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Killeen charter school not chartered by Texas

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Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 11:45 pm

The Honors Academy Charter School District is moving into its third week of school at its seven campuses — including Creekview Academy in Killeen — without a state-issued charter.

The Texas Education Agency, the regulatory arm of the government for all public schools in the state, announced Honors Academy’s charter was revoked in December because the district failed to meet academic accountability standards for three consecutive years.

The commissioner’s ruling went into effect June 30 after Honors Academy Charter School District exhausted its legal appeals.

The TEA rated the district “academically unacceptable” for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years and “improvement required” for the 2012-2013 school year.

Killeen’s Creekview Academy received an “improvement required” rating for the 2013-2014 school year as well.

The campus failed to meet one of the four performance indexes TEA measures to determine accountability ratings.

Creekview Academy serves kindergarten through eighth-grade students in the area.

The four performance indexes measured by TEA are student achievement, student progress, closing performance gap and post-secondary readiness.

With a minimum required score for each campus or district set by the state, index scores are determined by calculating standardized test scores, past test scores, determining differences in subpopulation test scores and the graduation rate, among other factors.

Creekview Academy fell short in its postsecondary readiness category by 2 percentage points.

“In elementary and middle school there is basically only one metric they need to hit,” said TEA spokeswoman Lauren Callahan, referring to how the agency measures postsecondary readiness.

Callahan said the metric for elementary and middle students is based on how many students achieved a Final Level II Performance Standard on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness.

“It’s basically the highest satisfactory level,” she said, explaining it was above the requirement to pass the test.

According to the TEA website, the purpose of measuring postsecondary readiness is to emphasize the importance that students be prepared for success in college, the workforce, job training programs or the military.

For high schools, this means achieving a high graduation rate and high performance on other postsecondary readiness measure. For elementary and middle schools, this means preparing students for the rigors of high school.

Callahan said the school may operate as a private school, but without its state-issued charter, it should not receive state funding for the 2014-2015 school year.

“Technically, Honors (Academy Charter School District) could keep ‘charter’ in their name,” Callahan said. “What they cannot do is pass themselves off as a Texas charter school — so they cannot make it seem as though they are operating as an authorized charter school when they are not.”

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Creekview Academy’s Homepage, under its “about” section, stated, “Creekview Academy is an accredited Texas charter school with teachers and administrators who have been certified through the Texas Educational Agency (TEA) and is closely monitored by the TEA’s Charter School Division.”

Honors Academy Charter School District did not return requests for comment by press time.

Besides Killeen, Honors Academy operates campuses in Dallas, Fort Worth, Farmers Branch, Kaufman, Palestine and Wilmer.

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