State BOE delays action on Kestrel Heights high school to March

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The State Board of Education tabled discussion of the Durham charter school's fate until March.

At its meeting Wednesday, the State Board of Education decided to move discussion of Kestrel Heights High School to its March agenda.

The Board is deciding whether to revoke the charter of the Durham school. Wednesday's inaction leaves the scandal-plagued school in limbo.

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Earlier in January, the North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board discussed a bombshell report that 160 of 399 Durham Kestrel Heights School graduates received diplomas between 2008 and 2016 with no evidence that they met all requirements.

PREVIOUS STORY: STUDENTS RALLY FOR TROUBLED DURHAM SCHOOL'S CHARTER

After a closed-door meeting, the board recommended that the North Carolina Board of Education revoke the school's charter and turn it into a kindergarten through 8th grade school only.

The Durham charter school self-reported the findings of an internal investigation. It also said that two principals and a counselor who were working at that time aren't employed with the school now.

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE (.pdf)

A new principal discovered the problem in July and the state immediately launched an investigation.

Asked how it could happen on his watch, Kestrel Heights Executive Director Dr. Mark Tracy responded "that's a good point. As executive director, I take responsibility and we continue to look at it and investigate and I think our report details that information."

307 students attend the high school. 71 are seniors.

The Class of 2017 could be the last to graduate from the school and the rest of the students might have to find a new place to go to school.

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