The final decision is up to the Pittsburgh Board of Education, but a special committee is recommending they reject three of four applications to operate charter schools. The board's charter review team gave qualified approval for the Urban Pathways K-5 College Charter.
Urban Pathways currently operates a grades 6-12 charter school in downtown Pittsburgh and CEO Linda Clautti says the proposed K-5 school will provide a great transition for students.
Clautti says their goal is to get children to value education early on beginning in kindergarten...
"We get kids now in the 6th grade and they're on 3rd or 4th grade reading levels and math levels. There is so much time spent on remediation that if we could get them and they're already on or near grade level, then they're going to benefit academically and graduate on time."
The review team requested a professional development plan from Urban Pathways before the school opens. Clautti says they don't know what the the teachers need till they arrive, observe them and get their input.
However, the committee recommends the board not approve the charter application of the Propel Charter School-Northside...saying it lacked a comprehensive curriculum for all grade levels. The review team did acknowledge the success of existing Propel Charter schools in other districts.
The committee also gave a negative recommendation to the Leadership Academy for Math and Science Pittsburgh Charter School because it didn't have a proposed location nor a comprehensive curriculum. The review team recommended rejection of the application by the Three Rivers Charter School for Public Service because it didn not submit a a comprehensive curriculum plan and would not provide students with expanded choices in educational opportunities to what the district already offers.
The board will vote on all four charter applications this evening.