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California Charter Schools Recommended For Closure, Two Bay Area High Schools Included (VIDEO)

California Charter School Closures

First Posted: 12/19/2011 7:35 pm Updated: 02/27/2012 11:05 am

Last week, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) called for the closure of ten underperforming charter schools in the state -- and San Francisco's Leadership High School and Richmond's West County Community High School are two of them.

"We cannot have an honest discussion about education reform and increasing accountability without closing the charters that have demonstrated an inability to meet the challenge of excellence," said CCSA Senior Vice President Myrna Castrejon in an announcement. "The time to act on persistently low-performing schools is now, because our children's education cannot be put on the back-burner."

Both Leadership and West County Community were targeted for consistently low test scores. But according to Leadership Executive Director Elizabeth Rood, those scores are only part of a school's story.

"If you were to apply that cutoff, we would be talking about closing 15 high schools in the city," said Rood to the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's an issue of recognizing the local context. We are actually trying to be an answer to the achievement gap." According to the Chronicle, Leadership's minority students outscore their peers at most district high schools, but the CCSA does not take this into consideration during evaluation.

Rood's concerns echo those of educators at other charter schools, as well.

"We know that we're doing great things for students who are underserved here in our community who will be the first in their family to go to college," said Yolanda Falkenberg of West Sacramento Early College Prep Charter School -- another school slated for closure -- in a video by ABC News 10 in Sacramento.

Watch ABC's video about the closure at West Sacramento Early College Prep below:

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that the schools will be closed in June 2012. The CCSA has recommended that the schools close by this date, but this decision has not yet been confirmed.
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Filed by Robin Wilkey  |