Board votes to close 5 city middle schools

March 10, 2010|By John-John Williams IV

The Baltimore City school board voted Tuesday night to close five middle schools and to revoke the charter of a low-performing school Tuesday night.

The board voted unanimously to close the following middle schools at the end of the academic year: Diggs-Johnson, West Baltimore, Doris M. Johnson and Winston, at the end of the academic year. It also voted to shut Chinquapin Middle, with board member George Van Hook casting the only vote against its closure.

The board also unanimously approved an arts theme for Booker T. Washington Middle.

The board voted to revoke the charter status of Dr. Rayner Browne Academy, which became the first school in the city not to be issued a charter contract renewal.

Rayner Browne, which became a charter two years ago, did not receive a recommendation for renewal from CEO Andrés Alonso in part because all student groups saw a decrease in test scores in mathematics for the past two years.

In reading, three of the four student groups saw drops in test scores.

The last time Rayner Browne met Maryland's Average Yearly Progress targets was four years ago, when it was still an elementary school; it added middle-school grades four years ago to combat shrinking enrollment.

Staff at the school argued that adding the middle-school grades hurt test scores.

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