What does Reach Academy closing mean?

As we head towards the Thanksgiving weekend, some people will be feeling a bit like the turkey when it comes to the battle for education reform. Those people will be parents, teachers, and students at Reach Academy, an all-girls charter school in New Castle.

The officially stated reasons for closing down the Academy was due to poor scholastic performance. The school has existed for four years and has suffered from poor leadership from its inception. However, as Jim Hosley quoted from Stephanie Ranchero of the Wall Street Journal:

In applying for a new school, many families take into account such factors as the distance from home and work, where siblings are enrolled, the availability of after-school care and campus safety, in addition to academic ratings.”    

Even though it was true that from a standardized test score component, Would the state have shuttered a public school which had the same numbers as Reach? Most likely, a few teachers and administrators would have been fired or laid off, a few students would have “choiced” to another public school, and there would be calls to spend more money to turn that public school around.

The basic truth is that for many parents, they didn’t pick Reach just because they felt like it or it was closer to the house. Many of them evaluated the full range of priorities, from education, school safety, and after school programs. While Reach did suffer from poor leadership in its past, that does not mean that giving up on the school after four years is to the benefit of the students.

And if anyone thinks the parents of Reach Academy students are OK with the DOE’s decision, you may be surprised.

Red the article by Jim Hosley on Reach Academy HERE


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