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.
A version of this article appeared in the March 07, 2018 edition of Education Week as Head of Troubled Cyber Charter Resigns Following Unspecified Probe