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Head of Troubled Cyber Charter Resigns Following Unspecified Probe

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The leader of Colorado's largest online charter school has resigned following an internal investigation, the latest chapter in the ongoing turmoil at the 3,800-student GOAL Academy.

The investigation into Richard Mestas was over a "personnel matter" and did not yield any allegations or evidence of criminal conduct, financial improprieties, or violations of the school's charter contract, said a lawyer representing the school.

Mestas is the second of the school's top leaders to step down. GOAL's founder and former CEO, Ken Crowell, helped steer more than $5 million in taxpayer money for the school to his own for-profit management company. A program called "FAST and Furious" allowed students to gain a year's worth of credit for a week's worth of work. And while students were expected to work mostly online, at their own pace, just 1 in 4 students logged in to the school's learning software on a typical day.

Mestas served as the school's chief academic officer under Crowell. He was named acting executive director in July 2016 and made permanent CEO last February.

Vol. 37, Issue 23, Page 5

Published in Print: March 7, 2018, as Head of Troubled Cyber Charter Resigns Following Unspecified Probe
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