All-boys school rejected again in Wilkinsburg |

All-boys school rejected again in Wilkinsburg

The Wilkinsburg School Board Tuesday night rejected for a fourth time a plan to bring an all-boys charter school to town.

With little discussion, board members voted 7-0 to deny a request to grant a charter for the proposed HOPE Leadership Academy for Math and Science. Donora Craighead and LaTonya Washington abstained.

“I’m not opposed to charter schools, just this one,” Washington said.

Andre Tucker, CEO of the proposed charter school, said he would appeal to the state Department of Education. The Education Department has approved the HOPE academy to receive $650,000 over three years. Academy officials received $50,000; the rest of the money would come after a charter is granted.

Tucker hoped to draw students from Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh, Woodland Hills and Penn Hills to study at the school, which he planned to open in a vacant church near South Avenue and Center Street. He planned to start teaching classes for boys in grades six through eight, and add a higher grade each year until 12th grade.

Despite support from more than 3,500 people who signed a petition in support of the charter school, the board rejected Tucker’s bids in January 2009, September 2009 and in February, citing gender discrimination.

Charter supporters thought the concept would have more momentum this time in Wilkinsburg because four of the five schools in the predominantly black district failed to meet state standards in reading and math on last year’s Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests.

Craighead said the HOPE academy would have to be retooled to gain her full support, but was hesitant to dismiss charters altogether.

“I don’t want to pass up an opportunity for something that helps our students,” Washington said. “At this point, we need all the help we can get.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.