PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Education Commissioner Deborah Gist wants to shutter Rhode Island's oldest charter school at the end of 2012-2013, citing dismal math scores and poor leadership.
Gist is recommending a "non-renewal" of the Academy for Career Exploration. The high school serves 225 mostly low-income students. It opened in 1997.
I remain unconvinced that the rational response to a small high school with very good reading and writing scores (proficiency 5% and 13% above the state averages) and poor math scores (literally 0% proficiency last year) is to close the school -- charter or otherwise -- particularly when the likely alternatives in Providence are worse in reading and writing and only marginally better in math.
This is where all the talk about on-line learning gets up my butt, too. If RIDE has an online math curriculum they believe in, now's the time to use it. Give them three years doing online math to stay open.
It isn't like anyone else is banging down the doors to open a charter high school in Providence. Achievement First doesn't even want to take it on within the decade.