Atlanta (November 1, 2012) – Four public charter schools in Georgia were named yesterday to the Georgia Department of Education’s List of “Reward Schools.” The Rewards School designation is a new achievement ranking reserved for schools with the highest performance or the biggest academic gains by students in the last three years.
In the “highest progress” category, Drew Charter School and Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts & Technology (CCAT) were listed. Drew Charter School serves grades Pre-K through 8 and was recently named 2012 Georgia Public Charter School of the Year. CCAT, in Statesboro, GA serves grades six through 12 with multi-age, student-centered classrooms. The school provides a much-needed alternative for students who have not been successful in traditional settings.
“We are elated at Charter Conservatory to know that the hard work of teachers and students is paying off. We are striving to continue that success as we reach for higher heights. This recognition is also a testament to how flexibility and innovation can produces great results,” said Corliss Reese, Principal of CCAT.
The academic honors come just days before voting on a constitutional amendment that would re-establish a statewide alternate authorizer for public charter schools in Georgia. An alternate authorizer would allow charter schools whose petitions are locally denied, to have an appeals process before a state board.
Ironically, both Ivy Preparatory and CCAT, were originally denied by their local school districts, Gwinnett County and Bulloch County. The two schools successfully won approval from the former Georgia Charter Schools Commission and have operated with great academic success as state chartered public schools.
The very same school districts that denied high-achieving Ivy Prep and CCAT then launched a lawsuit that ultimately overturned the Georgia Charter Schools Commission in a slim 4-3 Supreme Court ruling. The matter now comes before voters in the form of a constitutional amendment on the November 6th ballot.