Oklahoma City School Board denies charter schools, declines to reveal reasons

The Oklahoma City School Board rejected two charter school applications at a meeting Monday.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: January 9, 2013
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A committee of district employees evaluated the applicants' budgets, programs, services and other details.

The committee makes recommendations, and Carter drafts an official response to the board. Carter recommended the applications be turned down.

The committee members were Carter and several staffers of Oklahoma City Public Schools: Terri Bell, executive director of special services; DeAnn Davis, executive director of elementary schools and reform; Pat Watson-Hunt, associate director of elementary schools; Natalie Johnson-Pappageorge, associate director of elementary schools; and Verna Martin, associate director of secondary schools and reform.

The school board did not openly discuss Carter's memorandum or the task force's recommendations.

All eight school board members voted to reject the applications.

Board Chairwoman Angela Monson and District 5 board member Ruth Veales were not present for the charter school presentations last month.

The charter school applicants will have 30 days to respond to the specific reasons for rejection.

If the school board still says no, the applicants can choose to go to arbitration.

The advisory board for the Lighthouse of Hope Academy hasn't met yet to discuss how or whether to respond to the school board's decision, said John Birsner, one of the advisory board members.

The Lighthouse group hopes to serve students in the 73114 ZIP code in north Oklahoma City.

The area is known for high poverty and crime.

Birsner said he suspects the charter school group will answer the committee's concerns.

“It's our intention long-term to move forward,” he said. “We still believe there's a need, and we want to try to see that here in this area.”


AT A GLANCE

Oklahoma City charter schools

Oklahoma City Public Schools is home to several charter schools, and another one is in the works for downtown Oklahoma City. Here is information about the current schools, including the A to F school evaluation grade from the state Education Department. For reference, the poverty rate for the district as a whole is about 88 percent, and the district received a grade of D overall.

ASTEC Charter High School

Address: 2401 NW 23

Enrollment: 385 students

Grades: Nine to 12

Poverty rate: 74 percent

School grade: B

ASTEC Charter Middle School

Address: 2401 NW 23

Enrollment: 379 students

Grades: Six to eight

Poverty rate: 94 percent

School grade: C

Dove Elementary School

Address: 4901 N Lincoln

Enrollment: 296 students

Grades: Kindergarten to five

Poverty rate: 76 percent

School grade: B

Dove Science Academy

Address: 919 NW 23

Enrollment: 473 students

Grades: Six to 12

Poverty rate: 81 percent

School grade: A

Harding Charter Prep

Address: 3333 N Shartel

Enrollment: 467 students

Grades: Nine to 12

Poverty rate: 42 percent

School grade: A

Harding Fine Arts

Address: 3333 N Shartel

Enrollment: 317 students

Grades: Nine to 12

Poverty rate: 55 percent

School grade: B

Independence Charter Middle School

Address: 3232 NW 65

Enrollment: 303 students

Grades: Six to eight

Poverty rate: 49 percent

School grade: B

SeeWorth Academy

Address: 12600 N Kelley

Enrollment: 480 students

Grades: Three to 12

Poverty rate: 100 percent

School grade: D

KIPP Reach College Preparatory

Address: 1901 NE 13

Enrollment: 272 students

Grades: Five to eight

Poverty rate: 83 percent

School grade: A

Marcus Garvey Leadership Charter School

Address: 1537 NE 24

Enrollment: 181 students

Grades: Prekindergarten to eight

Poverty rate: 93 percent

School grade: D

Santa Fe South Middle School

Address: 4712 S Santa Fe

Enrollment: 381 students

Grades: Six to eight

Poverty rate: 93 percent

School grade: C

Santa Fe South High School

Address: 301 SE 38

Enrollment: 551 students

Grades: Nine to 12

Poverty rate: 88 percent

School grade: C

Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village

Address: 1508 NW 106

Enrollment: 330 students

Grades: Prekindergarten to five

Poverty rate: 91 percent

School grade: C

SOURCE: State Education Department

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