December 25, 2014

Elyria
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Two area charter schools get poor ratings

ELYRIA — An Elyria charter school received its third consecutive poor rating from the Ohio Department of Education, but the school falls outside the realm of a law that would require it to close due to the poor performance.

Life Skills Center of Elyria received the designation of academic emergency — the lowest rating a school can receive — when the state’s report cards were released Tuesday.

Unlike other charter schools within the state that could potentially be shut down after three consecutive years of poor and unimproved performance, state law grants a waiver to schools with a majority of their students enrolled in a dropout prevention and recovery program.

Bob Tenenbeum, spokes-man for Life Skills Center of Elyria, said all 17 of the Life Skills Center schools in Ohio are considered dropout recovery schools.

“Given the nature of the student body, it’s unrealistic to expect any of these schools can get into the upper categories,” Tenenbeum said.

Of Life Center’s 17 schools, nine are in academic emergency, and eight are in academic watch.

Tenenbeum said the program is designed for students between the ages of 16 and 20. Its centers saw more than 600 students graduate last year, but he was unable to break out numbers specifically for the Elyria program.

The Summit Academy in Lorain, which specializes in teaching students with learning disabilities, also received its third consecutive academic emergency designation, but it is similarly exempt from a forced closing.

The school must only show that students’ tests scores show growth over time, state officials said.

Contact Stephen Szucs at 336-4016 or sszucs@chroniclet.com.