A charter school that opened in Philadelphia nearly 20 years ago has agreed to close its doors in June rather than fight allegations of poor test scores, declining graduation rates, and other deficiencies.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that World Communications Charter School—one of the four original charters that opened in the city in 1997—has agreed to close at the end of the academic year and forgo an appeal to the state Charter Appeal Board.
Marjorie Neff, chair of Philadelphia's School Reform Commission, says the settlement with the school provides plenty of time for students to find schools to attend in 2017-18. World Communications has more than 425 students in grades six to 12.
In a letter to parents on the school's web site, Principal Alexis Greaves said it was no longer feasible for the school to keep operating.
"Our goal has been to remain open...but unfortunately, we could no longer afford the immense financial strain involved in trying to convince the District that we deserved to have our charter renewed or extended," the letter says.
The school says that 96 percent of the class of 2016 received a diploma, and 94 percent were accepted to attend college, a trade school or enlist in the military.
"We are proud of what we achieved and disappointed in where we fell short," the letter says.