The leaders of a Santa Fe-based charter school offering an online education for nearly 2,000 students across New Mexico have filed a lawsuit in the state’s First Judicial District Court, appealing a recent decision by the Public Education Department to revoke the school’s charter.
State Public Education Secretary-designate Christopher Ruszkowski said he based his decision on the recommendation of the Public Education Commission, a panel that approves or denies charter school applications and renewals. The commission found that New Mexico Connections Academy had failed to meet state education standards.
The lawsuit contends, however, that the state has not defined standards of excellence and that performance indicators other than grades from the state should be taken into account when determining a school’s academic success.
Connections Academy, New Mexico’s largest virtual school, has received an F in the state’s A-F school grading system two years in a row.
The school, which opened in 2013, is part of the Baltimore-based Connections Education LLC, which has schools in about 30 states. Connections Education is part of the British-owned Pearson Education Corp., which sells textbooks and tests to the state.
If the suit fails, the school will close by June 30.