The Eastern Junior Hockey League-South's Florida Eels, and General Manager Frank Scarpaci, are under investigation after parent complaints in regards to Edison Preparatory School, a school operated by Scarpaci.
The allegations stem from problems former Edison students are having attempteing to transfer credits to public schools, in many cases, these students are being forced to re-take courses or repeat an entire grade. Parents are accusing Scarpaci of misleading them about Edison's accreditation.
USA Hockey has gathered all the complaints and evidence, and the issue will be addressed at this week's Annual Congress in Colorado Springs. The Junior Council has the authority to address the situation and could take corrective measures that include Scarpaci's suspension or the termination of the Eels USA Hockey affilation.
Also of note is the fact that Scarpaci has been named the General Manager of the new Dell Ducks, a new Minnesota Junior Hockey League team that is in need of final approval from the Junior Council. The Ducks are operated by John Schwarz, father of the Eels' Johnny Schwarz, who just completed his junior year at Edison. The Schwarz family is very happy with the educational experience Johnny is getting at Edison Prep.
This article, (http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/content/news/vouchers/c1a_Voucher_0411.html) found in the Palm Beach Post back in 2004, discusses many of the problems associated with the National Private Schools Accredition Alliance, the organazation that Scarpaci's Edison Prep is accreddited by.
The NPSAA's website states that it "does not inpose any specific, pre-detrimined or rigid, fixed standards to become accredited. Therefore, you are not required to demostrate a specific student to teacher ration, length of time in business or in-house library, etc." The NPSAA also offers a "fast-track" accreditation for $2,695.
The address listed (1800 Pembrook Drive #300, Orlando, Fl.) is the really operated by HQ (407-667-4700), an executive suite type of operation. A call to the business revealed that the NPSAA does not do business at, or from, this address. Why am I not surprised?
We tried to contact the president of NPSAA, Dr. David L Johns, using the listed contact info found on their site, 404-386-3340, and that number was not in service. We were later told that Dr. Johns has passed away by Executive Director, Julie Weifuss (727-403-2666).
According to Weifuss, Edison Prep is a member in good standing of the NPSAA and this issue being politically driven by the individual school districts that are retaliating against private and charter schools.
AJH.com has been known to dig at issues a bit deeper than most. In many cases we are able to get to the root of the story. In this situation, it appears that Scarpaci and his Edison Prep is the victim of a political circus that is Florida's education system. Scarpaci, in my opinion, could have done more to investigate the issues and reputation of the NPSAA. Parents should have also been able to discover what we did in a little more than an hour of time. As a parent in this economy, I want to make sure the investment I make in my children's education is credible. That would mean that I would also check up in the folks in charge of the accredation.
Is this an issue for USA Hockey? We don't think so. All anybody has to do is look at the number of players Edison Prep has graduated and where those student-athletes are now. It is easy to see that Scarpaci took the NPSAA at face value and crossed that item off his list.
The bottom line is simple. Scarpaci did what many other charter and private schools have done. They selected an accredition association that appeared to be credible. Any educational organazation that operates out of an UPS Store and an Executive Suite is not going be getting my support, Scarpaci, and the others, could have identified a stronger organazation.
What do you think?