So just who is Tiffany Hardrick? And why did she leave New Orleans?

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Tiffany Hardrick
Tiffany Hardrick

Daryn Martin, the leader of the parent-teacher organization at Ivy Hill School, may go to jail because of a criminal complaint filed by Tiffany Hardrick, an assistant superintendent of schools in Newark who co-founded a New Orleans charter school.  So it’s a good time to ask just who this Dr. Hardrick is, why is she in Newark, and why she left New Orleans. The answer is–she is another one of Cami Anderson’s misguided appointments of an educator with a, well, unusual past.

Hardrick was a co-founder with Keith Sanders of the Miller-McCoy Academy in New Orleans, a charter school. She left the school “under a cloud” in July, 2012, after the trustees discovered they canceled a bus contract with an outside vendor and gave the business to a company owned by her brother, Bobby Hardrick.

A letter home to the school’s parents described how the busing crisis left students and parent in tough circumstances. Sound familiar?

For Newark’s Cami Anderson, the cloud apparently could not be seen because the state-appointed superintendent hired her within a few months to be a $175,000 assistant superintendent of schools–one of whose jobs, apparently, is to tear down notices of PTO meetings legally posted by parent leaders.

I can understand Cami Anderson might not like to read the press clippings about herself and her friends. But due diligence certainly would have prompted her to read the minutes of the trustee board that employed Hardrick. This is how notice of the deal was described in the minutes of the trustees meeting of the academy:

“The board has been informed that its existing contract with Hammond Transportation was canceled by Tiffany Hardrick/Keith Sanders and that Keith Sanders entered a new agreement for transportation with BCH Services which is solely owned by Bobby Hardrick, a former employee of the school and the brother of former school leader, Tiffany Hardrick. The board has already taken action to self-report what could be a violation of the Code of Governmental Ethics by informing both the State of Louisiana’s Ethics board and the RSD. A motion was introduced to give the executive committee authority, thru the chairman of the board, to act on behalf of the board and cancel the contract with BCH Services and re-engage Hammond Transportation to handle our transportation needs for the remainder of the school year, should the proposal be acceptable and to handle the transportation change in a manner that is feasible and responsible to ensure our transportation services are safe and uninterrupted; ALL VOTED and the motion passed unanimously.”

That’s not a story from some biased blogger. That’s from the record minutes of the school itself. The RSD, buy the way, is the Recovery School District, basically a charter school district because the New Orleans schools are now where Cami Anderson wants to lead the Newark schools–privatized, non-union, grist for the entrepreneurial mill.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune, a sister paper to The Star-Ledger, has an excellent reputation for covering the almost complete charterization of the city’s public schools after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. An article last July noted that the two co-founders of the MIller-McCoy Academy left “under a cloud” the previous summer.

It went on to talk about the appointment of a new principal and the problems he faced:

“Despite its high ideals, Miller-McCoy has had a number of problems. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education renewed its charter for three years in December even though it had a letter grade of F, because the school did raise student performance by at least 20 points.

“Some of that improvement has been questioned: The Recovery School District found that administrators likely promoted cheating in 2010. The school’s own investigation turned up nothing.

“Test scores from the most recent academic year have so far been underwhelming. The  rates of students scoring “excellent” or “good” on required end-of-course tests dropped by double digits in three subjects, with few or no students meeting that bar in English III, biology or U.S. history testing.  On the spring high-stakes LEAP tests, eighth graders scored below the school system norm in all four subjects.

“Non-academic issues have plagued Miller-McCoy as well. A fall 2012 audit showed that the school had employed two of co-principal Tiffany Hardrick’s siblings and awarded a transportation contract to a company owned by Hardrick’s brother. Miller-McCoy also holds the dubious distinction of being the last school attended by Akein Scott, one of two alleged gunmen in the Mother’s Day shooting that left 20 injured. Scott did not complete graduation requirements.”

Here’s the same newspaper’s take on a possible cheating scandal. Teachers accused the school of cheating and the allegations were held up by a Recovery School District probe–but an “internal” investigation concluded no cheating had taken place. You know all about those internal investigations–when possible perpetrators investigate themselves.

I asked Matthew Frankel, the spokesman for Cami Anderson, for comment on  Hardrick’s background. He did not respond. (I have since learned the email I thought I sent to Frankel was never actually sent. I apologized to him. I would still like to know why Anderson hired someone who was involved in a scandal involving busing, a cheating scandal and presided over a charter school that earned an F from the New Orleans Recovery School District).

The state apparently did not pursue ethics charges against Hardrick. It didn’t lose its charter despite a “F” grade.  But the school under Hardrick’s  leadership probably could not be called an appropriate model for adoption in Newark. The web-based “The Lens” reported just last week that the school was still in financial trouble.

So what’s the connection?  It’s New Leaders for New Schools, a non-profit that takes in a lot of money. Hardrick was trained there when she was a principal in Memphis and Anderson was its chief program officer.

Connect the dots and you always get back to big money. Big money from outside Newark.

 

 

 

 

26 comments

  1. Becca Field

    Not just big money FROM outside Newark, but big money FOR companies outside Newark. And now look at KIPP pulling out their schools from Galveston, TX – why? Not enough money for them…..it is all about the money, who has it and who is making it. When will Pink Hula Hoop Part 2 be coming out?

  2. Deborah

    Bob, What would we do in this town without your website. Thank you very much for keeping this information out in front. The Newark parents and residents thank you. Please keep us informed.

  3. La. Ed. Watcher

    Good news – Miller-McCoy Charter that has been “educating” children since 08-09 finally moved up to a “D” rating on the 12-13 La. Charter School Performance Report. {that was written sarcastically} If Anderson is using New Orleans as a model, god help the people of Newark. There are few charters (very few) that are doing well, but the vast majority of them are no better than the traditional public schools they took over. The LDOE controls all the data, so we may never know how bad they are truly doing. Most charters in N.O. got an extra 10 pts on their scores that traditional schools did not receive that helped boost some of their ratings. Otherwise, if they look like they are w/o hope, they close the charter so they don’t have to include their scores when they tell the public how wonderful it is to have a privatized education system. Then the kids get bussed to different schools that are no better than the 1st. There is no stability, no real neighborhood schools, no sense of community around the schools. And the transportation costs for bussing kids to other parts of the city are outrageous.

    BTW – I enjoy reading this blog, but I’m having a sense of deja vu when I read about the tactics of your Anderson that remind me so much of what happened to education in New Orleans and is now starting to spread to my city-Baton Rouge. The founder of New Schools for New Orleans now sits on the N.O. Parish School Board, a campaign funded by Louisiana’s own architect of the state takeover of N.O. schools. We, too, now have a New Schools for Baton Rouge, affiliated with the venture funding entity you mention in your article. It’s run by former TfA members who used to create the policy in our LDOE that opened the floodgate for mass privatization of our schools – one of whom told me once how much she liked and admired Michelle Rhee and Cami Anderson. Scary!

  4. Newarkbluesman

    A district that has no ethics and they have parents arrested,employes fired on fake charges taking revenge against students and community,by keeping schools open during dangerous conditions.Have a Prinncipal who stole money,had sex with his staff.They most go,and go they will.

  5. sshaffer

    Dear Bob:
    A few innocent questions:

    1. From what school did Ms. Tiffany Hardrick receive her PHD.?
    2. How long has she been working for the NPS?
    3. What is her area of expertise?
    4. What is her chief responsibility as Assist. Supt. of Schools for the NPS?
    5. Has her area of responsibility shown improvement and growth?

    Bob Braun:
    1. Capella University
    2. September, 2012.
    3. Unsure. Her dissertation was on New Leaders for New Schools, one of Anderson’s projects.
    4. & 5. You’d have to ask the district that.

  6. Clerk

    her staff it’s also from New Orleans where she is making over 60,000.00 new employee. we are employed and can’t get a raise they keep telling us there is no money. Over 100 new employes are getting paid over 52,000 year. We continue to be with out a contract. Frustrated Clerk injustice

    Bob Braun: Tell me more. All my information comes from people like you.

  7. Maggie Joralemon

    Thanks for all this information. This is invaluable to those organizing to support public education and oppose free-market education.

  8. Mr. Outside

    The Big Money is in the enrollment process, Bob. First to get a successful platform to market wins. Continue connecting the dots.

    Bob Braun: I’ll try. I cam use your help.

  9. Bill Wolfe

    Bob – I am one of those biased bloggers you just smeared.

    I am biased (and so are you and so is every so called “objective journalist”) but I write based on evidence and facts.

    Take it back, take it backs, oh no you can’t say that!

  10. DA

    Finally the truth is out! She has placed her family members in Newark schools who are also being sued as of Oct 2013 for employee pension retirements! Great job Bob!

    Bob Braun: Tell me more.

  11. Source1

    July 2013
    “Despite its high ideals, Miller-McCoy has had a number of problems. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education renewed its charter for three years in December even though it had a letter grade of F, because the school did raise student performance by at least 20 points.

    Some of that improvement has been questioned: The Recovery School District found that administrators likely promoted cheating in 2010. The school’s own investigation turned up nothing.

    Test scores from the most recent academic year have so far been underwhelming. The rates of students scoring “excellent” or “good” on required end-of-course tests dropped by double digits in three subjects, with few or no students meeting that bar in English III, biology or U.S. history testing. On the spring high-stakes LEAP tests, eighth graders scored below the school system norm in all four subjects.

    Non-academic issues have plagued Miller-McCoy as well. A fall 2012 audit showed that the school had employed two of co-principal Tiffany Hardrick’s siblings and awarded atransportation contract to a company owned by Hardrick’s brother. Miller-McCoy also holds the dubious distinction of being the last school attended by Akein Scott, one of two alleged gunmen in the Mother’s Day shooting that left 20 injured. Scott did not complete graduation requirements.”

    http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2013/07/new_orleans_charter_miller-mcc.html

  12. DA

    Bob has proof just google online it is all there! She has a cousin at Newark Early College Highschool in Newark Louis A Spencer school; with a law suit as of October 2013 connected to the same charter school! Research the data, investigations, and you will see the proof is viable! The question is why is she here in Newark causing havoc? She left a school she co-founded and her home state! New Leaders, New School is the new iluminati! Reading and research is fundamental! Support this parent! What Ms. Hardrick did was beyond unethical! She is not beyond reproach or the law! Newark step up!

    • Hometown

      Her home state is actually Arkansas. She graduated Forrest City High School. Studied Engineering & Math at Fort Valley State University, before her Master’s degree & Ph. D. She really did some good work believing in kids in LA that so many had given up on. I think she lost focus when so much money came into the picture

  13. Pingback: So just who is Tiffany Hardrick? « GoPublicSchool.com GoPublicSchool.com
  14. Tamob

    Cami Anderson posted an Op Ed in the Huffington Post. There’s a link from the NPS website. This is in response to her editorial.

    Ms. Anderson says all the right things about a district in need of improvement. The truth is she has contributed to the continued under-achievement of Newark students. Her total disregard of the needs and wants of the community, as echoed by Governor Christie when he so bluntly expressed his true feelings about Newark, “I don’t care what the residents of Newark want, I run the school district.” Cami is another bully who initmidates NPS teachers and staff and has involved parents arrested on trumped up charges. In addition to good teachers, which there are many in Newark, our children need consistency and security, which she has destroyed. Closing schools and turning them over to her corporate friends is not the answer. It only further deteriorates the neighborhoods in which they are, or were, located. No one disputes the need for school reform and improvement, but you don’t go about it by slashing everything in its wake and bringing in corrupt outsiders making salaries over $175,000 per year with unproven track records. Take a closer look at what is really happening in Newark and why. All is not what it seems as Ms. Anderson would like you to believe.

  15. Bella August

    Just came from Abbott Leadership Institute presentation by Dr. Walter Farrell. Very well-attended by teachers, parents, community. Some of the same issues were discussed there, inlcuding re Hardrick! Urgent call is for people to get organized to work TOGETHER. Your investigations are so helpful to this cause.

    Bob Braun: Thanks for this note. Yes, organizing and unity are essential. Obviously, not everyone is Newark is going to agree on all approaches to education. But I believe some measure of unity can be achieved by concentrating on the simple idea that actions that affect the lives of children should not be taken unilaterally by one person imposed on the city by a man who is clearly corrupt and looking only to his own ambitions.

  16. DA

    Bob the parent association research committee will send you even more public printed information on this issue and what Tiffany Hardrick did to force a principal out to retire after her bullying Principal Ann Wilson and Bullied/Harrassed and almost destroyed Principal Cary Conover at NECHS in Newark; She Ms. Conover removed her 6 months right before state testing for kids for no reason (expect that she was mobilizing parents) even with parent protest. CASA has the incidents recorded and parent meeting minutes with letters to board members for over a year and no one did anything. We will send you proof of the continue public law suits of her cousin connected to the charter school and now an employee at NPS and NECHS. Who knows how many other family members have been hired. There is also a mess they left in Colorado there was and is enough trail on the messy bull dog. She can not be allowed to treat families and parents who want the best for their children.

  17. Who else

    And who is replacing her? Another charter school administrative alumna? Is there no one currently in the system that is qualified to be promoted (rhetorical)? Apparently experience is a negative commodity in NPS.

  18. Ruth Landis

    She is bullying administrators there now. Trying to put her team in place. Vaugn an Sanders leading the pack as “advisors”. State department already Investigating the schools. The kids in this town desperately need a decent education and she is intent on lining pockets. Those who can afford it are moving to neighboring districts so their children can be in a safe learning environment. The death knoll for Forest city schools sounds.

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