Should the state give more latitude to high F&R and minority charter schools before not renewing their charters?
As noted in today's article, representatives from PreEminent Charter and Torchlight Academy, both in Raleigh, are making that case in an attempt to keep their charters. State officials are citing low test scores and other issues for not recommending that their charters be renewed when they expire in June.
"You have to look at more than statistics," said Don McQueen, executive director of Torchlight. "You have to look at the character of the school."
Click here for information on the charter renewals being reviewed by the state.
You'll notice that Raleigh Charter High and Quest Academy are both recommended for 10-year charter renewals.
The leaders of Torchlight and PreEminent say they're dealing with a far different population than Raleigh Charter or Quest.
"We’re a school that's concerned about minority students," McQueen said during a state Board of Education committee meeting on Wednesday. "If you raise the basement, you raise the whole foundation."
McQueen added that they're providing a charter school option for low-income parents.
Torchlight officials said their F&R rate was 85 percent, much higher than the Wake school system's 40 percent goal. Torchlight, like other charter schools, is independent of the school system's they're located in.
After the meeting, McQueen said he's concerned that many black charter schools are closing and are being replaced by predominantly white charter schools.
Roger Gerber, a member of the board of PreEminent and past director of the League of Charter Schools of N.C., said he's also concerned that so many black charter schools are closing.
Gerber said that it will discourage charter school applicants from minority areas from applying. He warned that it could lead to charter schools becoming all white.
Last school year, a majority of charter schools had a white enrollment of more than 70 percent. That's much higher than the percentage in the traditional public schools.