SAN JOSE -- Rocketship Education has appealed to the Santa Clara County Board of Education for permission to open another charter school in San Jose.
On Thursday, a split Alum Rock Union School Board turned down Rocketship's petition to open its ninth school in San Jose. Board President Andres Quintero and trustees Dolores Marquez and Andrea Flores Shelton voted for denial, while trustees Karen Martinez and Frank Chavez supported Rocketship's petition.
Quintero said he was concerned about Rocketship's use of uncredentialed instructors to supervise students in the computer lab and about declining test scores.
"If you're a struggling model that's having issues, why would we go ahead and say let's go with these folks?" he asked. He also said he's worried that the San Jose-based charter organization may be losing its quality control as it expands.
The County Board of Education previously approved more than two dozen Rocketship schools -- most of them not yet opened. Rocketship already has begun construction of the Alum Rock school, renovating an old post office near South Jackson and Alum Rock avenues.
More than 400 parents have signed up their children for the school, which Rocketship had anticipated being ready for occupancy by Aug. 1, the group's Bay Area Vice-president David Kuizenga said. If approved, it will offer transitional kindergarten grade through fourth grade in its first year, then add fifth grade a year later.
Rocketship is "extremely disappointed," co-founder and President Preston Smith said. "It is unfortunate that the board's decision denies over 400 Alum Rock parents and families the choice they are asking for -- another quality public school in Alum Rock."
Rocketship seeks to open schools in high-poverty areas where public schools struggle to make students proficient in reading and math.
Contact Sharon Noguchi at 408-271-3775. Follow her at Twitter.com/NoguchiOnK12.