Letter: Charter's CRCT Results Are 'Remarkable'

The school opened during the 2011-12 school year.

In its first year of operation,  exhibits remarkable results in the 2012 Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT). Highlights of this year’s CRCT results:

  • 100 percent of students met and exceeded standards in seventh grade language arts
  • 99 percent met and exceeded standards in third grade reading.

“We are very proud,” principal Vanessa Suarez said. “The faculty and students worked very hard this year.”

The school, which was , outperformed the state in all areas but one. When comparing the scores to the local , Cherokee Charter Academy outperformed or tied its district counterparts nearly 80 percent of the time while remaining within 3 percentage points of the district in four of the five remaining areas. In fifth grade, Cherokee Charter Academy students achieved higher results 100 percent of the time.

“We set the bar high for our students, they grabbed it and ran with it,” Suarez said.

When asked about the obstacles the school had to overcome last year, Local Governing Council Chair Heather Blevins said, “I don’t think any of us could have predicted we would come this far when we remember where we were this time last year.”

SACS Accredited Cherokee Charter Academy is part of the Charter Schools USA (CSUSA) family of schools. CSUSA educational advantages include integrated technology, parental involvement expectations, student uniforms, enforced discipline policies, highly qualified and motivated staff, community focus and high academic performance. Cherokee Charter Academy will add eighth grade and plans to serve 995 students when it opens for the 2012-13 academic year on July 30.

Lyn Michaels-Carden is a member of the Georgia Charter Educational Foundation board and the mother of a Cherokee Charter Academy student.

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Jim Beam July 28, 2012 at 08:39 PM
And really...all the CCA scores show is that those 3rd, 5th, and 6th graders hadn't been taught very much in the well-funded, 'traditional' public schools their parents chose to flee from. Poor kids were probably being ignored in their old schools. Glad their active parents had the choice to better their education.
No More Bullies July 28, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Three weeks? The kids had 8 months of charter education time to prep for those tests (including lots of practice tests). The charter school had HALF the low income and at risk kids as the county, and ZERO who didn't speak English. They should have blown the county schools outmodmthe water-- they even bet their charter on it. Look at the goals in the charter contract with the state. CCA had to match the meets and exceeds county percentile in every grade level, every subject. And, second goal, they had to match the exceeds percentile of the county in every grade, every subject. It didn't happen. Period. What the state will do with that in the renewal process is anyone's guess. CCA wrote these goals themselves and failed to meet them. And, if you look ahead to 2012-13, based on operating expenditures in both school budgets, the charter school will spend more to educate a child than the county, including four- five times the central administrative costs. Where is the outcry on the charter bloat?
Jim Beam July 29, 2012 at 01:27 AM
The school had about 3 weeks to prepare for actually HAVING school due to the personal anti-choice, liberal agenda of Dr. P and 4 of the old Board members. They didn't get approval nor monies until middle of last summer. Sorry - I wasn't clear there. The charter school will continue to spend much, much less per child than the bloated, half-billion CCSD will per child this year. I've compared both budgets and it's not close. Additionally, if they fail, they'll be fired, like the rest of us un-entitled workers in the private sector. But again, when it comes to the CCSD budget, the charter school is completely irrelevant. No CCSD money is being spent on charters. I don't understand the hatred. CCSD parents should love Charter parents - CCSD parents get to spend the property taxes of charter parents without needing to educate their kids. The money isn't following the student but instead staying in the county. I guess some folks just don't like competition or are just scared of change.
Frank Jones July 29, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Steely, you're now blaming CCSD for CCA's failure as CCA only had 3 weeks to get ready for school. Wow! Maybe CCA should have realized that 3 weeks wasn't enough time? Or maybe CCA truly believed that 3 weeks was plenty of time since CCA is spotted by a management group with sufficient resources to expedite a school opening, much like a franchisor. In reality, CCA had 8 months to educate the children, had on average higher income families, less diversity in special needs, and still failed to perform better than CCSD. Wow! You can't blame CCSD for all of CCA's failures. You can't blame CCSD for CCA's rush to open. Basically, CCA failed to deliver, failed to be CCSD, and is now going to pay "professional fees" (as reported in the Cherokee Ledger) of $1 million or 13%. Wow!
Are you sure July 29, 2012 at 06:54 PM
You obviously have not spent any time in Cherokee High school or Freedom Middle school. These are some of the best teachers in the state. CCS begged many of these teachers to move to the Charter school and they declined the offer. The AP class choice and social experience a student at Cherokee HS receives will never be matched by the for profit Charter school experience. Not only is Cherokee superior in the class room but the sports, groups and clubs offered will not be matched by the charter school. If these parents would step back and let their children make the decisions about where to go to school, the halls at the Charter school would be a very lonely place.


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