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Charter board considers closing N.E. school

The D.C. Public Charter School Board will meet in emergency session at 6 p.m. Friday to consider revoking the charter of Young America Works, a seven-year-old vocational high school in Northeast. Revocation could close the school permanently at the end of the academic year.

Board communications director Nona Richardson said the school has been under increasing scrutiny for the last couple of years because of issues with truancy, student safety and poor academic achievement. "It seems evident that the situation is not improving, and given recent incidences of violence and ongoing disruptions at the school, board members felt they needed to act immediately," Richardson said.

A phone message to Young America Works founder and executive director Brenda Williams was not returned Thursday evening.

Three charter schools closed during the 2008-2009 school year because of academic or financial problems. City Lights, a school for special education students, and Barbara Jordan, which served grades five through eight, folded voluntarily. MEI Futures Academy, a boarding school for teenage mothers, had its charter revoked.

Read the charter board's full statement here.

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By Bill Turque  |  March 4, 2010; 8:00 PM ET
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You had only to read the abbreviated education audit remarks included in the last published Charter School Board report on its schools, released in Dec 2008. (My request for the next report has gone unanswered.) The auditor found no connection between the academic curriculum and the vocational programs. Not even on paper. (That report is available online.)

Posted by: incredulous | March 5, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

From that Dec 2008 report. Directly quoted. : (Why does the Charter School Board continue to permit children to be neglected this way?)

Curriculum and Standards: There is no written curriculum for the academic or vocational programs and no identifiable course sequence that leads to a career path and/or certification. Academic courses are not consistently infused with vocational and career information. While YAWPCS is in the process of aligning its academic curriculum to the DC Learning Standards, the process seems to have come to an end before it was completed.
Instruction: The principal often observes teachers and provides timely feedback. Agendas and objectives are posted in most classrooms, but teachers seem to expect little of the students in terms of work, quality or variety. Most classes observed used whole-group instruction, worksheets or workbooks. Students were compliant, but not inspired.
Assessment: Teachers use teacher-created pre- and post-tests to measure student performance. With the exception of the DC CAS, there are no standardized assessments – formative or summative – to gauge student progress toward
standards and to calibrate the quality and reliability of teacher-made assessments.

Posted by: incredulous | March 6, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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