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  • David Bass

NC ‘skirt school’ ranks high in reading and math


Students at Classical Charter Schools of Leland (formerly known as Charter Day School). Image from charterdayschool.net.

A Brunswick County charter school management organization that has been at the center of a legal controversy over the dress code at one of its schools gets high marks for student test scores, according to a new analysis.


A study from Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes cited Roger Bacon Academy for achieving statistically significant results for “gap-busting” in both reading and math. This means the network of charter schools performed better on overcoming the learning growth gap based on students’ race or family income level.



In a press release, Baker Mitchell, founder of the schools, attributed the schools’ success to their traditional classical curriculum, school culture, and direct instruction teaching method.

“There are always fads in education that seem to needlessly distract from the ultimate goal of educating future citizens so our society can flourish,” Mitchell said. “Humanity has known how to produce learning for thousands of years, and when schools deviate from these proven techniques their students pay the price.”


One of Mitchell’s schools, now called Classical Charter Schools of Leland, was at the center of a lawsuit over a requirement that female students wear skirts. In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the case, meaning a 4th Circuit Court ruling striking down the requirement as unconstitutional will stand.


That ruling designated the charter school as “a state actor,” which Mitchell says could have a negative impact on charter school operations across the country.

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