CARRBORO: Charter schools worries about meeting state standards - WNCN: News, Weather

Carrboro school worries about charter unless standards are changed

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A teacher works with a student at PACE Academy in Carrboro. A teacher works with a student at PACE Academy in Carrboro.
CARRBORO, N.C. -

Recent decisions by the state board of education regarding a unique charter school in Carrboro could be precedent setting.

PACE Academy has been under fire for the last year by the board for not being able to meet state standards in regard to finances and delivering results on state academic tests.

In early February, the board voted not to renew the school's charter, so the founders hired a lawyer and fought back. As a result, PACE received a three-year settlement agreement that gives the school another chance to prove itself.

Since most of the student body has learning disabilities, the school is concerned about how PACE will continue to meet state standards academically once its charter is again up for renewal.

"It is going to be very difficult to meet those," said Matthew Ellinwood with the N.C. Justice Center. "I think what we have to hope is that some students are going to be exempted from the testing with certain disabilities. We have to hope that PACE can really do something really kind of spectacular this year to improve the education of students with disabilities and get back up to par in the next three years."

PACE Academy was co-founded 10 years ago by Rhonda Franklin, who stated earlier this year that she started the school with the hopes of serving the disadvantaged community.

More than 50 percent of the student population at PACE Academy has a learning disability, including autism or Down syndrome. School officials said this makes it difficult to prove to the state the school can meet its one-size fits all academic standards.

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Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

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