One of Minn's 'worst performing' schools likely to closeby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota's list of the 34 worst-performing schools now includes one that will likely close this summer.
The state identified the schools as part of a federal effort to focus billions of dollars on turning around the nation's worst-performing schools.
One option for turnaround schools is to close, and it appears that's what will happen to the Worthington Area Language Academy in southwest Minnesota.
The charter school's sponsor, Volunteers of America, sent word last week that it will not renew the school's contract. The school has asked for a hearing to make its case.
Justin Testerman with Volunteers of America says Worthington Academy has long had poor achievement and finances.
"The schools who are appearing on this list have had persistent failure over time, so I guess there's a relationship there," said Testerman. "But there was no 'You're on this list so we're not renewing your contract.'"
State officials are visiting the 34 schools to develop turnaround plans.
MPR News left messages at Worthington Area Language Academy Friday afternoon, which have not been immediately returned.
Lucas Garcia Silva, the chairman of the WALA school board, told the Worthington Daily Globe that "it wasn't really any one thing, it was just a bunch of little stuff. They were really on the fence about not wanting to renew us."