Tuesday, March 08, 2005

SouthEast Academy Charter Revocation Process Started 

Last evening I attended the monthly open meeting of the D.C. Public Charter School Board. At the session the Board voted to begin the process of revoking the charter for The SouthEast Academy of Scholastic Excellence PCS.

The school was recently up for its five year review and has been on probation with the Charter School Board for the last two years. The reason given for this action is the failure of the school to meet the standards contained in its accountability plan. The process for revocation could take up to 90 days and does not necessarily mean that SouthEast Academy will be closed. But the Board made it quite clear that the future of this facility does not appear bright. SouthEast Academy serves 695 kindergarten through 8th graders and is located in Anacostia.

If SouthEast Academy loses its charter then this would be the first school closed by the Public Charter School Board. The Board of Education has closed a couple of charter schools, if I remember correctly.

Also at the meeting the Board placed the Sasha Bruce Public Charter School on probation because of it failure to provide for the needs of special education students according to its charter and federal law. The Board made clear that because these violations have been identified in the past and not corrected that this school also was heading toward revocation of its charter. Sasha Bruce has 197 students in grades 6 through 9 and is located in Northeast.

Since I was one of the few observers at the meeting, at the end of the forum the Board members and staff asked for my impressions of what I had just seen. I told them as a Chairman of a board of a charter school it gave me new respect for the seriousness of what the charter means to those involved with WEDJ and drove home the great responsibility we have to the citizens of Washington D.C.

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