“It’s not about our jobs, it’s about the kids”: Quest Charter Academy prepares for PPS vote

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Peoria, Ill. (WEEK) – Whether or not Peoria’s Quest Charter Academy will be renewed by District 150 remains up in the air tonight after a stark review from Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat.

The academy will likely find out their fate tomorrow when Dr. Kherat presents the school board with three options for Quest’s future. While all three of them imply the school has been a failure, Quest’s Chief Development Officer Heather Oyler says that’s not the case.

The school’s most recent report card from the Illinois State Board of Education shows Quest outperforms Peoria and Manual high schools in several categories. For example, Quest has an 82% graduation rate compared to 64% at Peoria High and 58% at Manual. The dropout rate is also much higher at Peoria (12%) and Manual (15%), each about five percent higher than Quest.

“Maybe instead of focusing on getting rid of us and restructuring us, maybe they should focus on trying to restructure Manual and Peoria High and figure out what’s going on there,” said Oyler.

The school board will choose to renew the charter for five years, deny the renewal or enter a two year probationary period. When we asked Oyler to pick the best option, she said none of those help in the long-term.

“It’s not about our jobs, it’s about the kids. It’s about almost 600 students that could get told one day they don’t have their school to go back to and they have to go to a school that they didn’t want to come from,” Oyler said.

If a five-year-renewal is adopted, the district could revoke the charter before that time is up if they believe performance doesn’t improve.

The school board will meet Monday night at 6:30 p.m. News 25 will have full coverage of the board’s decision at 10 p.m.

Mike Miletich

Mike Miletich

10 PM News Producer
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