Imagine charter schools

teacher in classroom
U.S. Department of Education

To get an idea about how difficult it can be to interpret test score data when it comes to charter schools, consider Lafayette Preparatory Academy, just west of downtown.

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

The state says five Missouri charter schools are financially stressed.

Four of the schools are in St. Louis - Carondolet Leadership Academy, Grand Center Arts Academy, South City Preparatory Academy and Jamaa Learning Center. The fifth is Pathway Academy in Kansas City.

This is the first time the state has declared schools financially stressed under a new state law that requires more supervision of the publicly funded but independently run schools. The designation is based on ending balances in two key funds.

(via Flickr/comedy_nose)

The St. Louis Public Schools have unveiled their plans to cope with a possible influx of students from the shuttered Imagine charter schools.

Superintendent Kelvin Adams says more than 1,200 of Imagine’s 3,500 students have applied to attend St. Louis Public Schools next year. He says if enough parents are interested, the district will open as many as six new buildings that would allow Imagine students to stay together.

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

There will be a school fair held Saturday to give parents of children at the closing Imagine Charter Schools a sense of their options next year.

The Missouri State Board of Education voted earlier this month to close six Imagine Schools June 30 because of poor academic performance and financial issues.

The fair will include the St. Louis Public Schools and other charter, private, and parochial schools.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Rams trade down, draft Brockers

The St. Louis Rams drafted LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers in last night's first round of the NFL Draft.

The Rams traded back from the sixth pick to the number 14 pick with the Dallas Cowboys after the Jacksonville Jaguars traded up to the fifth pick to draft wide receiver Justin Blackmon. The Rams also got a second round pick from the Cowboys in the trade.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Police investigating explosive device at downtown federal building

St. Louis police are trying to find the person who threw an explosive device at a federal building in downtown.

(via Flickr/Lauren Manning)

More than 3,500 students will be displaced when a network of St. Louis charter schools run by Virginia-based Imagine Schools Inc. is shuttered in a closure so massive it may be unprecedented nationally.

Todd Ziebarth of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the closure was "definitely" the largest he knew of.

(via Flickr/Lauren Manning)

Will be updated.

Updated at 4:44 p.m. with additional reporting.

Updated 2:59 p.m. with additional comment from Imagine's executive vice president.

The Missouri Board of Education voted Tuesday to close six charter schools in St. Louis run by Virginia-based Imagine Schools Incorporated.

The schools will close at the end of this school year.

Imagine's executive vice president, Jason Bryant, calls the decision disappointing and says the company is exploring its options.

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says Missouri Baptist University will relinquish its sponsorship of four charter school systems in St. Louis.

The university’s sponsorship included six schools with the Imagine Academies that had come under fire for poor student performance and deficit spending.

(via Flickr/Lauren Manning)

The Missouri State Board will review Missouri Baptist University’s authorization to sponsor charter schools next month.

MBU holds four charters, which include six Imagine Academy schools in St. Louis.

The board will hold a public hearing April 16 in Jefferson City and is expected to a make a decision the next day.

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spokeswoman Michelle Clark says the board has never revoked a sponsor or even held a public hearing.

(via Flickr/Lauren Manning)

Two under-performing St. Louis charter schools will close at the end of the school year.

James French, chairman of Missouri Baptist University's Education Division, which sponsors the schools, announced Monday that Imagine Academy of Academic Success and Imagine Academy of Cultural Arts, will close.

The university, which began sponsoring the schools in 2006, said neither school was living up to academic performance standards, was financially sound, or was showing signs of improvement.

(Flickr/Missouri Department of Transportation)

Metro-East contractors delay Mississippi River bridge protest

According to the Belleville News-Democrat, about 200 protesters gathered at the East St. Louis City Hall early this morning, but delayed a protest to shut down work on the new Mississippi River Bridge. The newspaper reports Illinois Governor Pat Quinn promised to call and the state’s transportation secretary is heading to the city to meet them.