignored Professor Goddard’s declaration that his first release was a partial report and no conclusions could be drawn. Professor Goddard issued a cautionary warning in writing to HISD and CEP not to release the partial report or draw any conclusions from it.

An example of how data has been misinterpreted is the conclusions drawn from the partial report about CEP’s performance under the leaver code standard. The partial report indicated 58 percent of students enrolled in CEP during 2008-09 had been located, which meant CEP did not meet the standard. The final report found that 91 percent of the students enrolled in CEP during 2008-09 had been located, which meant that CEP exceeded the standard.

Please note I refer to LULAC 402 rather than “LULAC,” as referred to in your article. LULAC 402 is one of 18 Houston area LULAC councils. Its “active membership” is small. A small faction of that membership has waged a five-year vendetta against CEP after CEP rejected a proposed program from one their members. Prior to that, we received plaques and thank you letters from LULAC 402.

I am more than happy to review the facts and documents detailing this five-year history, including sworn testimony refuting published statements previously made by the LULAC 402 member whose proposal was rejected by CEP.

For the record, when I spoke of transparency issues, I was referring to HISD, not CEP. I apologize if that was unclear.

The docs Richardson sent me were this snippet from a Texas Public Policy Foundation article on disciplinary alternate education programs (DAEPs) and this letter from Julie Harris-Lawrence of the TEA that praised CEP. See them for yourself. My thanks to Randle Richardson for the feedback.

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