MOST CHARTERS EXCEL, FOUR APPROACH ALERT
(October 1, 2011) Most Arkansas charters1 meet or exceed standards in a state report that assigns a numerical grade to K-12 public schools but four are named as “approaching the standards alert” set by PA 35 of 2003.
Fifteen charters exceed standards (levels 5 or 4) and another seven meet standards (level 3). Four received the highest designation--“schools of excellence:” E-STEM Public Charter Elementary School, Haas Hall Academy, LISA Academy North, and Vilonia Academy of Service and Technology.
Eleven charters exceed standards: Academic Center for Excellence (Cabot), Academics Plus (Maumelle), Arkansas Virtual Academy (Little Rock), Benton County School of the Arts (Rogers), E-STEM Public Charter Middle School and High School, KIPP Delta College Prep (Helena), Imboden Area Charter School, LISA Academy North-Middle School and High School, and Mountain Home High Career Academy. Seven charters meet standards: Academic Center of Excellence (Osceola), Covenant Keepers Charter, Lincoln Academic Center of Excellence, LISA Academy High, Little Rock Preparatory Academy, and Osceola Communication, Arts and Business Charter.
Report: Four Charters Approach ‘Alert’ Status
The report prepared by Univ. of Arkansas researchers did not name any charter as “in need of immediate improvement” (level 1). But four charters were identified as (level 2) schools “approaching the standards (alert).” They are Badger Academy (Beebe), Blytheville Charter School and ALC, Covenant Keepers College Preparatory Charter School, and Dreamland Academy (Little Rock).
1 Arkansas has two types of charters: conversion and open-enrollment schools. The state Department of Education defines a conversion school as “a public school converted to a public charter school“ that “can only draw students from within the school district's boundaries.” Open-enrollment charters are “run by a governmental entity, an institution of higher learning or a tax-exempt non-sectarian organization.” They “can draw students from across district boundaries.” A complete list of Arkansas charters can be accessed at the department’s site: http://arkansased.org/about/schools/charters.html