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Leaders say testing gains will qualify F-rated McDonogh #32 and Fischer for charter renewals

Two of the Algiers Charter School Association’s failing elementary schools, McDonogh #32 Literacy Charter School and William J. Fischer Accelerated Academy, gained over twice the necessary points awarded by the state to secure a three-year renewal this year, a top official for the schools said.

Both schools needed to see at least a 10 point increase to their school performance score, but William J. Fischer managed to improve by 24 points. That makes it the most improved fully enrolled school in New Orleans, chief executive officer Adrian Morgan said.

The Louisiana Department of Education awards elementary schools’ performance scores based solely students scores on state mandated standardized tests. Schools that don’t raise their test scores to a passing level are not eligible for automatic charter renewal. The scores announced by the state in May are tentative — final scores are announced in November.

During a May 30 meeting of the ACSA board, Morgan said there is no scenario under which these tentative scores would drop and jeopardize the two elementary schools’ renewal.

Both schools raised their scores significantly out of the failing range, but will still be ranked at a D level, Morgan said.

Performance scores for middle and high schools are based on a more complex combination of data than elementary schools and are not yet available.

According to calculations, Morgan said, other ACSA schools can expect the following grades: Bs for  Martin Berhman Charter Academy for Creative Arts and Alice M. Harte Charter School; and a D for  Dwight D. Eisenhower Academy of Global Studies.

The board voted to approve 12 contracts, most notably a tentative $89,854 contract with Garden Doctors for improvements to the L.B. Landry High School football field. The board chose the company because it is local, even though the bid came in $2,677 over the lowest competitor.The board voted only to move forward if the company will include stripe painting, which isn’t currently included in the bid.

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is tentatively expected to discuss the merger of O. Perry Walker and L.B. Landry high schools at the Landry campus.

Other contracts included an integrated art program, roof repairs at Karr, technical licenses, an after school program at Martin Berhman, and a rental agreement for the charter schools association’s headquarters.

All board members except Missy Duhon were present at the meeting that lasted roughly an hour and a half.

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