ANTIOCH -- Antioch school trustees decided this week not to renew RAAMP Academy's charter, citing its underachieving academic performance.
The school board voted 4-1 to deny the charter Wednesday, with board Vice President Gary Hack casting the lone dissenting vote.
"It's so arbitrary, because there's so much more than just if you did well on a test or not. But those are the parameters that we have to go by," trustee Claire Smith said.
RAAMP -- which stands for Raising Academic Achievement Multicultural Program -- opened in 2009 and serves 138 students. It was created to help at-risk, mainly black students, catch up academically with their peers. Parents lauded the school's program during a pair of hearings over the past two months for the one-on-one attention students receive, small class sizes, the presence of male role models and extended staff hours, including schooling on Saturday.
The school also moved three times during its five-year history.
RAAMP Executive Director Karla Branch said the school does not plan to appeal the decision with the county board of education, which means it will close at the end of the year.
"I appreciate all of you for giving RAAMP a chance," Branch told the board. "We were facing insurmountable odds. I believe in what RAAMP did and what it stood for. I will walk away knowing it did amazing things for a lot of children."
Antioch Unified Superintendent Donald Gill said that the families at the school would not be abandoned, and a transition plan for students would be created.
Branch, a couple of students who stayed for the meeting, and several parents shed tears and hugged outside the board room following the decision.
"It's devastating," said parent Angela Lacy-Roberson, whose son is now a high school freshman. RAAMP "left him a different person," she said.
The California Charter Schools Association called for RAAMP's closure in December, saying it fell below the minimum criteria for renewal based on low standardized test scores, including comparing unfavorably to schools with the same demographics and other district schools and subgroups.
RAAMP scored 623 on the API (Academic Performance Index) last spring. API scores range from a low of 200 to a high of 1,000. Its test results have fluctuated in its three years of recording, going from 649 in 2011 to 689 in 2012, before dropping last spring.
The school's action plan submitted on March 4 also did not appear adequate to address concerns, staff said.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.