Editor’s note: Magnolia Public Schools and Accord Institute
LA School Report | September 23, 2015
In stories last year and this, LA School Report followed a conflict between Magnolia Public Schools and LA Unified, which had wanted to close two Magnolia schools and deny renewal of another over financial concerns. The schools were allowed to remain open after a court intervened, setting forth certain stipulations. The district and Magnolia later reached an agreement that outlined conditions under which Magnolia could continue operating the schools in LA Unified.
As part of that agreement, Magnolia acceded to a request by the district that Magnolia not do business with Accord Institute for Education Research, a service vendor, in any of Magnolia’s eight schools within LA Unified.
Accord has complained to LA School Report that our coverage was unfair, casting Accord in a bad light. While we disagree with that interpretation, we would like to clarify the record that none of the conditions imposed on Magnolia by the court or LA Unified reflected questionable practices by Accord. We have no reason to believe Accord acted improperly in any way. Nor did any of our stories say so, which is why we refused a request from Accord to remove them.
Accord has also raised concerns about a graphic that accompanied the first story we wrote, in July of last year. It showed the Accord logo in what could be perceived as an unflattering way. Because we took artistic license with the logo, we believe that Accord’s request was fair, and we removed the graphic from the story.
As for Magnolia and Accord, the two companies continue to have a business relationship, including contracts for work relating to Magnolia’s math contests, science programs and professional learning community work at schools in San Diego, Santa Ana and Santa Clara.
LA Unified, in a response to a question from LA School Report, said “to our knowledge” Accord has no other contracts with charter schools in the district.