Report: Jackson charter schools did not meet academic goals

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Two Jackson charter schools failed to meet their own academic goals for the 2015-2016 school year, according to the annual report approved by the state charter authorizer board on Monday.

Reimagine Prep, which is run by the Nashville-based RePublic Schools, had set a goal of all students who started the school year reading below grade level would improve by at least 1.5 grade levels. However, only 46 percent of their students met that benchmark.

Midtown Public Charter School was vying for all students who scored at the minimum levels in reading and math to demonstrate at least 1.5 years of growth. But only 20 percent of their students reached that goal.

Officials say because last year was the first year of operations for the two schools, it is too early to make judgments about their programs’ effectiveness and it will take a longer period to dramatically improve low-performing students.

Both Reimagine Prep and Midtown did meet the goals set by the charter authorizer board for their finances and organization.

The report, which is produced each fall by the Charter School Authorizer Board, includes further academic data from the two schools broken down by gender, race, economic status, and students with and without disabilities. It also compares charter school students’ performance to their counterparts in Jackson Public Schools, excluding those JPS students who attend schools with selective admissions.

At Reimagine Prep, a higher percentage of 5th graders scored proficient in math and English Language Arts than their counterparts in JPS. At Midtown, a smaller percentage scored proficient in math than in JPS, but a slightly higher percentage reached proficiency in English Language Arts.