February 8, 2016

Tindley CEO Resigns After 12 Years Leading Charter Network

Marcus Robinson lead charter network Tindley Accelerated Schools for 12 years.

Marcus Robinson lead charter network Tindley Accelerated Schools for 12 years.

The CEO and chancellor of Tindley Accelerated Schools resigned Monday after 12 years leading the acclaimed charter network, according to a news release.

Marcus Robinson recently faced questions from Tindley's Board of Directors about use of the school funds to pay for fancy hotels and fly first class to attend doctorate classes at Columbia University in New York City.

Robinson also billed $10,200 for personal fitness training for Tindley staff, according to the The Indianapolis Business Journal who first reported on the concerns of Robinson's spending.

The homegrown Tindley network spans six schools for grades K-12 and is considered one of the top charter operators in Indianapolis. It is nationally recognized as a Blue Ribbon School.

For three years Robinson oversaw the management of Arlington Community High School, a former Indianapolis public school that Tindley was contracted by the State Board of Education to run. But last year, Robinson ended the deal over a money dispute.

The IBJ reported Tindley meet 75 percent of its 2015 enrollment goal of 2,197 student sand that lead to a $2.8 million revenue shortfall.

Tindley was recently approved for a $8.7 million advance from the Common School Fund, through a new charter loan program in the state budget. Tindley had sought $20 million -- $4 million each for five of its schools

According to a news release issued by Borshoff public relations firm, Robinson "decided to resign so he can focus full-time on finishing his doctorate at Columbia University. "

“I’m grateful to have served beside such a talented and dedicated staff,” Robinson said in a statement. “Tindley has a great future, and I’m confident it will continue to provide a high quality education to our 1,600-plus students and their families.”

A national search will begin soon for a new chancellor and CEO. Kelli Marshall, current principal of Tindley Collegiate, will serve as interim CEO.

“As we look to the future, the board is also embarking on a strategic planning process where we will plan for sustainable growth and financial stability. We will do this with a keen eye on maintaining our exceptional academic quality,” board chair Jan Guffin, said in a prepared statement.

Robinson will remain under contract with Tindley until June 30, 2016.

Contact WFYI education reporter Eric Weddle at eweddle@wfyi.org or call (317) 614-0470. Follow on Twitter: @ericweddle.

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