Local News

Torchlight Academy's charter renewed

Posted March 5, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— The state Board of Education on Thursday morning accepted a committee’s recommendation to renew Torchlight Academy’s charter for two years, but with conditions.

The school had governance, financial and accountability issues, N.C. Office of Charter Schools Director Jack Moyer said.

Torchlight Academy students Charter school gets 2-year renewal

The renewal comes with restrictions, including yearly audits and the development of a restructuring plan.

“We want to see the school succeed. If they don’t improve, then it’s time to close the school down,” Moyer said.

The predominantly black school, with an enrollment of 380 students, has been under the financial microscope following an audit and low test scores.

It was found to be among the lowest-performing charter schools statewide in a North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research report in 2007.

The report recommended that schools not meeting expected academic growth for five straight years be placed on probation for two years and then closed if they don't reach it.

Torchlight has now met academic requirements two years in a row.

Don McQueen, executive director of Torchlight Academy, said officials visited other schools with similar demographics and took notes on the successes they were having. Strategies included extending the school day, instituting Saturday classes and tutoring.


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  • kleanerk4a Mar 5, 2009

    As a proud parent I would like to thank President Barack Obama, for making this opportunity to get renewed possible by passing the stimulus bill. I would also like to thank Governor Bev Perdue, Lt Governor Walter Dalton, SBOE Chairman William C. Bill Harrison, and finally the Board of education. I feel that the system worked for us and allowed my children the opportunity to continue their great education at Torchlight as well as possibly providing a path of excellence for their other Siblings. The Renewal of Torchlight was a prime example of the system working towards Brigeing the gap between rural and urban schools by giving urban school students a chance to get to where a proper education can take them in life. This was a way of President Barack Obama keeping his promise to allow Charter Schools for our children to be given a Chance for the betterment of our Society and Education, for today and tomorrow. Thank You all Phil Janvier

  • jsanders Mar 5, 2009

    Wouldn't it be nice if ALL public schools faced this kind of scrutiny? http://www.johnlocke.org/site-docs/agenda2008/schoolchoice.html

  • uthink Mar 5, 2009

    Thank goodness.