D.C. Public Charter School Board Revokes the Charter of Young America Works
Washington, D.C. — The D.C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB) voted unanimously in a special meeting April 27, 2010, to revoke the charter of Young America Works Public Charter School. The Board said the school had violated applicable law and has materially violated the terms set forth in its charter agreement. The school will close by the summer.
The violations include:
- Young America Works (YAW) failed to maintain the health and safety of all students attending the school.
- YAW failed to operate in accordance with the mission statement provided in its application.
- YAW failed to design and implement the educational program described in its application.
- YAW failed to adopt content and performance standards for all subject areas at all grades and other performance levels served by the school.
- YAW failed to submit to the PCSB Board of Directors Meeting Minutes.
- Lack of sufficient books and other supplies for all students attending the school, and failure to develop and provide curriculum materials to all teachers at the school.
Young America Works, located on 6015-17 Chillum Road, NE, is a vocational/technical career-based public school for high school students interested in pursuing career training. The school has been in operation since the fall of 2004 and serves 315 high school students in grades 9-12, twenty-eight of whom are special education students.
PCSB Board members expressed disappointment in the findings that led to the decision to revoke the charter. “I am quite struck by the depth of the problems we have before us,” said Board Chair Brian Jones. “This Board is accountable to the students and right now these students are not being served academically and we are also concerned about their safety. Enough is enough. The future of these students is too important to risk,” Jones said. “It’s always a sad occasion when we have to make a decision like this,” said Board Member Will Marshall. “But this is a comprehensive failure across the board.”
This is the PCSB’s fifth revocation as a charter authorizer. Eight other charter schools have chosen to relinquish their charters rather than undergo the revocation process.
The PCSB will hold a community meeting at Young America Works on Thursday, May 6 at 6:00pm, with students and their families to help them understand the school closing and to assist in finding alternative placements for next school year.
The Board also approved YouthBuild Public Charter School’s request to open an additional site at 30 P Street, N.W. beginning with the 2011-2012 school year. YouthBuild’s request to increase its enrollment to 150 students was also approved.
The D.C. Public Charter School Board currently oversees 57 public charter schools on 99 campuses, serving approximately 28,000 students living in every ward of the city. Public charter schools now serve 38% of all public school students in Washington, DC.