For-profit

Accelerated Learning Solutions

Website:

www.als-education.com/

Location:

Orlando, FL

Type:

For-Profit Educational Consultancy

President (2017):

Angela Whitford-Narine

Accelerated Learning Solutions (ALS) is a for-profit educational management consultancy that provides services to public school districts and charter schools struggling with high dropout rates among other educational failings.

Background

Accelerated Learning Solutions (ALS) is a for-profit educational management consultancy which employs managers, educators, financiers, and marketing professionals to provide strategic advising and accounting services to high schools struggling with high dropout rates. It promises to balance budgets, obtain satisfactory student enrollment, and improve instructional techniques. [1] [2]

Activities

ALS provides strategic advising on operations and accounting to school districts. It bills itself as a “full-service school management company” that aims to raise schools’ competencies for the 21st century, help their students pass classes and graduate from high school, and help their students get into college or similar certification programs and that continues to provide higher education guidance to students who have graduated. [3]

Its key services include designing dropout prevention systems, developing “recovery programs” that help students stay in school, and creating re-enrollment programs for students who have dropped out but want to return to school. [4] Its dropout prevention and recovery program is called “Finish School.” [5]

Facilities and Financial Management

One service ALS offers is facility optimization. It evaluates properties, buildings, and construction sites for schools to make sure they are up to code and following all compliances. It also offers consulting services for schools looking to renovate their buildings and properties. [6]

ALS offers financial consulting services to schools like revenue forecasting, grant writing, and securing “supplemental funds” from the government and foundations. It offers ongoing financial advising to school to help with commercial decisions and accounting matters. [7]

Charter School Development

For charter schools, ALS advertises that it works with leadership teams, nonprofit boards of directors and stakeholder groups to address both student and staffing issues. It helps construct and finance facilities and advises on day-to-day operations to prepare schools for their charter applications. [8]

Marketing and Human Resources

ALS promises to help schools get up to date with modern technologies as well as modern regulatory standards and community politics. It professes to aid teachers in connecting to their students of the current generation. To that end, ALS advises schools on their marketing strategies to attract the right students and parents that align with the schools’ vision. [9]

ALS even advertises its ability to recruit and train teachers and support staff for schools. It claims it can take over the teacher recruitment process entirely for schools, even performing the background checks and interviewing processes. It argues that its methods are better than those implemented “in most school districts.” [10]

Controversy

In October 2017, ProPublica co-published an article with USA Today on for-profit educational organizations making money by artificially obscuring dropout rates and getting rewarded with government funding.

The piece discussed an internal document from Accelerated Learning Solutions obtained by ProPublica which instructed its employees to provide school counselors and school leaders with gifts, food, and beverages so that they would be more inclined to sign up for the firm’s new programs and services. In addition, the document told staff to remind traditional schools that if they transfer their poor-performing students to ALS’s network it would boost their graduation rates. [11] This story was picked up by conservative investigative reporter Luke Rosiak and included in his book Race to the Bottom: Uncovering the Secret Forces Destroying American Public Education. [12]

Leadership

As of 2017, Accelerated Learning Solutions’ president was Angela Whitford-Narine. Whitford-Narine allegedly circulated an internal email to staff members encouraging them to give gifts to traditional school leaders to persuade them to purchase ALS’s services. [13]

References

  1. [1] “About ALS.” Accelerated Learning Solutions. Accessed 18 December, 2022. https://www.als-education.com/about_als.php. ^
  2. “Home.” Accelerated Learning Solutions. Accessed 18 December, 2022. https://www.als-education.com/index.php. ^
  3. “About ALS.” Accelerated Learning Solutions. Accessed 18 December, 2022. https://www.als-education.com/about_als.php ^
  4. “Home.” Accelerated Learning Solutions. Accessed 18 December, 2022. https://www.als-education.com/index.php. ^
  5. “Our Partnerships.” Accelerated Learning Solutions. Accessed 18 December, 2022. https://www.als-education.com/our_partnerships.php. ^
  6. “Professional Services.” Accelerated Learning Solutions. Accessed 18 December, 2022. https://www.als-education.com/professional_services.php. ^
  7. “Professional Services.” Accelerated Learning Solutions. Accessed 18 December, 2022. https://www.als-education.com/professional_services.php. ^
  8. “Professional Services.” Accelerated Learning Solutions. Accessed 18 December, 2022. https://www.als-education.com/professional_services.php. ^
  9. “Professional Services.” Accelerated Learning Solutions. Accessed 18 December, 2022. https://www.als-education.com/professional_services.php. ^
  10. “Professional Services.” Accelerated Learning Solutions. Accessed 18 December, 2022. https://www.als-education.com/professional_services.php. ^
  11. Vogell, Heather. “For-Profit Schools Get State Dollars For Dropouts Who Rarely Drop In.” ProPublica, 5 October, 2017. Accessed 18 December, 2022. https://www.propublica.org/article/for-profit-schools-get-state-dollars-for-dropouts-who-rarely-drop-in. ^
  12. Rosiak, Luke. Race to the Bottom: Uncovering the Secret Forces Destroying American Public Education (New York: Broadside Books, HaperCollins Publishers 2022), Chapter 1, endnote 14. ^
  13. Vogell, Heather. “For-Profit Schools Get State Dollars For Dropouts Who Rarely Drop In.” ProPublica, 5 October, 2017. Accessed 18 December, 2022. https://www.propublica.org/article/for-profit-schools-get-state-dollars-for-dropouts-who-rarely-drop-in. ^
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Accelerated Learning Solutions

5850 T.G. Lee Blvd, Ste. 345
Orlando, FL 32822