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April 14, 2016

Four city charter schools should not have licenses renewed, district recommends

Education Charter Schools
04142016_Olney_Charter_High Google/StreetView

Olney Charter High School in Olney.

Four Philadelphia charter schools look to have a tougher time persuading the School Reform Commission to renew their licenses.

The Charter Schools Office (CSO) of the Philadelphia School District on Thursday published renewal recommendation reports for nine of the charter schools under evaluation this year for renewal. The SRC will vote on the recommendations at its April 28 meeting.

Through the Charter School Office, the district supports and monitors charter schools while ensuring their accountability.

The CSO is recommending that licenses not be renewed for the following schools: John B. Stetson Charter Middle School in Kensington, Olney Charter High School in Olney, Universal Audenried Charter High School in Grays Ferry and Universal Vare Charter Middle School in South Philadelphia.

The district recommended license renewal for Harambee Institute of Technology Charter School in West Philadelphia, Mastery Charter School Clymer Elementary in North Philadelphia, Mastery Charter School – Simon Gratz Campus in Nicetown, Mastery Charter School – Shoemaker Campus in West Philadelphia and YouthBuild Charter School in North Philadelphia.

The renewal evaluation for West Philadelphia Achievement Charter School, which also submitted a renewal application in 2015, is ongoing and will be released upon completion, the district said in a statement.

The primary consideration for charter renewal is academic success, and a school that does not meet that standard will be considered for nonrenewal regardless of the ratings for organizational viability and compliance, and financial health and sustainability.

As part of its performance evaluation, the CSO conducts a comprehensive evaluation of the school including a multi-day on-site renewal school visit. The renewal recommendation reports detail each charter school’s performance across multiple indicators in the three performance framework domains.

During the SRC meeting, the CSO will make a full presentation on each of the recommendations. The SRC is expected to vote on each recommendation at the meeting. Under the Pennsylvania Charter School Law, when a charter school has submitted a renewal charter application, charter authorizers may either renew a charter for a five-year term or deny the renewal application.