CARRBORO: Carrboro school fighting to keep charter - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Carrboro school fighting to keep charter

Posted: Updated:
CARRBORO, N.C. -

By the time school starts for the 2014-15 academic year, North Carolina will have more than 150 operating charter schools. That number has grown more than 50 percent over the last two years.

The boom in charter schools is raising some questions about accountability and fairness.

Rhonda Franklin, who co-founded Partnership Achieving Community Education Academy in Carrboro 10 years ago, said she started the school with the hopes of serving the disadvantaged community.

"We look at the students as individuals and meet their academic needs they weren't able to receive in other places," Franklin said. "Some of our students look at this place like home."

Franklin said more than 50 percent of the student population at PACE Academy has a learning disability, including autism or Down syndrome.

But the test scores at PACE Academy have not been meeting state standards. So in early February, the state Board of Education voted not to renew PACE Academy's charter.

The school quickly responded by creating a website making a public plea to save the students.

"I feel like the schools saved my daughter," said Kathy Hotelling, whose child attends PACE Academy. "I don't know where she would be today if she didn't come here."

A charter school just 20 minutes from PACE Academy is on a different track.

Orange Charter School Principal Jon Corcoran said the schools' test schools measure up with state standards. Last year, the majority of students at Orange Charter tested at or above the level set by the state.

At Orange Charter, teachers place an equal emphasis on the arts and science, math and English.

"I get to give kids 90 minutes of music education over six years," said Orange Charter teacher William Dawson. "So, you can really build on things."

Matthew Ellinwood works as an education policy analyst for the N.C. Justice Center. He said students are being segregated by how they perform in the classroom.

"We have these two schools with completely different missions, completely different student bodies, completely different sets of resources being held to the exact same standard," Ellinwood said. 

PACE Academy leaders have filed an appeal to the state Board of Education vote, but it could take months before a decision is reached, leaving the future of 140 students in limbo.

RELATED STORIES

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Squatters Move Into Soldier's Home and Refuse to Leave

    Squatters Move Into Soldier's Home and Refuse to Leave

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:25 PM EDT2014-04-23 18:25:50 GMT
    Alleged SquatterAlleged Squatter
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house.
  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:42 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:42:32 GMT
    Thomas Allen WinstonThomas Allen Winston
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
  • MUGS: 36 Arrests In Greenville Prostitution Sting

    MUGS: 36 Arrests In Greenville Prostitution Sting

    Wednesday, February 26 2014 12:58 PM EST2014-02-26 17:58:17 GMT
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, along with 26 other agencies throughout 15 states, participated in the event during National Day of Johns Arrest.The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, along with 26 other agencies throughout 15 states, participated in the event during National Day of Johns Arrest.
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, along with 26 other agencies throughout 15 states, participated in the event during National Day of Johns Arrest.
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, along with 26 other agencies throughout 15 states, participated in the event during National Day of Johns Arrest.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.