11/26/10 Charter News Round-Up

November 26, 2010

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Confusing Grades on Charters Due to "Imperfect Math"

A Wall Street Journal article delves into how different methodologies lead to conflicting findings about the achievement of charter schools. "The chief explanation for the lack of consensus is that the prominent studies on charter schools rely on different methodologies--all of which have flaws, writes Carl Bialik in "Studies That Grade Charter Schools Rely on Imperfect Math."

Little Hoover Commission Calls on State to Improve Authorization and Oversight of California Charter Schools

The State's Little Hoover Commission has released "Smarter Choices, Better Education: Improving California's Charter Schools." In this study, the Commission found that the state's dysfunctional charter authorizing process limits accessibility to high quality charter schools and recommended the state expand its options for charter school authorization. At the same time, the state must do more to ensure consistently poor-performing charter schools either improve or close their doors. To view a PDF copy of the report and associated information, or to buy a printed copy, click here.

Los Angeles-Area School Renamed for Governor Schwarzenegger

CHIME Charter School in Woodland Hills has been renamed CHIME Institute's Schwarzenegger Community School in honor of the termed-out Governor. The school, which uses a co-teaching model where general and special education teachers work together to plan and instruct all students, was visited by Governor Schwarzenegger this week for the official renaming ceremony. To see video from the event, click here, or read the LA Daily News story. KABC-TV also covered the event.

Talking Charters in San Diego

CCSA Regional Director Lisa Berlanga was featured on KUSI-TV talking about charter schools. To watch the segment, which includes general information on charter schools as well as specific information about charter schools in the San Diego region, click here.

Students are Pennies Away from their Goal

Denair Academic Avenues, a charter in the Central Valley region of the state, opened this fall, but is already making a big impact. The school's 118 students in first through third grades are pennies away from reaching their goal of raising 60,000 pennies, or $600, which will pay for a teacher in Afghanistan or Pakistan through the Pennies for Piece project. During November and December, students will focus on "caring for others, both near and far," said program director Becky Julien, so each class supports a local charity as well as the schoolwide Pennies for Peace program. Students also will be caroling at two elder care facilities in December. Read more in the Modesto Bee.

School Founded by Asian Americans Receives National Blue Ribbon Award

Synergy Charter Academy, was founded by Filipino American Randy Palisoc and Chinese American Meg Palisoc, is one of 314 schools honored this week as a 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The Asian Journal article notes that Synergy overcame facilities challenges to have great academic success; the school has been "able to catapult its students' academic achievement from among the bottom 10% of all students statewide to among the top 10% of all students statewide."

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