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Is it possible for a school to be too good? The D.C. Public Charter School Board seems to think so. The board denied the Dupont Circle International Academy a charter on June 20, citing reservations with the school’s tough admission policy. The school, which proposes to follow the rigorous International Baccalaureate curriculum and include a Chinese-immersion program, does not plan to accept or advance remedial or underperforming students. Gloria Borland, the Dupont Circle resident who founded the school, says the rejection was based on the board’s reluctance to embrace “at-grade-level schools,” where students must be able to perform at the grade level they’re in. “They constantly keep dumbing the curriculum down,” Borland says. Charter-board chair Tom Nida says there were other reasons for the rejection—”[The application] was probably the most complex thing we’ve ever seen”—though the standards were a factor: “You’ve got to serve everybody that shows up,” he says.

—Constantine Caloudas