Future of Career Academy Charter School in the balance at school board meeting

Future of Career Academy Charter School in the balance at school board meeting

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - "The numbers don't lie," says outgoing EBR Supt. Dr. Bernard Taylor. That's his rationale for calling for the closure of Career Academy in Baton Rouge.

"We see no reasonable way, in a reasonable amount of time, that we'll see the quality of school's performance improve," said Dr. Taylor.

Taylor asked the board Thursday night to revoke the school's charter contract. The State Department of Education has slapped Career Academy with an F grading for each of the school's three years it's been in service.

"Well, they're accurate in terms of we need to do a better job with our academic performance," said Mandy LaCerte, Principal of Career Academy.

Principal LaCerte, however, says students and parents are happy and they want the school to stay open.

"I don't think a one-size fits all is fair and I think we need to look at multiple measures," said LaCerte.

This time last year, a decision was made to close the school after there were difficulties to secure a new location.

The academy's old site on East Brookstown Dr. was needed to house another school. But then, in a last-minute change, Career Academy was brought to Scenic Hwy., sharing space with the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church.

Those close to the school will also remember in November 2013 when authorities responded to a fight involving more than a dozen students in the school cafeteria.

"This process is really a year overdue," said Dr. Taylor.

Taylor says closing the school would not be a detriment to students. He says the academy's technical programs will be offered elsewhere.

"I think the problem at the school is that there's a lot of energy. There's a lot of enthusiasm, but what's needed now is expertise," said Taylor.

"We're optimistic. We're looking forward to the decision that's going to be made tonight with the best interests of our students in mind," said LaCerte.

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