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After Years Of Low Academic Ratings, Honors Academy In Farmers Branch Could Lose Charter

Honors Academy
Honors Academy Charter School President and CEO John Dodd. The former Farmers Branch mayor and DISD trustee says Honors runs seven campuses in Texas with about 775 students.

 Texas education officials say they’ll close the Farmers Branch-based Honors Academy Charter Schools by summer if the operation can’t convince the state to stay open. A chance of appeal seems slim.

For the first time under a new state law, Senate Bill 2, the Texas Education Agency is recommending that Honors Academy and five other charters around the state lose their charters.


TEA spokesperson Debbie Ratcliffe says Honors delivered three straight years of the lowest possible academic rating.


“That’s not to foreclose the possibility that they could win an appeal, but it’s going to be a pretty high bar to win this appeal," Ratcliffe said. 


Honors not only runs Branch Park Academy in Farmers Branch, but schools in Wilmer, Killeen, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Palestine. All could be closed.


“When they were rated academically unacceptable the first year, they could’ve appealed it, Ratcliffe said. "When they were rated academically unacceptable the second year, they could’ve appealed. And then the third year, they could’ve appealed. And now this.”


Honors Academy Charter has until Jan. 15 to request an informal review to reverse the decision.


When KERA called the school, Honors President and CEO John Dodd said he was still awaiting formal documents from the TEA. He said Honors' schools educates about 775 students. 

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.