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Charleston residents turn out to discuss future of Burke High School

Residents give feedback on what they believe can be done to improve Burke High School.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- More than 100 years of Charleston's history could be lost.{}Some members of the Charleston County School District said Burke can not continue as it is now and suggested turning the institution into a charter school.

More than 100 residents gathered at Burke High School Tuesday night to discuss what it means to make Burke High School a success.

"More technical training, trade and health sciences," alumna Sarah Williams said. "Academic rigor, language, sports and across the board diversity."

The school has been under-performing for years. In 2014, the high school ranked below average in terms of performance, with a 68 percent on-time graduation rate. Charleston County School Board member Michael Miller blames the district.

"I think as a district we haven't done Burke, nor the schools that feed into Burke justice over the past 10, 15 or 20 years," he said. "So to ask a high school and its principal to fix problems that go beyond the walls of this school is unfair to the principal but also unfair to the community."{}

Students are split on the issue. Some feel Burke High is on par with other schools in the district. Others have their concerns that the community is not involved and that there is no real interest in helping the students succeed."A constant expulsion rate, graduation rates and most of all test scores," sophomore Rashon Young said.{}Suggestions included a more active parent-teacher association and access to greater resources.But the greatest fear is that 104 years of history will be lost.{}"100 year legacy is 100 years, so to erase that is almost like somebody changing your name because they didn't like it. To change the name of Burke High School to me would be like somehow erasing the history of Charleston to some degree," Miller said.Charleston County School District officials released the following statement.

"We believe in doing what's best for our children, as well as the the investment in the appropriate engagement with stakeholders to ensure the success of a school and students."

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