The State Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to uphold a decision by the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) to withdraw sponsorship from charter school Hope Academy.
UMKC notified the Hope Academy Board on Dec. 2, 2013, of its decision to withdraw sponsorship at the end of the current school year. The decision was based on a review of Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) results over the last four years. Members of the State Board of Education questioned how they could authorize continued operation of a charter not recommended by its sponsor.
The school had earlier filed appeals with the UMKC Charter School Center, whose hearing committee also unanimously upheld the decision to withdraw sponsorship. The charter school submitted an appeal to the State Board of Education on Jan. 24, 2014, as allowed by state law.
More than 80 percent of students at Hope Academy are not scoring in the proficient range on state assessments in English language arts, and 90 percent of its students are not scoring proficient in mathematics. The Department has identified Hope Academy as a persistently low-achieving school based on those results.
“We share UMKC’s concerns about persistently low MAP scores from Hope Academy,” said Margie Vandeven, Deputy Commissioner of Learning Services. “All students deserve to receive an education that will prepare them for life after high school graduation.”
Ensuring that all students graduate career and college ready is the top goal of Missouri’s Top 10 by 20 initiative, which is aimed at placing student achievement in Missouri within the top 10 performing states in education by 2020.
The Department uncovered other irregularities at Hope Academy during an unannounced on-site visit on Oct. 9, 2013. The State Auditor’s office is currently conducting an audit of those issues.