About 3,500 students in St. Louis will have to find new schools in 2012-13 after the Missouri Board of Education voted to shut down six charter campuses operated by Imagine Schools.
The board's decision to close the schools comes after Missouri Baptist University, which had been the sponsor of the Imagine charters, relinquished control of the schools to the state. The schools have had financial and academic troubles.
"This decision was not made lightly or hastily," says state education commissioner Chris Nicastro. "The Imagine Schools in St. Louis City have been underperforming for years. They are among the lowest achieving schools in the state, scoring well below the St. Louis Public Schools and Missouri state averages."
The schools affected: Imagine Academy of Academic Success; Imagine Academy of Cultural Arts; Imagine Academy of Careers Elementary; Imagine Academy of Careers Middle; Imagine College Preparatory Academy; and Imagine Academy of Environmental Science and Math.
"This decision has been made without providing us any opportunity to show the progress made on these campuses since last fall," says Jason Bryant, executive vice president of Imagine.