military charter school being proposed in rtsd back for another hearing (and will be before tesd eventually) and a charter school is coming for a bite at the education apple in wcasd

Wake up media, you have stories unfolding requiring immediate attention. The same can be said for residents in two Chester County school districts and on Delaware County school district.

I actually have mixed emotions at this juncture about charter schools. When our son was in school, it was a God send due to bullying issues that were not being dealt with in public school as well as the fact we had serious issues when he was in an elementary school that was supposed to be one of the best and in some cases, there were NO books for subjects like history. We sent him to Renaissance Academy Charter School in Phoenixville. There were ups and downs as is the case with any school, but it was a good experience, and they placed a high percentage of kids in great schools. IT still is an academic alternative that I think is serving 20 or 21 school districts at this point.

But now I am starting to look at charter schools with different eyes. Because of the new kids coming to the table in 2023. Specifically in WCASD (West Chester Area School District) and RTSD (Radnor Township School District). And the one for RTSD will also involve TESD (Tredyffrin Easttown School District.)

I will start with WCASD because that is where a charter school that is kind of coming on a stealth basis. Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School. They say they have non-profit status, only it’s a little hard to find anything, not even a website announcing who they are, their board of directors, etc. They do have a Facebook page and please note how they get their jollies, making it quite clear what they are about:

First up? A fundraiser has been established on Give Send GO:

Would you like to be part of a success story? Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School in Exton, PA will be just that!  We will provide a traditional classical liberal education for each and every child.

The liberal arts in particular and liberal education in general are the surest, most time-tested way to direct students toward a life that is truly free. Our rigorous K-12 curriculum is content-rich, balanced, and strong, with an emphasis upon the four core disciplines of math, science, literature, and history, and attention to music, art, physical education, and foreign languages. In addition, we believe that by training students in the moral, intellectual, and civic virtues we are equipping them to live well-ordered lives as human beings and as citizens.


Your donation will provide funds to ensure a successful application and start-up of our LICENSED HILLSDALE COLLEGE K12 school in the Exton, PA area.  ALL DONATIONS GO DIRECTLY TOWARDS THE START UP COSTS OF THE SCHOOL. Attorney’s fees, administrative and marketing costs, website design, office rental, postage and other miscellaneous fees will be covered.  All board members are VOLUNTEERS. We will open a K-8 program in the Fall of 2024 and add a grade level each year until we have our first graduating class, the Class of 2028.

For more information on the Hillsdale College K12 program, click on this link:

https://k12.hillsdale.edu/?_gl=1*jvupm3*_ga*NjIxODc5NzkwLjE2Njk1NzMyNTg.*_ga_FBJP6CFLDM*MTY2OTk4OTQ3My42LjEuMTY2OTk4OTUxNy4xNi4wLjA.

Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School is an approved 501-c3 non-profit organization.

For more information, please contact us at this email:  vfcacs@gmail.com.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DONATING!

Gosh, they had me at indoctrination. You know right there, what this is about, don’t you?

The woman who established the fundraiser is referred to in this WHYY article from 2022:

And now there is an open house on Saturday, January 28th, 2023 at 21 Hagerty Blvd in West Chester where all the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism gather for meetings sometimes:

Jan 28

OPEN HOUSE – VALLEY FORGE CLASSICAL ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL

ANNOUNCING OUR FIRST OPEN HOUSE FOR PROSPECTIVE FAMILIES IN THE CHESTER COUNTY AREA!

By VALLEY FORGE CLASSICAL ACADEMY SCHOOL BOARD

Come and meet members of the board and learn about a classical education. Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School is slated to open in the Fall of 2024 for K-8 students. Each year we will add one year of our high school program and graduate our first class in 2030!


Seems lot o’ stuff happens at 21 Hagerty Blvd in West Chester in as far as certain political based gatherings? So this would be a charter school in WCASD BUT will it meet the requirements of public schools? This school tried before didn’t they? Or is this another proposed school with some of the same players?


Does West Whiteland know about this since they seem as if they are looking at property in West Whiteland? Get out the #popcorn because the Stepford Mommies for Totalitarianism will want this school and like their behavior in school districts will want the taxpayers paying for this too. I will say honestly, that the lady running the fundraiser? Has a lot of charter school experience, so she is sharp.

Now back to Radnor Township School District. And people in Tredyffrin Easttown School District need to pay attention because this is a charter school being proposed at Valley Forge Military Academy and College’s campus, which straddles a couple of municipalities and counties, doesn’t it? And who exactly recruited this school to Valley Forge’s campus? Was it in fact Valley Forge Military School and College which as we know got rejected on their own application prior to this one?

I first bought you the odd tale of Radnor and Pennsylvania Military Charter School at Valley Forge on December 15th, 2022:

Then the Philadelphia had a whopper of an article on Christmas Eve. My late father always said big news sneaks in on weekends and holidays and not enough people pay attention.

Philadelphia Inquirer: For a second time, a charter school is being proposed at Valley Forge Military Academy
Unlike the last proposal, which was put forward by the military academy, the latest application is being advanced by backers with no formal ties to the Main Line private school.

by Maddie Hanna
Updated Dec 24, 2022

Supporters are trying again to open a military-themed charter school on the grounds of Valley Forge Military Academy and College, despite a denial from the Radnor school board last year.

Unlike the previous proposal — which was put forward by the military academy and which Radnor rejected as an apparent effort “to subsidize VFMA and make VFMA available to students through the use of public funds” — the latest application is being advanced by backers with no formal ties to the Main Line private school, including a recently retired Republican state senator and a former head of a charter school advocacy group. The chairman of the proposed charter’s board said it would be a “marriage made in heaven.”

In the latest proposal, Pennsylvania Military Charter School would still rent facilities from VFMA — paying $3 million a year, according to its application to Radnor, compared with $500,000 in the proposal rejected in May 2021…..The new charter application is supported by a charter school management company that started in Arizona and now runs schools in states including Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina.

The company, Charter One, initiated the latest application, said Joshua Johnson, the chair of the board for the proposed charter, which is now pending before the Radnor and Tredyffrin/Easttown school boards.

A retired U.S. Army Green Beret who now works for a leadership development firm, Johnson, who lives in Carlisle, said he was contacted by Charter One to serve on the board.

“We think there’s still a need … to have an alternative to a traditional school that’s based on military school principles, but doesn’t fall into that boarding school category,” Johnson said in an interview, adding that some parents “can’t necessarily afford the tuition Valley Forge charges.”

Unlike VFMA — which costs $39,000 for boarding students, and $24,000 for day students — the charter would be free to attend. Charter schools are publicly funded; in Pennsylvania, school districts pay charters based on the number of enrolled students and what the district spends per child.

Pennsylvania Military Charter says it would enroll 975 students from kindergarten through 12th grade — about four times as many students as are currently on the campus. The boys-only academy enrolls about 140 students in grades 7 through 12, while 80 more are enrolled at the military college, according to school officials….The charter’s $17 million budget includes $1 million for an educational service provider fee; that money would go to Charter One for professional services and operational supports, Johnson said.

According to the charter’s application, the fee would also cover an “aggressive” marketing plan to potential students, including paid social media advertisements and direct mail.

Among those who have also agreed to serve on the charter’s board are recently retired State Sen. Bob Mensch, a Republican who didn’t seek reelection, and Lenny McAllister, a senior fellow with the conservative Commonwealth Foundation who previously was CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools.

Following Johnson’s presentation to the Radnor board, the lone public comment came from a woman who questioned why the charter hadn’t included gender identity or sexual orientation in its nondiscrimination policy; whether gay or lesbian students would be welcome; and what plans the school had to avoid hazing and abuse. (In rejecting the previous charter proposal, the Radnor board had said VFMA failed to adequately address community concerns about abuse allegations at its school.)

“Respect for persons is absolutely one of the things we’re going to drive,” Johnson said. “But when it comes to gender identification, it will be our policy that the gender and name on the birth certificate is how they’re going to be addressed at our school.”

SO….has Tredyffrin Easttown School District (TESD) scheduled their hearing yet? Here is the entirety of the January 17th Radnor School Board Meeting:

Here are 3 smaller videos which pulls out some crucial public comment:

This all gives me pause. Essentially, I have to ask if these people wanting to start charter schools which all supposedly have Pennsylvania non profits but will really be run by entities in other states should even be allowed to open charter schools in Pennsylvania?

And of course, then you have to wonder how they will deal with what public schools are required to have and do have as far as the many complicated issues facing public schools? And will they be fair and equal and non discriminatory in all areas including sexual and gender identity? And why should people have to watch their tax dollars get siphoned off for schools started by people who have so many issues with public schools that haven’t been upheld by the courts over the past few years? Gender/sexual identity, books they don’t like, masking, vaccines, etc.? Why are taxpayers supposed to pay for their peculiarities?

Truly if you have time, watch and listen to the recent Radnor meeting. And remember that is not just a concern to residents in the Radnor Township School District service area in Radnor Township Delaware County but also in Tredyffrin Easttown School District in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships in Chester County. Interesting things include a website possibly intimating approval – https://www.military.academy/valley-forge when they are far, far from it. They do not seem to have a business plan but they have plans for a course of study called ethical hacking. And as this hearing goes on , the charter presenters seem to become well, combative and uneasy.

With both of these proposed charter schools there seem to be many troubling questions, sadly. Here’s hoping the media steps up and really digs in.

Again, in conclusion, I am not against charter schools in the least. But these two give me pause. Also is there really a need for their brand of charter?

Stay tuned.

we should listen to our kids: books don’t belong behind bars…

My commentary is simple: don’t these parents in Radnor Township have anything better to do, either? Apparently some homophobic/everything phobic types down in Radnor filed a police report AGAINST the Radnor High School Librarians/Library for having Gender Queer in the library. (There is no police report I can find, although I know one exists, so if you are interested, please file a Right to Know with Radnor Township Police.)

So I don’t know if all of these insecure- about -their- own -sexuality- or- the- potential -sexuality- of- their -children parents all get together in dark rooms and swap war stories, but whomever did this is taking a page out of the Fenica Redman vs. Great Valley School District playbook. The descriptive adjective I have for the taxpayer time and money wasting people like this is ridiculous. If you don’t like a book, don’t read, but make it forbidden fruit or fall on your proverbial sword trying means every kid everywhere will want to read it. I mean, d’oh on that one, right?

These people give their kids Internet access and they are worried about ONE book? Do these people also care about the pariahs they are creating out of their own kids in these schools?

Now this issue has been ongoing in Radnor since November sometime if not earlier, but the words of the students via their own newspaper stopped me in my tracks. These are the words of the kids these “adults” claim to be protecting:

Sammy Rosin/Radnorite: Books Don’t Belong Behind Bars

December 14, 2022

As the hub of the school, students stream in and out of the RHS library all day, in groups or alone, but always feeling welcomed. Any RHS student can tell you about the warm ambience of this space filled with comfortable blue chairs, half-finished chess games, and shelves full of brightly covered books. Senior Sabina Eraso explained, “The RHS Library is not only a place where you can do homework, but also a place where you can hang out with friends and take a break. All of my friends and I love sitting together in the library during lunch and free periods, and we especially enjoy talking to the librarians.”  Even more than the friends, books, and study space that students find in the library, it is the kindness of the librarians, Mrs. Wetzel and Mrs. Richter, that helps so many students feel comfortable here. 

Unfortunately, certain parents in the Radnor School District do not understand or respect the importance of the library, the books within it, or the librarians themselves. On November 6th, a Radnor parent filed a police report about the Radnor High School library having the book Gender Queer available to students. This event occurred just months after a committee of Radnor parents and educators, including Dr. Batchelor, participated in thoughtful discourse that ultimately ended in a vote to keep Gender Queer in the Radnor High School Library. As Common Sense Media describes, Gender Queer: A Memoir is “a comics-style illustrated account of the author’s journey toward understanding nonconforming gender and sexuality.” In 2020, the book received an Alex Award from the American Library Association (ALA), which commends books that have a “special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.” Despite this thorough review and approval from members of the community and the ALA, the parents targeting the book labeled it as “porn” and felt it necessary to report it to the police. 

The trend of parents labeling books that focus on race or LGBTQ+ issues as dangerous or inappropriate has skyrocketed across the country, and Radnor has been no exception. Parents have tried to target books including All Boys Aren’t BlueGeorge, and Lawn Boy – all of which are LGBTQ+ inclusive. As these parents try to insert their belief system into the school for the “safety” of their children, they are simultaneously harming so many others. Sophomore Finn Metzger, who uses They/He pronouns, explained, “Some children are gay, some children are trans, and those children enjoy reading books that reflect their experiences and tell them that everything is going to be okay. It makes me incredibly sad to know that there are some parents out there who would deny their children that feeling of belonging.” The reason that parents have given for targeting books such as Gender Queer usually comes back to “explicit sexual content.” Senior Michael McNicholas drew attention to the hypocrisy of this claim, stating, “I have had to read plenty of books within this school with heterosexual sex scenes and those aren’t getting banned, so why the homosexual ones?” 

Despite parent attempts that started over a year ago to ban books in RTSD, many RHS students are still not aware that this is happening. Finn Metzger pointed out that they usually find out about these attempts through other students, adding that there is a need for “transparency and assurance that [the school administration] won’t give into these parent’s demands” from the school district. He also suggested that “a message on the [RTSD] website or on Schoology saying that [RTSD administrators] won’t stand for this hate would go a long way.”

To students, the RHS library is a place of trust and belonging, and these parents are trying to chip away at that with their attacks. Many students rely on the librarians’ kindness and support each day, but how can we expect them to do their job the same way if they’re threatened for doing it. At Radnor, our librarians do more than help people with books. RHS Executive Director Michael McNicholas emphasized, “One time last year I was about to have a panic attack, and neither my case manager nor the school psychologist was here. I was freaking out, and Mrs. Wetzel was there for me and helped talk me down.” Michael described the two librarians as “godsends” and “true inspirations,” a sentiment shared by so many students at Radnor. In addition, the librarians make great efforts to enhance every single students’ education. Finn Ryan,  class president for the Class of 2024, commented, “We have access to amazing resources that some students may not have access to outside of Radnor. Mrs. Wetzel and Mrs. Richter do a great job of bridging that gap and helping students get access to those resources, and they are able to help you figure out how to use them.” 

Along with the different databases and websites the library provides, books with representation, whether in regards to race, gender, or sexuality, are a critical resource for students. Finn Metgzer explained, “Books can act as the bridge between staying in the closet and coming out. For somebody who knows they’re not cishet but doesn’t have the confidence to do something like join SAGA or enter a queer online space, books can be a fantastic way to learn and experiment with their identity without having to tell other people.” They emphasized that these books help make the library and the school safer for many students, possibly even “safer than at home.”

Any parent is allowed the right to try to protect their children, but when it comes to efforts to ban books, our community really needs to consider who is being harmed in the long run and why parents see certain books as a threat. In surveying nearly 34,000 LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that “LGBTQ youth who live in a community that is accepting of LGBTQ people reported significantly lower rates of attempting suicide than those who do not.” When parents actively denounce and vilify books that feature LGBTQ+ characters, they send a message to the children in our community. Finn M described that parents targeting certain books conveys the message that “[LGBTQ+ students] will only be accepted if we never talk about our identities and experiences.” He continued, “I was really hurt when I found out that Gender Queer was being targeted last year because I felt that the casual “‘I’m okay with gay people as long as they don’t shove it down my throat’” homophobia that I had sometimes faced at home was making its way into my school.”  Finn R. pointed out, “The books that certain parents might not agree with, just the fact that they’re in [the library] doesn’t really mean anything because someone has to choose to pick up that book. Even if they do choose to pick up that book, the books chosen serve no other purpose than to broaden the scope of understanding and the awareness of people, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing whatsoever.”

As students reach high school, we receive more freedom and more opportunities to make our own decisions. We are told that as high schoolers we now have more responsibility and that we must act as role models for younger students. In keeping with these messages, parents should be able to trust their students to read books that are right for them. Students should have the freedom to experiment and choose independently of their parents’ influence.  As Finn Ryan explained, “It’s sometimes a little insulting to students to think that just picking up a book means that we’re indoctrinated and learning all of these new things that we’ve never been exposed to before.” RTSD parents need to understand that while a high schooler can easily make the choice not to take a certain book off the shelf, if that book is not there in the first place, then so many students, including those who may be struggling with their identity, will be deprived of a safe outlet. 

We, as adults, need to actually listen to the kids at times. No, they may not legally be able to make their own decisions, but we need to rid our school districts of parents who feel they should act in the interest of EVERY kid, EVERY parent, EVERY everyone and they do not in fact speak for, nor have the ability to represent everyone. They don’t care about anyone other than themselves. They are selfish and ugly minded people who feel ALL of our rights don’t matter no matter how we feel, only theirs. Seems to me they need a basic refresher course on the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence but I am sure they are trying to ban those works from libraries and bookshelves as well.

Kids have enough issues being kids today without this nonsense. And it is nonsense. The phobias of the few, should not always be everyone in general’s problem.

The words of this student are profound and true. I hope someone gives Sammy Rosin a college scholarship somewhere so she can continue writing. Maybe adults should stop and listen?

To Sammy Rosin I say, brava, well done. And thank you.

will pennsylvania military charter school at valley forge be a fit for radnor township school dist

I just watched a replay of a Radnor Township school Board meeting. It was a special hearing about a proposed charter school. Now charter schools are always a hot button topic with school districts because essentially, they have to share money and resources. School districts never share well or necessarily willingly with charter schools.

First we met the man who would head the school, I guess (but I am not sure.) He’s on the board however. His name is Joshua Johnson. He had an extremely impressive and extraordinary military career. He was a Green Beret.

Also on the board, and present although he did not speak was retired Republican State Senator Bob Mensch (R-24) , who once served Bucks, Berks, and Montgomery Counties. Prior to that Senator Mensch was a State Representative in the 147th legislative district, and he started in politics as a Supervisor in Malborough Township Bucks County. I will note that Senator Mensh was instrumental in getting breast cancer legislation passed in PA, specifically bills SB 1225 for no-cost breast MRI, SB 1330 for no-cost genetic testing and counseling. I am an 11 year breast cancer survivor and I can tell you how awesome that is. Breast cancer is a financial albatross, trust me, and it is the gift that is like a financial black hole at times.

Here is how US News and World Report breaks it down:

Charter schools are publicly-funded, tuition-free schools, but they differ from traditional public schools in key ways. Comparing charter schools to public schools requires weighing a few different considerations.

First, charters have more flexibility. Rather than being part of a public school district, which dictates curriculum and standards in all schools, charters operate autonomously through individual agreements, or charters, with state or local governments that dictate rules and performance standards.

Given the ability to operate through these agreements, individual charter schools can tailor their curriculum, academic focus, discipline policy and other matters generally decided at the school district or state board level. In return for that flexibility, charter schools are supposed to be more accountable to parents and the state or local governments that authorize them….

The charter school movement, which gained prominence in the late 1980s and has been gaining ground ever since, began as a way to close the achievement gap between white and non-white students. Many charters still view that as a core mission.

But many of the same problems that plague traditional public schools are found in charters as well. New Orleans, where nearly all public schools became charters after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, still deals with the stratification of students and a pernicious racial achievement gap, says Adamson, who has studied the impact of charter schools in New Orleans…Education experts recommend that parents do research into the charter, visit the school and compare it carefully to the public-school alternative. Look beyond test scores and talk to educators who work at the school and parents who send their children there….Quantitative data includes test scores, graduation rates, college attendance rates and similar metrics, he says. Qualitative information could include surveys that measure student and family satisfaction, the type of curriculum they use, their beliefs and their policy on discipline.

So. I will state for the record, I do not have a problem with charter schools. Our child attended a very good one. But it was inclusive. Based on the Question and Answer segment after the presentation here, I am not sure what to think.

I did record it:

I do not know how this will play out, and honestly, I am not sure this concept will fly in the Main Line of today, even if it is proposed to be on the campus of an existing military school and college. One thing I do not get however is why the JROTC or whatever would go to Norristown, versus creating something on Valley Forge’s Campus?

The reality is Valley Forge Military Academy and College seems to be dying, doesn’t it? They have already sold off land, haven’t they? The school when you drive by no longer seems as crisp and tidy as it once was, does it? So what happens if there is no charter school approved? Do they keep slicing off bits of land and selling, or close up shop altogether and sell the whole kit and caboodle?

Valley Forge Military Academy and College itself has had a LOT of bad press in recent years. But in November an article in the Washington Post, was surprisingly positive. It was about Wes Moore, who was recently elected Governor of Maryland. Earlier this year, however, there was a scathing Mother Jones article about VFMAC

So it’s not just a simple conversation about charter schools. It’s also a conversation about military schools. There are however, other military based Charter Schools, and in the area too. Maritime Academy Charter School in Philadelphia and Philadelphia Military Academy at Elverson in Philadelphia. First State Military Academy in Delaware. Delaware Military Academy.

It’s not a stand alone idea that no one has done, I just don’t know how it will fly on the Main Line. Face it, Main Line School Districts don’t even ever want charter schools in my opinion. It means fund and resource sharing and it also is an ego thing since public schools especially on the Main Line are supposed to be the greatest period.

The sticking point here I feel will be what was raised by that parent who asked about how the school would handle sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression. This resident did not see it in their mission statement. Mr. Johnson responded that gender identification and name would be the same as found on a student’s birth certificate.

OK ummm…Pentagon seems to feel differently these days, yes? Or are supposed to?

The Pentagon’s policies on this topic are discussed in an NPR article I found from 2021. (CLICK HERE FOR NPR ARTICLE.) Essentially this reversed the Trump era rules, which were what’s on your birth certificate. Biden lifted that ban in 2021 which is in the NPR article, so I do not know how this will shake out for this charter school. It’s an uncomfortable military topic. See CNN article (CLICK HERE.) See Military Times article (CLICK HERE.)

If this charter school wants a real chance, then they need to align with what the Pentagon now says, right?

I will also note that in 2021 Valley Forge Military Academy and College was DENIED a similar charter school application. (CLICK HERE.)

Philadelphia Inquirer: Radnor school board denies Valley Forge Military Academy’s bid to open a charter

by Maddie Hanna
Published May 28, 2021

The Valley Forge Military Academy, a long-standing Main Line private school that in recent years has faced declining enrollment and allegations of mismanagement, has been denied in a bid to open a publicly funded charter school.

The Radnor school board, which rejected the application Tuesday, said the proposed Valley Forge Military Academy Charter School wasn’t sufficiently independent from the private school. The charter was proposed to be located on the academy’s campus and would have paid rent to the academy.

“It appears that representatives from VFMA applied to form a charter school in an effort to subsidize VFMA and make VFMA available to students through the use of public funds,” the board said in its denial, which was posted on the district’s website Wednesday. It called the application “plainly against the spirit and the letter” of Pennsylvania’s charter school law….The school has been accused of overlooking sexual abuse and hazing. Enrollment has declined, and the school has incurred financial losses. Alumni have accused trustees of mismanagement, though the board has denied those claims and maintained the academy is on the right track….During hearings before the Radnor board, representatives of the military academy said some students interested in their school had been rejected due to their inability to pay tuition.

That isn’t a rationale for the school to form a charter, Radnor’s school board said — adding that the purpose of the charter law “is not to subsidize private school tuition through the use of public school funds.”…The school board cited other faults with the application, including that the academy had failed to respond to community concerns about hazing and abuse allegations at its school….And because some of the proposed charter’s facilities would be in Chester County, it erred in failing to also apply to the Tredyffrin/Easttown school board, according to the Radnor denial.

I found their presentation on Radnor Township School Board’s website, which I found cumbersome to noodle around on, so I will share below. I wonder since part of this VFMAC campus is in Tredyffrin, are they presenting a charter application to that school board as well>

I have no dog in this race, my goal here is to inform only. There is a meeting scheduled about this for in the new year. It is actually a continuation of the public hearing on this Charter School. The date the school board lady announced was Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 at 7 PM . If interested in this, pay attention to the meeting schedule and contact THEM. NOT ME. A new charter school is a relatively big deal, let alone a military one, so I am kind of surprised about zero media coverage. Have a good night.