As predicted, yesterday afternoon the DC Public Charter School Board voted to revoke the charter of National Collegiate Preparatory PCHS. The members were distressed by the school’s poor academic results, low high school graduation rates, and the inability to retain students from one term to the next. The PCSB also felt that the turnaround plan came too late for them to assess whether it had a realistic chance of succeeding.
The only real debate occurred over the timing of the end of operations. Some argued that the school should be allowed to continue for three more years without accepting new pupils so that those currently enrolled could graduate and others could find a new facility. In the end it was decided that the doors would be shuttered at the conclusion of the 2020 term, unless the charter fails to agree to conditions established by the board in the coming days. Closure would also occur sooner if the school discontinued offering a full range of academic courses, neglected to protect the health and safety of its students, and proved to be not financially viable.
I’m sure that the parents and students of this Ward 8 community are exceptionally upset with the decision of the charter board. However, I would argue that this anger is misdirected. Instead, they should be disappointed with the management of the school and its board of directors, which failed them.
The only hope now is that another charter agrees to come in and takeover this campus. The logical choice is Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS. However, in this case the timing is not good as this school in in the midst of a search for a new executive director. Richard Pohlman announced last November that this school year would be his last in his position.