Two more mayor-sponsored charter schools surrender charters

One Indianapolis charter school will be under new management next year and another will convert back to being a Catholic school, the board that oversees them has decided.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s office will seek new management for Andrew Academy, at 4050 E. 38th St., while Padua Academy, at 349 N. Warman Ave., will be converted back into a Catholic School for the 2015-16 school year. The two former Catholic schools converted to public charter schools in 2010.

The news comes just a day after the board of another mayor-sponsored charter school, Flanner House School, also decided to close after it was revealed that two investigations found evidence the school cheated on the state ISTEP exam.

In this case the problem was mostly with low and falling test scores.

The two schools saw among the biggest drops in ISTEP scores from last year in Indianapolis. Andrew Academy was down 22 points to 53.4 percent of its students passing and Padua Academy saw its scores fall 12 points to 39.7 percent passing. Both schools ranked in the bottom 25 percent of more than 1,800 schools statewide for percent of students passing ISTEP.

“High-quality schools are critical to the health and well-being of our city,” said Brandon Brown, Ballard’s charter schools director. “We support the ADI Board’s decision and appreciate its commitment to putting the interests of students and families first.”

In a statement, the schools’ governing board said the change was in the best interest of the students.

“We have worked the past four years to provide a quality education to the children of these communities,” said Marc Guess, president of the ADI Schools Inc. Board of Directors. “We are disappointed that we didn’t reach the goals we had set, but our focus has always been to do what is best for the students.  We believe these changes will allow for better opportunities for these children and their families.”

The mayor’s office will coordinate with with ADI, Indianapolis Public Schools, other charter schools and the Catholic archdiocese to offer students at the schools the opportunity to either transfer or remain with the schools after they transition to new leadership.