Another Charter School Bites The Dust
Barbara Jordan Public Charter School, a middle school in Northwest D.C., is closing at the end of next month, citing declining enrollment. The D.C. Public Charter School Board voted last night to accept the school's decision to relinquish its charter. The school, which serves grades 5 through 8, will remain open until the end of the academic year and cease operation by June 26.
"It's always unfortunate when a Board of Trustees reach a step like this," board chairman Tom Nida said in a statement this morning. "I applaud their decision to put the kids first."
It is the third charter school to fail this year. City Lights, targeted to students with serious emotional and learning disabilities, shut down in February because of financial issues. MEI Futures, a residential school for teenage mothers and their children, had its charter revoked by the board in April for academic and financial problems.
Barbara Jordan, opened in 2002 and located in the former Rabaut Junior High School on Peabody Street NW, projected an enrollment of 115 this year, according to information on the charter board's web site. It currently serves 61 students. The school caused a stir three years ago when it offered parents $100 payments to enroll their children.
A 2008 school performance report by the board noted Barbara Jordan's "pleasant atmosphere" and small class sizes, citing the monitoring of special education students as a special strength. But the report also said the school suffered from scant parent involvement. Overall achievement was relatively low. Just 35.4 percent of students scored at proficiency level or better in reading on the 2008 DC-CAS. Math proficiency was 29.3 percent.
Barbara Tobelmann, the school's executive director, had not returned a phone message by mid-morning.
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