Tonight the Denver Board of Education denied the renewal of one charter school and approved six others. All but four of the charter school renewals were approved on the consent agenda.
The Denver Arts and Technology Academy (DATA), operated by Mosaica Education in northwest Denver was denied. Board members had strong words for the charter school, which had been on probation for several years.
Life Skills Center of Denver was approved for a two-year probationary contract. Board member Jill Conrad noted the school had shown progress and that for many of these "second-chance" students there were no other educational options. She further acknowledged the Life Skills governing board's leadership in the past year. Conrad stated the CSAP scores cited by her fellow board member were taken in March 2007, before the one-year contract was approved in June.
Skyland Community School was approved for a one-year contract provided it meets certain contingencies such as identifying a suitable location.
Challenges, Choices and Images Charter School brought two charter buses full of parents and students to the hearing. Board members cited the Significantly Declining and Declining ratings on the school's SARs, the school not being in compliance with financial reporting, the financial instability of the school and lower test scores than schools serving comparable Free/Reduced Lunch qualifying student populations. One board member stated that the school had been through an especially tumultuous school year due to a move to a new facility, taking in Hurricane Katrina students and doubling its student enrollment. The school was ultimately approved for a probationary one-year renewal, however the school was also "put on notice" that it needed to improve its academic performance or face revocation in a year. CCI was not previously on probationary status.