Kanye West is in the news once again, and this time it is not at all for the right reasons. The rapper’s foray into the education sector isn’t having the best response, and new revelations about Donda Academy are making jaws drop.
News of Ye’s Donda Academy, which was built in honor of his late mother Dr. Donda West, first circulated last September when the Yeezy founder bought 3.7 acres of land in California located between Moorpark and Simi Valley.
By October, the school was seemingly established and began accepting applications from students describing itself as “a world-class education that includes a rigorous core curriculum, and an emphasis on sustainability, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving,” making them the “next generation of leaders, thinkers, and innovators.”
However, despite its picture-perfect development, sources claim things look anything but ethical behind the scenes.
Of NDAs & Informal Agreements At Donda Academy
According to Rolling Stone, parents who enroll their children at the private school — which boasts of preparing “students to become the next generation of leaders” through “an ethic of integrity and care” — have to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Per two sources who spoke to the publication, parents and guardians associated with Donda Academy have to sign an NDA and aren’t allowed to speak publicly about the inner workings of their academic process.
A consultant for the institution, Tamar Andrews, confirmed that parents are indeed made to sign some sort of “informal agreement” but didn’t specify if they were NDAs or what they were about. As for why there’s an air of secrecy about the school compared to other top education institutions in the Valley that share most details on their website, Andrews says:
“Honestly, we don’t care if people know about the school. The people that want to come to the school are looking for a good Christian school in that area and they know that we’re there … there is also a certain notoriety that comes with being affiliated with Donda. So, I don’t know that we have to advertise, which is a blessing and a curse.”
Malik Yusef, a producer and longtime collaborator of Ye’s who helped shape the school’s concept, shared Andrews’ sentiment about Donda Academy not being transparent about its system, saying it’s intentional.
In his words, “The process of Donda school is for the parishioners, for the attendees. I don’t think Kanye needs to tell the world what he’s doing, so that he can be under more scrutiny.”
Yusef added, “People choose to bring their kids to Donda Academy for a sense of privacy,” he adds. “A sense of care, a sense of concern, a sense of love, an environment of health, and an environment of wealth, an environment of learning, and putting God as a focus.”
Donda Academy Is Not Accredited & Has Inexperienced Staff
To make things worse, Donda Academy isn’t yet accredited. Andrews confirmed this but noted that the school recently applied for accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the leading accreditation agency for all academic institutions in California.
A schedule to visit Donda Academy is reportedly slated between December and Spring 2023.
What’s more, the educators employed by Ye to lead the students don’t seem to have credible experience. For example, Rolling Stone reports that Brianne Campbell, Principal, and Executive Director, has not held a formal position as an educator before.
Her closest involvement with education comes from running her own piano, guitar, and singing tutoring business from her apartment. Campbell, who didn’t reply to an interview request, just enrolled in a master’s degree program in education at Pepperdine University in January and is set to complete the course by next August.
Beulah McLoyd, a top Chicago educator who has met Barack Obama, was the former Principal but departed the school because “there’s people that are not the perfect fit for every role,” according to Andrews.
Donda Academy is hiring educational staff before the start of the school year and reportedly paying between $55,000 to $75,000. So far, Ye’s school boasts 100 students and 16 full-time teachers with a tuition of $15,000-per-year school.
The new shocking revelations about Donda Academy come weeks after Ye slammed his estranged wife Kim Kardashian for not allowing their kids to enroll in his school but remain in Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles.