What do two mediocre charter schools on opposite coasts have in common? They’re both slated to close come June on account of low enrollment, financial concerns, and subpar test scores. Justice Charter High, a Los Angeles Green Dot campus, and New Covenant School in Albany have been on thin ice in recent years, but they’ve both made great gains in and out of the classroom. In an area plagued by violence, Justice High provided a safe alternative but test scores were only so-so. New Covenant School missed its reading proficiency target for 2009-10 of 75 percent by seven points--still twenty points higher than the 48 percent proficiency of 2008-09. Closing a school is never an easy a decision, and when the school is trying with all its might to turn itself around, the decision is even harder. But at the end of the day, an A for effort is not enough; these schools need to get an A for results too, and we applaud these authorizers for being realistic about a school’s ability to turn itself around.
“Green Dot to close Justice Charter High School,” by Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, March 22, 2010
“Despite Gains, Charter School Is Told to Close,” by Trip Gabriel, New York Times, March 18, 2010