Low state rankings present latest problem for Prime Prep Academy

DALLAS -- There was more bad news for Deion Sanders' Prime Prep Academy Friday.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) came out with state-wide school accountability rankings and Prime Prep did not fare well. In fact, the elementary school on the Fort Worth campus, for the second year in a row, ranks as one of the lowest-performing charter schools in the state.

Overall, it's been a bad summer for Prime Prep Academy.

First, the state moved to revoke its charter after only two years in existence. Earlier this week, school officials admitted they are $100,000 to $150,000 in the hole. Now, poor performance ratings, especially for the elementary school, threaten to hurt the school's reputation even more.

Both campuses of Prime Prep are ranked 'Improvement Required.'

The Prime Prep elementary school in Fort Worth failed to meet state standards in all four categories. The high school campus in Dallas performed better, it failed to meet standards in only one category.

School Superintendent Ron Price says he was not shocked at the performance numbers, and said they are the result of a lack of proper oversight before he took over in January.

He said when school started last fall, Prime Prep had two certified teachers. Today, he said all of his teachers are certified and he expects better results next year.

Still, there are serious questions as to whether Prime Prep will even be open next year. The state is in the process of revoking its charter based on the misuse of federal funds for free and reduced lunches.

While Prime Prep is appealing its charter revocation, some believe navigating all of the negative obstacles in front of it may prove to be too much for Prime Prep Academy to survive.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com


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