A defamatory story was recently published on an online news site regarding Camelot Education, based on allegations which were investigated and determined to be unfounded. Camelot was cooperative and forthcoming with reporters regarding the story, providing nearly 20 pages of responses to questions, including specific details refuting allegations and independent reports that confirm the effectiveness of our programmatic approach to at-risk students.
Camelot operates schools across the country, employing highly-trained staff devoted to helping students who may have lost their way in school and need a path back to success. The story disregards overwhelming evidence of the tremendous success – documented by the school districts we serve – that Camelot has had with helping these students achieve.
Although this story references a number of alleged incidents of aggressive treatment toward students over a 10 year period, attempting to portray a pattern of mistreatment, all but one of the cases was shown to be unfounded, and in the one founded case, in Reading, PA, Camelot quickly terminated the offending employees. Perhaps the most insidious unfounded allegation in the story is that leaders at Camelot schools witnessed and participated in this inappropriate physical behavior. This charge is completely foreign to Camelot’s culture, and there is no factual basis on which to place it in a story.
The story attacks Camelot’s educational credentials despite the fact that the reporting team thoroughly reviewed independent studies of Camelot’s academic rigor and results. The reporters also contacted school districts who verified Camelot’s excellent performance. While the news outlet that published the story attempts to form a national narrative about alternative education, any assertion that Camelot does not practice academic rigor is rebuked by our results. Camelot performs a pre-assessment on all newly enrolled students that were referred to Camelot after not succeeding in a public school setting—many students arrive on a 3rd-6th grade level in literacy and numeracy. Our teachers and staff use this information to remediate and build upon the improvement, which helps a typical Camelot student grow academically by two grade levels per school year.
This story misrepresents Camelot’s mission of the more than 1,000 teachers, administrators, counselors, nurses, therapists, behavior specialists, and special education professionals who have a calling to work with special needs and at-risk students, and the successes that these students achieve.
We are very much in favor of holding all varieties of schools accountable, including every Camelot program. We are successfully working with school districts – not in competition with them. Instead of working to discredit an entire segment of schools, we urge journalists to objectively examine the organizations that comprise the alternative education segment and judge them on their performance.