Applications were due yesterday for schools wishing to continue under the banner of the Charter School Institute, a quasi-state agency created in 2004 to approve charter schools rejected by districts with an ax to grind. The Ricardo Flores Magon Academy -- the subject of our cover story, "A Hard Line
" -- turned theirs in on time. But given its history of complaints and lawsuits, will the school be successful?
The institute's board will make a decision on whether to renew the school's charter on February 21, with input from a recommendation written by institute staff. Though it's not written yet, staffers have said it will be a thorough process. "The renewal will take into consideration the entire body of evidence," outgoing executive director Mark Hyatt told Westword. "I mean everything and anything."
The school has also applied to switch its charter to Adams County School District 50, the district in which it is physically located. Adams 50 rejected the school when it applied to that district back in 2006. James Duffy, the district's chief operations officer, told Westword he expects the district's board to vote on whether to give it a second chance in January.
The Ricardo Flores Magon Academy and its founder, Marcos Martinez, also have plans to expand. The school has been granted conditional approval to start a branch in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and has applied to launch another in the Brighton 27J School District.
However, some former teachers and parents don't think the school should be allowed to continue or expand -- especially with Martinez at the helm. "I think that if there was a different person in the leadership, sure, why not?" says former teacher Susana Cabrera. "But with Marcos at the forefront, they should not get a renewal."
Read some of the materials the school submitted to the institute below.
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More from our Education archives: "Ricardo Flores Magon Academy: Read the lawsuit filed by former teacher Claudia Mitchell."