Hearing on closing of Gordon Parks Elementary continues today

Students at Gordon Parks in May at a rally aimed at reversing a state decision to close the school because of low test scores.

The court case around the closing of Gordon Parks Elementary School that began yesterday in Jefferson City will continue today.

The school, at 3715 Wyoming in the Volker neighborhood, is a kindergarten through fifth grade charter school serving 240 students sponsored by the University of Central Missouri (UCM).

In May, the state Board of Education surprised the Midtown school when it revoked its charter because of low scores on state performance tests. A state judge later issued a temporary order putting the state board’s decision on hold until the resolution of this hearing.

Co-founder Dorothy Curry acknowledged at the time of closing that school test scores were low, but said Gordon Parks caters to students who often entered the school system several years behind. About 95 percent of the students qualified for the free/reduced lunch program, a common indicator of low-income used by schools.  About 15 percent of the students qualified for special education classes.

Gordon Parks said on its website, SaveGordonParks.com,  it plans “to make compelling points that the temporary order should be made permanent and that Gordon Parks’ charter should be renewed and operations should continue” at the hearing.

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