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Who Is New York-Regents-Charter-Approved Ted J. Morris, Jr.?

November 24, 2014

On November 23, 2014, the Democrat and Chronicle published an article about a seemingly remarkable 22-year-old, Ted J. Morris, Jr., who had supposedly just received clearance from the New York Board of Regents to open his own charter school, Greater Works Charter School, in 2015.

However, there are a number of issues with Morris and his publicized credentials and accomplishments– lots of issues– all of which point to Morris as nothing more than a fraud– a fraud that NY Regents just granted the right to run a charter school.

For one, Morris apparently did not graduate from the Rochester, New York, School Without Walls (SWW), in 2008, as the D&C article says he did. In response to a post on Morris on her blog on November 24, 2014, education historian Diane Ravitch immediately heard from former SWW Principal Dan Drmacich, who emailed that Morris withdrew from SWW within a year to be home schooled and that Morris received no diploma from SWW.

In this self-gratulatory-albeit-contradictory charity bio, Morris declares himself a “natural born leader” who “broke through the chains of poverty” and graduated from Penn Foster High School.

But there is more.

Blogger Peter Greene researched Morris and discovered, among other elucidating information, that Morris first applied to open his charter in 2010, when Morris was only 18 years old.

In my own investigations of Morris, I came across this redacted 2013 application for Greater Works Charter. I used it to find out his official name: Ted J. Morris, Jr. And wouldn’t you know, I came up with a hit on Linkedin for one Dr. Ted J. Morris, Jr.

Ted Morris

Bingo.

(Note: Within hours of my publishing this post, Morris’ Linkedin bio was removed. A mystery, to be sure…. Here he is on Twitter. And a snapshot of Morris’ erased Linkedin page can be accessed here: http://i.imgur.com/xGohi4g.jpg)

Keeping in mind that “Dr.” Morris just lied about graduating from high school, note that on that Linkedin bio, he offers as his postsecondary education info alleged degrees from three institutions (links added): Western Governors University, Bachelors of Science (Human Services) 2008-10; Concordia College, Masters of Social Work (MSW), Non Profit Administration, 2010-12, (note: there is also the online, graduate-degree-offering Concordia College also tagged “university”, but it offers no MSW), and Concordia University Chicago, Doctor of Education (EdD), Education, 2012-14.

I found no evidence of a dissertation submitted by one Ted J, Morris, Jr., as recorded on ProQuest or UMI (both dissertation search engines).

Let us move on to Morris’ “experience”:

According to his Linkedin bio, Dr. (ahem) Morris “founded” Greater Works Charter in Rochester in June 2010, not the D&C-announced 2015. Also, since June 2012, Dr. Morris has been a “consultant” for the Morris Firm. Morris notes that the Morris Firm has him in the “Rochester area.”

There is a “Morris Firm” that specializes in criminal defense and personal injury and is located in St. Louis and Dallas, but not in Rochester, New York. There is a Morris and Morris law firm specializing in personal injury in Rochester, but it does not go by the name “the Morris Firm.”

From 2013 to 2014, Morris was supposedly the “director of operations and finance” of Sparq Rochester, which has a Facebook page identifying the organization as a nonprofit. However, according to the nonprofit 990 search engine, citizenaudit, there is no 990 filed for this “nonprofit,” and it is not identified on the nonprofit search engine, 501c3lookup.

Morris also lists himself as “assistant CEO” of Hikok Center for Brain Injury in Rochester from 2010 to 2013 (when Morris was 18 to 21 years old, mind you). However, this archived, May 2011, listing of key personnel for the Hikok Center for Brain Injury in Rochester and Newark– surprisingly– has no mention of a Ted J. Morris, Jr.

From 2003 to 2010– when Morris was only 11 to 18 years old– he was apparently “chief operating officer” of Christian Faith Centers in Rochester. I found no listing for such an organization in Rochester. It might have closed down once 18-year-old Morris left to begin the Rochester charter that was not yet approved but that his Linkedin bio claims he started anyway….

There is more on Dr, Ted J. Morris, Jr’s., Linkedin profile. Feel free to peruse. And here is Morris promoting himself “for charity.” However, allow me to note one more Linkedin tidbit for our edification:

Mr. Ted J. Morris, Jr., is seeking the “opportunity” to “join a nonprofit board.” I assume he means a profitable nonprofit– not just a Linkedin shadow.

A corporate reformer well on his way.

Looks like NY Regents intends to grant the fraudulent Ted J. Morris, Jr., his wish.

By the way, I emailed Morris using the address on his 2013 redacted charter application to ask him about his high school diploma. Here is the text of my email dated November 24, 2014:

Hi, Ted. My name is Mercedes Schneider, and I am a public school teacher, researcher and writer from Louisiana. I am interested in your application to open the Greater Works Charter School in Rochester.

Specifically, I am wondering about your declaring that you graduated in 2008 from Rochester’s School Without Walls. Former SWW Principal Dan Drmacich says you voluntarily left to be home schooled.

Did you graduate from high school or receive a graduate equivalency diploma? If so, what year and institution name are listed on your diploma?

Also, from which specific Concordia school did you receive your online bachelors?

Thank you–

–Mercedes Schneider

  deutsch29.wordpress.com

If I receive a response, I will add it to this post as an update.

I won’t even bill Regents for the investigation.

For a November 25, 2014, update, click here.

con artist

 

 

________________________________________________

 

Schneider is also author of the ed reform whistleblower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education

previti chronicle pic

From → Charters

37 Comments
  1. You are awesome! Now we just have to figure out a way to clone you and get you in every state !digging for the truth. Can you email me at kevino3670@yahoo.com Something I want to run past you.

  2. NShrubs permalink

    Sounds like someone’s been taking lessons from “Dr.” Steve Perry.

  3. Mercedes, Do you have access to ProQuest with Dissertation Abstracts, to see if he has a dissertation listed there? He doesn’t say what area of education his EdD is in and Concordia University has several programs. Curiously, his masters is listed as being from a different school, Concordia College, but the location is not provided and at the bottom of his page, there are actually two different Concordia Colleges listed, one in North Dakota and one in NY, so that seems a bit hinky.

    Also, if you read past the religious spin on his LinkedIn page and look at his Groups, you can see that he is definitely a “reformer” who wants to be a social entrepreneur who rakes in the big bucks, re: the 1937 book listed there, “Think and Grow Rich,” inspired by Andrew Carnegie.

    • Thank you. It must have just been removed. I accessed it as I wrote the post.

      In order for me to access your link, I must join Linkedin. I am not a member; however, the link will be a help to those who are.

      • Reteach 4 America permalink

        Here’s a snapshot of his LinkedIn page, which can be enlarged by clicking on it: http://i.imgur.com/xGohi4g.jpg

      • Reteach 4 America permalink

        I think Morris may have altered his LinkedIn page after it went down, because that book, “Think and Grow Rich,” which had been the first one listed under Groups, is not there now. Maybe he realized that it looks bad when you are aiming to get rich off tax payer dollars by emulating a robber baron.

      • What is comical is that he ever posted so much information that continues to implicate him as a liar through and through.

      • Reteach, thank you for the snapshot. I added the link to my post.

  4. More than happy to forward an archive

  5. Here we go, from the Linkedin page (sorry, the formatting is a bit funky):

    Dr. Ted J. Morris, Jr.

    A Skilled Servant Leader

    Rochester, New York Area
    Education Management

    Summary

    I am a servant leader with several years of experience managing complex responsibilities in a variety of not-for-profit and/or Christian-based organizations. As a servant leader, I achieve results for organizations that I work for by giving priority attention to the needs of their colleagues and those they serve. Also, I, as a servant leader can often be seen as a humble steward of my organization’s resources: human, financial and physical.

    My personal goal includes ensuring that the work that I do contributes to making the city of Rochester, the State of New York, and the United States of America a better place to live, work and grow for everyone. Everything I do ties back into this central goal.

    The causes that I support include, but are not limited to: Education, Arts Integration, HIV/AIDS, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Mental Health, Senior Living/End of Life, and Early Childhood Development.

    Specialties: Microsoft office, community relations, marketing, public relations, nonprofits, HTML, compliance, grantwriting, communications, operations management, charter schools, writing, development, donor cultivation, governance

    Experience
    Consultant
    The Morris Firm
    June 2012 – Present (2 years 6 months)Rochester, New York Area
    Founder
    Greater Works Charter School
    June 2010 – Present (4 years 6 months)Rochester, New York Area

    (Open)5 recommendations, including:

    Tyler Owens
    Tyler Owens
    CEO at Faithlinked Christian Media Group

    Ted is a competent, compassionate visionary with a passion for education. He desires to share that passion with generations…View
    Roberta Favitta
    Roberta Favitta
    Document Management Solutions Consultant, Founding Distributor at amèo, Founding Member Greater Works Charter School

    Where to begin?? Ted J. Morris Jr. is truly an inspiration in so many ways. His vision, his passion, his drive, his…View

    3 more recommendations

    Service Coordinator/Incident Coordinator
    All Metro Health Care
    January 2014 – November 2014 (11 months)Rochester, New York Area
    Director of Operations and Finance
    Sparq Rochester
    January 2013 – March 2014 (1 year 3 months)Rochester, New York Area
    Interim Executive Director, Task Force on Courts Project
    Church Women United in Rochester and Vicinity, Inc.
    July 2012 – July 2013 (1 year 1 month)Rochester, New York Area
    Hickok Center for Brain Injury
    Assistant CEO
    Hickok Center for Brain Injury
    August 2010 – January 2013 (2 years 6 months)Rochester, New York Area

    .
    Chief Operating Officer
    Christian Faith Centers, Inc.
    March 2003 – August 2010 (7 years 6 months)Rochester, New York Area

    Education
    Concordia University Chicago
    Concordia University Chicago
    Doctor of Education (EdD), Education
    2012 – 2014
    Concordia College
    Master of Social Work (MSW), Non Profit Administration
    2010 – 2012
    Western Governors University
    Western Governors University
    Bachelor of Science (BS), Human Services
    2008 – 2010

    Assistant CEO, Hickok Center for Brain Injury? When he was
    18! Wowzers!

  6. I nominate Ted Jr. CEO of the Edushysters!

    • Really! The math just doesn’t compute. Plus think of what Morris has modeled for his charter high school students:

      Drop out of high school after one year and claim you are going to be homeschooled. Then immediately go to online universities, where you can earn a 4 year bachelor’s degree in 2 years, a masters degree in 2 years and a doctorate in 2 years –all in different fields. This is neither credible nor sustainable. It really sounds like a scam.

  7. Laura chapman permalink

    Your fast turnaround on this is amazing,and the contributions of others are revealing.

  8. It seems that “Dr.” Morris is taking cues from other ed reformers. From what I can tell, to be a qualified expert in the educational reform arena you don’t need to have any experience or a degree in education. Heck – now it seems you don’t even need any experience or degree at all. The important thing is simply to tell people that you do.

  9. La. Ed. Watcher permalink

    I’ve noticed that about ed deformers – they love titles – doesn’t matter if they ever actually held the job or if that job even really existed. The gaggle of TfA 20-yr-olds they hired at the La. Dept. of Ed. were notorious for that. Every week they’d change their title; they had the same job, but they called themselves something different. And, I bet their resume listed ALL of the job titles they gave themselves in the 2-yr period they worked there. I’d get an email from one who was supposedly the Asst. Chief of Quality Educators (certification section). The next week, her email signature said, Asst. Director of Human Capital . Then, the next week it would be Asst. Supt. of Human Capitalor some such ridiculousness. And, with only 2-yrs of TfA experience in the classroom, she was hired as some high-muckity-muck of the RSD until she got briefly moved to the La. Dept. of Ed. as the head of human resources – with absolutely no experience in human resources whatsoever! Amazingly, she landed in Bridgeport, CT right after Vallas snake-oiled himself into that city as its “edu-savior.” An article about all of the Vallas people moving in listed her as being “in charge” of the educator certification section while she was in B.R., which was a job she never held. That might have been a mistake of the journalist, but who in the world would look at a resume like that and believe that a 25-yr-old would hold 5 administrative jobs in the same org. in a 2-yr-period?

    Incidentally, now, I hear the current LDE Chief of Staff has just started calling herself the COO, but still has the same responsibilities. No organizational change, just a self-bestowed title change.

    I worked in a snowball stand one summer on the Miss. Gulf Coast. I guess that qualifies me to put an entry on my resume “Chief Operating Officer, Regional Snow Engineering Corporation.

  10. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    This from two hours ago on the whiz kid–some local investigative reporting but in the end gives the guy the benefit of the doubt. hronicle.com/story/news/2014/11/25/questions-raised-year-old-charter-founder/70096942/

    • Laura, his credentials on Linkedin contradict his credentials on the charter app. They can give him “benefit of the doubt” if they like, but this kid has intentionally offered contradictory information on his credentials and experience.

  11. camb888 permalink

    One problem with this one, and similar cases, is that the boards in charge of checking out credentials are failing to do so. CT had one case of a Supt. candidate who, it turned out, had falsified his credentials, claiming a PhD he did not have. The board considering hiring him did NOT uncover the truth, nor did the group they HIRED and paid to verify his credentials. The truth was uncovered by the local press! Shouldn’t we be able to expect due diligence from boards in charge of hiring, and from those granting charter school approvals? Where’s THEIR accountability?

  12. Reg Platt permalink

    The swift descent of Mr. Morris continues. Word is circulating he has resigned from the board of Greater Works Charter School.

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