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By Dana Reilly
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE - More than 150 supporters of the Academy for Career Exploration met at the school Tuesday night to discuss how best to defend their school from potential closure recommended by the R.I. Department of Education.
State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist recommended on June 21st that the Board of Regents allow ACE’s charter to expire at the conclusion of the 2012-13 school year.
Five charter schools were up for renewal this year and ACE was the only school to be recommended for closure.
The main complaints against the school were low math scores and a history of leadership problems, according to formal documents from Gist’s office.
The Board of Regents will meet on July 19th and may vote to send the question of ACE’s charter renewal to a public hearing.
Students, faculty, alumni and board members plan on attending the meeting, though Head of School, Lawrence E. Salvatore, said they would most likely reserve their comments for the public hearing.
“I would hope that the state would not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater,” Salvatore told Providence Business News. “We are doing a lot of things really well here.”
The oldest charter school in the state, ACE serves 225 high school students and if shut down will be the first charter school statewide to close.
Should the school close at the end of next year, the students will go back into the Providence school district.