Charter school fights to stay open

Students at the Nia charter school in Northeast Washington are protesting to keep the doors of their school open.

In April, the D.C. Public Charter School Board decided to close the school based on inadequate leadership, low test scores and misuse of funds. In a statement, the board said it didn’t have faith in the school’s leadership to steer the school to become a high quality charter school.

But dean of students Trevor Samuels said now it’s a different story. He’s one of three education leaders brought in last year to replace the old leadership. Since then, Samuels said test scores have shot up 17 percent for math proficiency and six percent in reading.

Fifth-grader Kevin Styles said he’s noticed a big difference.

“Now I'm an eighth grade level in math and I started in fourth,” he said.

Maka Taylor, who has a son in third grade at Nia, said her son has found a home at the school after transferring from the public school system. She’s now worried that it’s too late to enroll him in another charter school for next year.

“When they take this away, they will take away a part of my child’s spirit,” she said.