Maurice J. Moyer Academy Charter School

The Maurice J. Moyer Academy Charter School failed to recruit enough students to meet its enrollment goal for the second straight year, resulting in layoffs of several people this week.

The school is also without a leader. Its principal, Dawna Thornton, announced this week she is leaving for another job.

The layoffs were a result of budget problems caused by the Wilmington charter school's inability to reach an enrollment of 300 students, said Dan Cruce, state deputy secretary of education. The missed enrollment cost the school an estimated $830,000 in funding, Cruce said...

A week ago, a school resource officer arrested a teacher and three students, leading to a dispute between police and the school about what transpired. Cruce said the school told the state Department of Education that the principal's resignation this week was not related to that incident.

The positions cut through layoffs included an assistant principal, two other administrators and three clerical workers, said Ed Fredie, a vice president at K12 Inc., the company running Moyer [2011-2012 is K12's second year as the school's manager]. Two of the six resigned prior to being laid off, he said. The principal resigned formally Tuesday. A lab coordinator resigned a few weeks ago...

...Moyer also failed to meet its enrollment goals last school year, and test scores remain among the worst in the state. A tiny fraction of students were able to meet test score goals in math and reading on last year's academic tests.

Low enrollment, a new computer-based school model and low test scores are concerns for Wilmington City Councilman Mike Brown, who said Gov. Jack Markell's administration made a mistake when it picked K12 Inc., a Virginia-based for-profit education company, to run the school after the state Board of Education voted to revoke a local group's control...

Moyer, which opened in 2006, serves students in grades six through 12.
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Maurice J. Moyer Moyer Academy Charter School will be open for students this fall under new management.  The Delaware Department of Education terminated the school's charter in February after finding the school deficient in several areas including student performance, curriculum and highly qualified teachers.

This fall, the school will be run by the educational corporation K12, under  the auspices of the Delaware Department of Education.  State Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery says after seeing the  community support for the school, state leaders had special legislation passed to allow the Dept. of Ed. to supervise the school while applications for the charter are being evaluated.  "We were so moved by the sentiment of the community when they learned that the current charter was being non-renewed.  Nobody wanted an empty building sitting here," Lowery said.
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The director and co-founder of the Maurice J. Moyer Academy Charter School says he'll go to court to fight the Delaware Department of Education's decision not to renew the school's charter.

"We gotta sue,"Theopalis Gregory, director of Maurice J. Moyer Academy Charter School, said...

So, the charter school that just opened its doors on 17th Street in Wilmington in 2006 will have to shut down after this school year. It currently serves 484 students in grades 6-12. Gregory says the school, which was approved for enrollment for up to 530 students, has a list of 75-100 students interested in attending Moyer.
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(Dover, DE.)  The State Board of Education has voted not to renew the charter of the Maurice J. Moyer Academy Charter School.  Following the recommendation from Secretary of Education Lillian M. Lowery based on the recommendations of the Charter School Accountability Committee (CSAC), the State Board voted unanimously to terminate the charter at the end of this school year.

Located on 17th Street in Wilmington, Moyer Academy first opened in September, 2006 with an approved enrollment of 300 students in grades 6, 7 and 9.  In its fourth year, Moyer currently serves 484 students in grades 6-12 with an approved enrollment of 530 students.

In October, 2009, Moyer submitted a five-year renewal application which is required by law for each charter school.  In the renewal application, a charter school must demonstrate compliance in 14 criteria in order to have their charter considered for renewal.

In November, the CSAC met with Moyer Academy representatives to discuss the renewal process.  The following month, in December, 2009, the CSAC met to draft a preliminary report on Moyer's renewal application.  In the preliminary report, all 14 criteria were analyzed; the CSAC identified numerous deficient areas including, but not limited to, Student Performance, Curriculum, and Highly Qualified Teachers.

Based on these findings, the CSAC recommended that the charter not be renewed.  Moyer Academy was then given time to comment on the findings in the Preliminary Report.

The CSAC met again on January 5, 2010 to draft a final report after taking into consideration the responses from Moyer representatives.  Following review of that information, the  CSAC's final recommendation remained that of  non-renewal.

On January 25, 2010, a public hearing was held at the Townsend Building in Dover to receive comment regarding the renewal application and the recommendation from the CSAC.  Approximately 30 people representing both Moyer Academy and the community spoke at the hearing.

Today, on the recommendation of the Secretary of Education, the State Board voted not to renew Moyer Academy's charter. The Academy will continue to provide its current instructional program as specified in the school's charter.  It must also administer the Delaware Student Testing Program in accordance with regulations and policies. The Department of Education will work with the Moyer Academy administration to ensure an orderly transition of student records, equipment and other resources.

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