11/4/11 Charter News Round-Up

November 4, 2011

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Comprehensive Report on Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) Released

Mathematica Policy Research and the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) released a report this week detailing Charter Management Organization (CMO) practices and effectiveness across the nation. The report highlights management and instructional practices at several CMOs, and describes some interesting patterns on the positive impact these models are having on students, and public education as a whole. For more information, the report is available here; be sure to also read the Time Magazine blog post on what the report's findings mean.

Bullis Facilities Decision A Great Step Forward For Charters

This week was the deadline for charter schools in California to apply to their districts for Proposition 39 facilities, starting a process of negotiation that will last until the spring. Proposition 39 is one of CCSA's top priorities, and we advocate for fairness and equity in the process. While some districts do comply with Prop. 39, others do not. But a recent court decision that favored Bullis Charter School last week may change things statewide. Read more about that in John Fensterwald's Educated Guess blog, the Los Altos Crier, and Patch.com.

Broad Foundation Announces New Award For Charters

This week, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced the establishment of a new award for charter schools across the nation that demonstrate success in narrowing the prevalent achievement gap. The award is intended to promote growth, particularly in those schools that primarily serve low-income students. Several charter groups in California are eligible. Read the blogs in Education Week and L.A. Weekly, as well as the official press release and [CCSA's statement]/blog/2011/11/ccsa-statement-on-new-broad-foundation-award-for-charter-schools.html).

Forbes Releases List Of Most Powerful Educators

This week, Forbes Magazine released a list of trend-setting and powerful educators across the country. Camino Nuevo's Ana Ponce is featured, as well as other national charter school leaders. Take a look at the list here, or read our story.

National English, Math Test Puts California Students Near Bottom

This week, results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress were released, and the news was not so good for California public school students. According to the results, students ranked near the bottom in English and Math, ahead of only Mississippi and D.C. Read more about it in the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle. Also this week, a new state report indicates that a shortened school week--which several districts are proposing--could hurt those students that are already struggling in many schools. See what the Los Angeles Times wrote about that. And in Los Angeles, parents filed a lawsuit against the district to make teacher evaluations include student data. For more information, read articles in the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Educated Guess.

School Districts In Financial Distress

As we quickly approach the end of the year, several school districts are preparing for possible mid-year cuts if revenue projections set forth in the state's budget plan do not materialize. In San Diego and Oakland, school officials this week discussed the possibility of school closures to grapple with their respective budget deficits. Read about what happened in Oakland in NBC's Bay Area website and KQED Capitol Public Radio. In San Diego, meanwhile, the district discussed the possibility of including a bond in next year's ballot after their credit rating was downgraded. Read the latest in the San Diego Union Tribune and the Voice of San Diego.

Charters In The Spotlight

And as another week wraps up, we would like to highlight some really positive stories from our charter schools across California. This week, Discovery Charter in Tracy celebrated its 10th anniversary. Read the story of the impact they've had in the community in the Tracy Press. Also, a new school that follows a military model is changing the lives of many students in Riverside County. Read about how this charter is inspiring and motivating students. In the Central Valley, a new school is set to open its doors to Fresno students next fall, as the Fresno Business Journal explains, and San Diego's High Tech schools have gotten more environmentally friendly. Read about that in the Earth Techling.

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