The Delaware Department of Education issued a charter renewal report to Campus Community School on 4/30/15, and the school responded yesterday. While many know I’ve had issues with this school in the past, I also recognize any school that makes important changes and stays on course can be a good, or even great school. Campus made many of those changes the past couple of years.
The only hurdle Campus is experiencing with the DOE is the same problem many schools in Delaware with a high population of low-income students are having: scores on standardized tests. This is an ongoing systemic issue with the state in my opinion. The demands placed on these schools is insane in my opinion, and there are many ways to determine effectiveness in a school. I do not believe standardized test scores are a good measurement at all. The fact that Campus had near identical rates with their home district, Capital, shows progress IF you believe this is a quality tool of measurement, which I don’t.
Documented research, proven time and time again, has shown students from low-income or poverty in urban schools do not perform as well as their peers. But the Delaware DOE and the US DOE continue to believe all performance gaps should be closed, even as this methodology is falling apart at the seams.
I had to laugh that the DOE measured Campus Community on high school graduation rates since they closed their high school in 2012. I’m sure it was a technical error, however it’s probably not so funny to the school when they get these reports for charter renewal and they see these kinds of flaws.
While I may have some issues with some of the things I’ve heard in regards to parent opt-out responses, overall Campus has come a long way. In comparison to Academy of Dover and Providence Creek Academy, I would say they are far superior. They certainly have not had any of the financial issues those schools have, and glaring “situations” do not appear to be going on. Great job Campus!