Parents upset over Las Vegas charter school changes

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - A local charter school undergoing a change in management is having some growing pains. 

The school, originally founded by tennis star Andre Agassi, is now being run by a New York-based charter school. 

Some kids are having a rough time adapting. 

Christine Goudy is the grandparent of an 8th grader who's attended the school since kindergarten. This year, she said, there's been a change in the grading system. 

"They got rid of the Ds. The kids will go from C to straight F which is a big change when you got your slow learners," Goudy said. 

Goudy and other parents told 13 Action News the change in the grading system along with strict discipline and lack of communication between parents and administrators has been enough to cause many parents to pull their kids out of the school. 

"They're not happy with the school," said Michelle Ladner, whose child attends the school. 

13 Action News asked a spokesperson for Democracy Prep how many students have left the school since the beginning of the school year when charter school leadership changed hands. The spokesperson provided no answer. 

Democracy Prep did, however, issue the following statement: 

"We want every child to receive the finest education and believe that setting high standards and expectations is essential to our scholars' success in college. We are proud that 11 of our 15 seniors have been accepted into 21 colleges and have earned more than $300,000 in scholarships. Of the 30 parents who provided reasons for withdrawing their child from school, more than half cited transportation issues, relocation or home schooling. At the beginning of the school year, parents were provided with a handbook that explains that grades at DPAC are determined by the Nevada grading statute and that all scholars must demonstrate proficiency by earning at least a 70 percent  in their course work and exams to earn promotion to the next grade or graduate."

Rochelle Ritchie
Democracy Prep Public Schools
Director of External Affairs 

The parents have started a petition asking for the grading system to be changed. They want to bring back local control.

Andre Agassi declined to be interviewed for this story. 

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