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State Board of Education Votes to Revoke Charter of Robert Hughes Academy

By Ray Hershel

MALDEN, Mass. (WGGB)– The days of a controversial Springfield charter school may be numbered.

On Tuesday, the State Board of Education, meeting in Malden, voted to revoke the charter of the Robert Hughes Academy.

The school was involved in an MCAS cheating scandal last Spring. But in his recommendation to revoke the charter, State Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester says there’s been a history of lack of oversight by the school’s board of directors, “We’re not here because of one incident this past Spring, we’re here because of a continuing set of  concerns about the viability of this school.”

The vote to accept the commissioner’s recommendation was unanimous.

There was anger and frustration among the Springfield delegation. School PTO  President Michelle Belanger was among them, “I live two doors from a public school, I could have stuck my son there, instead I went to the charter school, if it closes I’m moving out of Springfield.”

Bill Walls, the chairman of the school’s board of directors says the school will appeal the board of education’s decision, “We’re going to go back and consult with our legal counsel and find out how we’re going to go forward as far as the appeal is concerned.”

If the appeal is unsuccessful the charter school would close at the end of the current academic year.



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