State monitors flunk Pencader, revoke school’s charter / Loss of charter will force troubled school to close

Source: Nichole Dobo, Delawareonline.com, February 22, 2013

Although parents and students had urged state officials to give them one more chance, the state Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to close Pencader Business and Finance Charter School…. Murphy said Pencader’s team did not submit a plan that addressed concerns communicated to them by the state, including improving student performance, strong governance of the school, and a plan for recruitment of more students and a new school leader….

…Problems have dogged Pencader for years. The school was most recently placed on probation in 2011 after state officials flagged governance and financial issues. The school remained on probation for those issues when the state board voted to revoke its charter Thursday.

When the school was on probation, the school faced continued hardships, including:
• The Pension Board ruled that three teachers had illegally double dipped despite a warning to the school leader.
• A student captured the school leader’s husband on tape using the word “bitch” while admonishing a female student.
• The school leader’s doctoral degree was questioned and at one point the school board dropped to just two members…

…For instance, Pencader’s leaders reported that the school outperformed the state average on student achievement tests, Carwell said. In reality, the school was below the state average on math and reading assessments, he said….