The troubled Truebright Science Academy Charter School in Olney will close at the end of the academic year next month - unless it obtains a stay from the court to remain open.
A Commonwealth Court three-judge panel on Friday affirmed a state Charter Appeals Board decision that said the School Reform Commission had ample grounds to close Truebright for poor academic performance.
The judges said that Truebright had promised that its students would "realize high academic rank" and would score proficient or higher on the state's standardized math and reading tests.
"Truebright has had a consistently low percentage of students scoring proficient or better on the PSSA [math and reading tests] and has shown no clear sign of improvement," Judge Rochelle S. Friedman wrote.
Truebright disagreed with the panel.
"We're disappointed the Commonwealth Court failed to recognize that Truebright was consistently superior to other schools in Philadelphia," said Brian Leinhauser, the school's lawyer.
He said the charter's board planned to meet Saturday "to discuss what its options are: Whether to further appeal or close the school at the end of the year."
The school, at 407 E. Roosevelt Blvd., has 241 students in grades seven through 12.
District spokesman Fernando Gallard said the charter office would help students and families find spots in district schools.
He said the timing would depend on whether Truebright appeals the Commonwealth Court ruling.
In 2013, the SRC voted to deny renewing Truebright's operating agreement on several grounds, including poor academics.
The school went to Commonwealth Court after the state Charter Appeals Board in December upheld the SRC's decision.
The state board found Truebright had failed to deliver the academic performance it had promised in its application and had not met state standards.
Commonwealth Court heard arguments in Pittsburgh last month.
At that time, Truebright said the SRC and the state board erred by comparing its students' test scores with students in all district schools, instead of just middle and high schools. The court rejected that position.
Truebright, which opened in 2007, is one of more than 120 charters nationwide founded and operated by followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish imam who lives in self-imposed exile in the Poconos.
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