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State stands by decision to close New Hope

Updated: Friday, October 18 2013, 07:26 PM CDT
Reported by: Donna Kirker Morgan

YORK -- New Hope Academy parents and students in York are promising to fight its ordered closure after the York city school board and state agreed that it wasn't making the grade. The most recent analysis gave the charter school a 44.6 percent out of 100 percent.

There are 13 charter Schools now operating in Central Pennsylvania. The state has given them all grades through its new school performance profile.

Despite the great testimonials to support embattled New Hope Academy the 44 percent remains one glaring number that keeps coming up as a reason for it to be closed.

The school was given that grade by the state's new School Performance Profile. The profile was created this year by the state to analyze how a school is doing academically and based on other parameters.

“The whole goal of school performance profile is to give parents more information,” said Tim Eller, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

CBS 21 wanted to see how other charter schools are doing and discovered three other area charter schools also received failing grades:

La Academia, Lancaster, 48.8 percent
Lincoln Charter School, York, 59.9 percent
Helen Thackston, York, 57.5 percent

The executive director of the PA Coalition of Public Charter Schools says that the profile only takes a snapshot in time, that it doesn't show progress that kids make and that many arrive at charters well below their grade level. State officials agree.

“It take a bit of time for those charter schools to get them up to speed,” Eller said.

Zaavan Butts is a graduate of Lincoln Charter School in York and wanted CBS 21 to look at how the York public schools were doing according to the profile. 

Many are failing and many are also in the 40th percentile according to the School Performance Profile.

“If anything, I would worry about McKinley and other public school not worry about charter schools,” Butts said. 

The state reminded CBS 21 that the grade it gave New Hope Academy is just a small part of why it supports the city school's decision to not renew New Hope's charter. The Charter School Appeals Board voted to not overturn the York City School Board’s decision to not renew its charter.

“(It was) not just academics, (there were) some fiduciary policies and admissions and I think you will hear more when the written decision is put out next week,” Eller said.
State stands by decision to close New Hope

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