|For Immediate Release|
|Tuesday, December 16, 2008|
|Contact:||Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106|
Education Commissioner Recommends Board Revoke Uphams Corner Charter
MALDEN - Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester on Tuesday recommended that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education revoke the charter of Boston's Uphams Corner Charter School, citing unmet conditions and a steady decline in performance.
The Boston charter school has been open since 2002 and currently serves 174 students in grades 5-8. The school was flagged as troubled during its charter renewal review in December 2006, and was renewed in January 2007 with conditions relating to school improvement and relocation of the school to Uphams Corner. According to an October 2008 review of the school conducted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's charter school office, none of the conditions have been fully met.
"We have given this school ample time to turn itself around, but it has not made enough progress to warrant my support for either further conditions or probation," Chester said. "This decision has to be about what is best for students, and I do not see enough evidence here to convince me they are being properly served at this school."
The Board is scheduled to vote on Commissioner Chester's recommendation at their January 27, 2009 meeting. If they vote to revoke the school's charter, school officials will have 15 days to request an administrative hearing to overturn the decision.
Chester recommended the school's charter be revoked at the end of the 2008-2009 school year, allowing parents time to find placements for their children within the Boston Public Schools, a different charter school or elsewhere. Boston Superintendent Carol Johnson said she is prepared to work with each family that chooses the Boston Public Schools to ensure every student is appropriately placed before the start of the 2009-2010 school year.
"If the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education votes to revoke the Uphams Corner charter, every one of their students will be welcome in the Boston Public Schools," Johnson said. "This type of a change can be difficult, but we will do all that we can to ease the transition and find a suitable placement for every child."
According to the October report prepared by the ESE's Charter School Office, the school has failed to meet any of the conditions imposed at renewal. The conditions included that:
- the school make Adequate Yearly Progress in 2008
- the school meet or make substantial progress toward meeting their accountability plan goals
- the school complete the fundraising and property acquisition needed to relocate to Uphams Corner by September 2009.
If the Board approves Commissioner Chester's recommendation, this will be the third school to have its charter revoked after opening. The Board of Education voted to revoke the charter of the Roxbury Charter High School in 2005, and the charter of the Youth Build Boston Charter School in 1997.