A parent of two students attending Brookhaven Innovation Academy said that, despite receiving failing scores from a state oversight commission, the school has vastly improved her children’s education experience.

The State Charter Schools Commission, which decides whether a school is renewed to continue operating, in a March 21 report gave BIA failing scores on academic and financial sections. BIA passed the operations section.

The school was dinged for not earning a College and Career Ready Performance Index, or CCRPI, score that was higher than the district it serves, the entire state. Although created by Brookhaven officials to be a better and varied option to DeKalb County public schools, it ranked lower than all but one county public school in Brookhaven.

But Veronica Johnson, whose 4th and 6th grade children attend BIA, said that the school’s performance is measured by more than the state’s evaluation. Her children are receiving a better education and getting better grades than they did at their previous public school and private school, she said. The school has worked well enough for them to not mind commuting over an hour from East Point to the school, she said.

She said BIA has the right balance of pushing advanced students forward while supporting students who need extra help in areas. BIA avoids the “over-testing” and strong emphasis on testing traditional public schools often have, Johnson said. Students are encouraged to collaborate and work on projects that apply to life more than other schools, she said.

“Just looking at something in black and white without digging into the details could lead someone to have the wrong impression of the school. It is a fabulous school and I’m happy to send them back there next year,” she said.

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