During a special meeting devoted to charter schools, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted Monday to begin the process of closing two for academic and management shortcomings.

One of the schools - Universal-Bluford, an elementary with nearly 600 students - is run by Universal Cos., the nonprofit founded by music mogul Kenny Gamble.

In a 4-1 vote, the SRC voted not to renew Bluford's charter for five years. It was the first time a school run by Universal has been targeted for closure. Commission member Sylvia Simms cast the dissenting vote.

The K-6 school is in the Carroll Park section of West Philadelphia.

Bluford is one of seven former district schools the SRC authorized Universal to convert to Renaissance charters under the academic-turnaround program developed by then-Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman.

The SRC voted to renew the charter of another Universal Renaissance school - Universal-Daroff, also in West Philadelphia.

There are 22 Renaissance charters across the district. Bluford and Daroff were handed over to Universal in 2010, the year the Renaissance program began, and were among the first to come up for renewal.

Although Renaissance charter operators were expected to produce "swift and dramatic improvement" in academics under the agreements, Lauren Iannuccilli, an administrator in the district's charter school office, said Bluford had seen only a one-percentage-point increase in math and a seven-percentage-point increase in reading since Universal took it over.

George Burrell, Universal's chief operating officer, said Monday that officials were "disappointed in what happened today, but we're going to move forward and explore what our options are. We'll be teaching kids tomorrow." He declined to comment further.

Iannuccilli said that if Universal chose not to appeal the SRC's decision, the district could either find another provider to run Bluford next year or could run the school itself.

Gamble, who did not attend the meeting, was honored last week with a 2014 Philadelphia Award at a National Constitution Center ceremony in recognition of his musical contributions and his work in education and affordable housing.

In a unanimous vote, the SRC also began the process of closing Delaware Valley Charter High School in Logan, saying it did not merit a new operating agreement because of poor academics, shaky finances, and questionable practices in keeping attendance records and overbilling for students.

Ernest Holiday, chief executive and principal of Delaware Valley, said the school would appeal the SRC's decision.

"They appeared to have their minds made up before we came in here," he said.

Holiday said the SRC was not giving adequate consideration to the background of the school's students. "We pull our students from inferior schools," he said.

The charter, which opened in 2000, has nearly 700 students.

Mark Gleason, executive director of the nonprofit Philadelphia School Partnership, said of the votes: "This is the SRC doing its job. At a time when our educational system is falling short for too many kids, there must be accountability for all types of schools."

The SRC also voted to renew the operating agreements of a dozen charter schools for another five years, provided they meet a series of conditions.

One of those getting a five-year renewal is Imhotep Institute, a high school in East Germantown, which has been involved a legal battle among its founding CEO, its current board, and the nonprofit that owns its building.

To obtain its renewal, Imhotep, which has an Afro-centric focus, has agreed to be managed by another charter with an Afro-centric focus, Sankofa Freedom Academy. Sankofa operates elementary and high school programs at campuses in Frankford and Olney. It also has agreed to replace its board of trustees.

Broderick Jones, president of Imhotep's current board, said the SRC's approval of its renewal would allow the school to finalize a management agreement with Sankofa Freedom and "ensures Imhotep will continue providing students with a high level of academic, athletic, and cultural programs while maintaining its African-centered traditions."

The SRC had put Imhotep's renewal on hold a few years ago, pending the results of an investigation by the state Department of Education on irregularities on PSSA tests.

A district spokesman said that the change of Imhotep's management enabled the SRC to renew the charter without additional information from the state.

With the addition of Bluford and Delaware Valley, six of the 84 charters in the city are in the process of being closed. Imani in Germantown, New Media Technology in East Mount Airy, and Truebright Science Academy in Olney are fighting to stay open.

Arise in West Oak Lane - the first charter in the country for students in foster care - has agreed to surrender its charter and close as a taxpayer-funded school in June.