Application was deemed inadequate in three areas

Mar. 03, 2014 @ 04:29 PM

Kerr-Vance Academy’s charter application was judged inadequate by the N.C. Charter School Advisory Council on three of the four main sections, according to the application rubric obtained by The Dispatch.

The applications are composed of five sections total, including application contact information; mission and purposes; education plan; governance, operations and capacity; and financial plan.

These sections are evaluated by a six-member subcommittee who can rate each section excellent, adequate or inadequate.

A rating of excellent is given if the response demonstrates a thorough understanding of key issues and the ability to start a charter school successfully and goes above and beyond the minimum components, according to the N.C. Charter School Advisory Council rubric.

An adequate rating means the response indicates some preparation and grasp of key issues, and the application simply meets the standard components, according to the rubric.

Inadequate indicates the responses lack necessary detail or raise substantial concerns about the applicant’s preparation for and ability to start or operate a charter school successfully.

The mission and purpose section of the application was deemed adequate, but the rubric describes the school’s proposed mission statement as generic.

The school’s mission statement is to “provide a rigorous and comprehensive academic program gearing students towards higher learning in an intensive liberal arts college preparatory environment,” according to the application.

Committee members also articulated concern in the rubric that the application did not provide enough evidence the school would be focusing on the at-risk population, despite the data in the application focused on the dropout rate in Vance County Schools.

“There is no evidence that the track record is with at-risk,” the rubric states.

Kerr-Vance Academy Charter’s application cites the low graduation rates in Vance County and states the school expects new students entering in the first year will be at a higher risk of dropping out than students attending schools in other counties.

“To that end, the KVAC Board of Directors is committed to playing a part in reducing the dropout rate by identifying students at risk of dropout early and engaging them in programming aimed at addressing the economic, social, academic and cultural contributors to dropout, thereby mitigating that risk,” the application states.

On the remaining three sections, KVA’s application received an inadequate rating.

In its education plan, the application states KVAC would implement a classical curriculum.

“The main difference between KVAC and (Vance County Schools) is the combination of KVAC’s classical curriculum for all grades entwined with the Common Core State Standards and Essential Standards in a sequential, rigorous, and comprehensive path from Kindergarten all the way through high school graduation allowing for natural transitions from elementary school to middle school to high school,” according to KVAC’s application.

But the rubric claims there was not a strong connection between the Common Core and Essential Standards and a classical studies curriculum outlined in the application.

Kerr-Vance Academy Principal Paul Villatico has said he believed the school’s application was not fairly judged by the committee.

For the overall evaluation, the rubric states, “the applicant will not be invited for an interview.”

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.