Mosaica Education



“Charter Founder Profits; Students Struggle.” East Atlanta Patch (GA), 12/11/2012

From its headquarters one block south of Wall Street, Mosaica Education claims to operate with a simple mission: “To empower students to learn and achieve – every child, every day.”

This for-profit charter management company was founded in 1997 by Sandy Springs resident Gene Eidelman and has since expanded to a network of 90 schools, generating more than $125M in annual revenue.  For several years, Inc. Magazine has ranked Mosaica as one of the fastest growing companies in urban America.[i] 

Unfortunately, students attending schools managed by Mosaica have not seen their educational trajectories rise with the management company’s revenue.  Instead, Mosaica’s students around the country consistently underperform their peers...


During Mosaica’s short tenure on the national stage, it has found itself immersed in a series of scandals across the country.

The Lafayette Academy Charter School opened in the fall of 2006, paying Mosaica $773,000 for the first year of a five-year management contract. Less than 10 days into the school year, the charter’s governing board started “noticing problems.” In a lawsuit filed against Mosaica, the governing board alleged that the management company failed to align its curriculum to Louisiana standards, failed to establish an after-school program for struggling students, and failed to properly organize transportation to and from the school.  On September 14, 2007, an arbitrator awarded the governing board a $350,000 judgment against Mosaica and upheld the school’s termination of its management agreement.

Two years later, Mosaica’s Howard Road Academy in D.C. was embroiled in a cheating scandal when a student announced to her exam proctor that she knew all the answers to the DC-CAS standardized test because she had been given the test to practice the day before.  The Washington Post later reported that Mosaica administrators distributed tests prior to exam day for “extra practice

In April 2012, Mosaica’s STEAM Academy of Winston-Salem, North Carolina faced revocation of its charter for financial problems and low academic performance. Just before annual exams were to be administered, The Winston-Salem Journal reported that Mosaica hired Susan Willis to run the school.  Prior to landing this job, Ms. Willis was fired by her previous employer when an investigation found that she conspired to boost test scores as the principal of William Flemming High School in Roanoke, Virginia.  Mosaica claimed to be “aware of a testing irregularity,” when hiring Ms. Willis, but “didn’t think it was anything significant.”...

Just last week, the Detroit News reported that Mosaica’s newest school in Muskegon Heights, Michigan has struggled to maintain a stable staff during its first year of operations. The principal quit before classes started, and just three months into the school year, 25% of the teachers have also left the school. ...

A comprehensive analysis conducted by Arizona State University lists the first 36 schools founded by Mosaica since it began operating in 1997.  Twenty seven of those schools have since been shut down by local authorizers or have extricated themselves from Mosaica’s management.

Of the nine which survived, eight can be classified as categorical failures...

The only possible beacon of success among Mosaica’s first 36 education attempts is the Columbus Preparatory Academy. Founded in 2004, until recently, the school has struggled...saw its performance undergo a meteoric rise to the 81st percentile on the state’s 2011 tests.

Even if this single-year increase is an accurate reflection of lasting student growth at Columbus Prepartory Academy, Mosaica has demonstrated no capacity to duplicate the success elsewhere. Instead, the organization seems willing to accept a certain level of school closures, focusing instead on a strategy of opening new schools. During the time the network watched 27 of its first 36 schools close, it was able to open more than 75 new schools. As long as Mosaica opens more schools than it sees closed each year, its revenue can continue to grow...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bradenton Prep Academy school in Dubai was managed by Mosaica for 1 year (2012-2013). During that time numerous suspicious things were witnessed by both staff and parents. In the highly competative school environment in Dubai, Mosaica tried to increase their standings through malpractice and dishonesty. Students were marked as "present" when they were absent. Students were allowed to take exams home, write standardized tests at home, and grades were changed on report cards. There was no salary scale for teachers and all teachers were expected to fill in for classes that were without permanent teachers for months. At the end of the academic year, Mosaica was asked to leave and another educational administrative company took over the guidance of the school.

Anonymous said...

No wonder Willis got hired by Moasica, she is a perfect example of all that is corrupt...

Anonymous said...

I had two kids in Columbus Preparatory Academy for several years. The improvement was real, and can be directly attributed to principal Chad Carr. He was relentlessly focused on both academics and discipline. The school regularly held what can only be described as academic pep rallies. I have never before or since seen a school put so much focus on generating student enthusiasm about academic excellence.

If you read parent reviews of the place, they are almost universally excellent.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Columbus Preparatory Academy, the finances of the school do not indicate success. The school has a 5 million dollar debt and has operated at half-million to million dollar deficits during the last five years. The school's teacher have stated to me that they have been instructed to "help" students with testing. This "help" was guiding the students toward the correct answers during state testing time. The school cannot operate without Mosaica's financial help and will fail if it does not have a person line of credit from Mosaica.

Anonymous said...

Yet this school is still allowed to operate. This school has been turned in several times for cheating. It gets swept under the rug like it never happened. Talking about data problems in columbus public schools. This school has tons of data rigging. ODE has been informed of this matter. But, as always they are still allowed to operate.ODE has failed to protect the children that was forced to leave by being bullied by the principal. Shame on you ODE.

Anonymous said...

It amazes me some of the claims made on this page. "Fails to align itself with Lousiana Policy", the curricula the laws and guidelines by each state on education change faster than a microbe divides (every 20mins). These policies are enacted by individuals whom have never set foot in a public school. Yes Mosaica must align, but state education loves to spring news things even if an application is completely water tight, (I've witnessed). Until the US system stops reinventing the wheel, (times tables, alphabet, enforcing pedagogy in mathematics and restricting creativity), the problems will continue. Constantly moving the goalposts will result in never kicking that field goal.

In addition the comment regarding, cheating in examinations. Is that a mosaica conspiracy? Or a negligent teacher or a devious set of students. I'd like a link or the results of an investigation to go on rather than hanging a company out to dry.

Last but not least the US pays well over 9 times the amount per student ($27000) There is a grotesque financial investment for sports. Yet the US achieves poorly in Maths and science. Perhaps, if US education modeled itself on Finland rather than the UK health system (where there are more administrators than beds; akin to US universities dying because of not hiring Professors to teach content but believe unlimited numbers of Admin and VPs will solve the problem), maybe, just maybe the education would improve. But alas no, all that dead wood needs to be cut out, and use systems that worked. To much focus on busy work, buzzwords and new fangled business. No boots on the ground, no promotion from within, just money syphoners, acquisitions and death of US industry and institutions. Take it back people from the false job creators, the self preservationists and the professional blaggers.