Education Social Services

Lena Pope partners with Phalen Leadership Academies to improve struggling charter school

Lena Pope, a Fort Worth-based child and family services nonprofit, announced last week that it is partnering with Phalen Leadership Academies “to deliver additional resources and targeted support for students at Chapel Hill Academy.”

Chapel Hill Academy is a K-6 tuition-free public charter school operated by Lena Pope since 2008. In 2018, Lena Pope expanded Chapel Hill Academy to include middle school.

Chapel Hill Academy received “Met Standards” ratings for many years under the previous Texas Education Agency(TEA) School Report Card evaluation system. But following new legislation passed in 2015, the TEA implemented a new A-F rating system for performance in the 2016-2017 academic year. This new rating system measures year-over-year district and student performance beyond STAAR scores and was designed to provide a more complete picture of school and district performance.

According to the TEA, Chapel Hill Academy did not receive the new A-F rating until the 2018/2019 academic year. Chapel Hill Academy earned a D rating for “performance that needs improvement by serving too few students well.” Chapel Hill Academy received poor ratings for Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gaps. Due to the global pandemic, TEA suspended its ratings system for all districts for the 2019/2020 school year.

Phalen Leadership Academies is a full-service educational management nonprofit and has a reputation for turning around struggling and underperforming schools. According to their website, “School Turnaround is a comprehensive intervention designed to support and help improve schools that may be under-performing set standards. Phalen Leadership Academies has a reputation for transforming F-rated schools into A-rated schools. PLA works to achieve these results within 3 years of assuming management by supporting educators, districts, and states in improving academic offerings for students, revamping curriculum, encouraging students and improving overall school culture.”

Last month, Fort Worth ISD announced their own partnership with Phalen Leadership Academies. Beginning this summer, the district will bring in Phalen Leadership Academies to operate J. Martin Jacquet Middle School, an F-rated campus in the Stop Six neighborhood.

About the author

Barbara Clark Galupi