Adrian Morgan, the former chief executive of the embattled Algiers Charter School Association in New Orleans, is now the Louisiana executive director of the Friendship Education Foundation, a national charter management group.
The foundation manages one Louisiana charter school, Friendship Capitol High in Baton Rouge, and schools in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.
The position with Friendship, which Morgan assumed in late February, is in addition to his responsibilities as a school turnaround director with the international education consulting firm YardStick Learning.
Morgan took the YardStick job in January, not long after he was abruptly terminated for what Algiers Charter School Association board members said was the local charter schools’ poor academic performance, as well as his poor handling of personnel matters and organizational management.
Months earlier, Morgan led an investigation into potential cheating on standardized tests at Algiers’ L.B. Landry-O. Perry Walker High School, one of the charter association’s schools. The school’s impressive gain and subsequent plummet in test scores over two years raised a red flag among state and local educators.
The school is now under investigation by the state Inspector General’s Office for potential cheating, and the organization has placed its principal and other educators on paid suspensions.
Morgan said Friday that his YardStick job is client-driven and flexible, enabling him to work regularly with Friendship.
Paul Jackson, Capitol High’s principal, will remain in his position.
“My career has always focused on developing the potential of young minds,” Morgan said. “It is for this reason that I am truly excited about the opportunity to support Friendship in building on their track record of success in doing this very same work.”
He said he will focus first on improving Friendship Capitol’s state letter grade — an F in 2015 — but that the organization is not ruling out expanding its Louisiana footprint in the future.
Justin Blanchard, Friendship’s spokesman, said his organization was impressed by Morgan’s experience in education reform.
“Adrian has a couple of decades’ worth of experience in charter schools and he’s been down in Louisiana, so I think it bodes well for our organization,” he said.
Before joining the Algiers charter school group in 2012, Morgan was the chief operating officer of FirstLine Schools, a five-school charter management organization whose founders started the first New Orleans charter school. He also has worked as a charter school consultant and spent a decade as vice president of Edison Learning, a for-profit education management organization.
Friendship will pay Morgan $135,000 annually, he said. In 2014, he made more than $234,000 in salary and extra compensation from the Algiers Charter School Association, according to that organization’s federal tax form.
Follow Jessica Williams on Twitter, @jwilliamsNOLA.