State may close downtown Toledo charter school

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A downtown Toledo charter school is in danger of being shut down by the state. But school officials at the Maritime Academy argue the state simply isn't crunching the numbers correctly.

The Maritime superintendent tells 13abc the issue is graduation rates. Tom Shafer says the state doesn't report the correct numbers and when the state gets them, he says the stats are not corrected.

The Maritime Academy is on Water Street in downtown Toledo, along the Maumee River. The school bills itself as having the first state approved maritime career tech education program in the country. 313 kids attend and we're told there's a waiting list to get in the school of 5th through 12th graders.

Last month, the Ohio Department of Education sent the school a letter saying that because of poor academic performance they are subject to automatic closure. The state cites an "F" on performance index and a “D” or “F” on gap closing.

Superintendent Tom Shafer told 13abc that the biggest issue is that the state has errors in its graduation rate data. He says he doesn't believe the school should be in this situation and that it's not the fault of the teachers, kids or parents.

Shafer says he's given the state the data but they don't change the numbers.

The ODE is now asking for the school to submit a school improvement plan. That's due next Friday and it's supposed to address the issues leading to the "risk of closure" status.

Superintendent Shafer says that plan is completed and says it will be sent to the state next week.