8/26/11 Charter News Round-Up

August 26, 2011

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Walton Family Foundation Announces Three-Year Grant for CCSA

This week, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) received a grant from the Walton Family Foundation which will be invested into creating 100,000 new charter school seats across the state in the next three years in order to give parents more quality options in public education. The grant is a validation for the work CCSA is also doing in accountability and expanding opportunities for charters. To read the press release from the Walton Family Foundation, and see a Q & A from CCSA's president and CEO Jed Wallace, click here. Also, read the media's take on this story in the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, and Educated Guess. Mr. Wallace was also featured on the radio show Which Way L.A. and the California Report, KQED.

CCSA Responds to Misconceptions about Charter Schools

There are many misconceptions that are raised about charter schools, and CCSA wanted to set the record straight following a recent post in CityWatchL.A. The piece focuses on the fact that charter schools are public schools, and serve all students. To read more, check out CCSA President and CEO Jed Wallace's op-ed.

Support for Higher Accountability

Another opinion piece that we want to highlight appeared in this week's Educated Guess blog. Ben Austin, executive director of Parent Revolution, emphasized the important role charters are playing in transforming public education, and his support three CCSA-sponsored bills, AB 360, AB 440 and SB 645, which, among other things, would increase academic accountability. Click here to read Austin's piece, and here to learn more about CCSA's accountability efforts.

California High School Exit Exam Results

The results for the California High School Exit Exam, better known as CAHSEE, were released this week by the state Department of Education. The data shows that students have made considerable improvement in passing the test that all students must pass in order to receive their high school diploma. To read about specific results across the state, read the articles in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Daily News , the Sacramento Bee, and the news blog Educated Guess.

Superintendent Torlakson Seeks Reprieve From NCLB

Also this week, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan asking for California to be granted a waiver from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal law. Torlakson described the guidelines for NCLB as ineffective. To read more on what this means, see articles in the L.A. Times and the Sacramento Bee.

Good News

And to finish up this week... many charter schools have been highlighted in publications throughout the state to ring in the beginning of the new school year. One great story appears in the Rohnert Park edition of Patch.com featuring the very first charter school to open in Sonoma County. The La Mesa edition of Patch.com highlights some great new schools opening in that area. Meanwhile, the Times Herald in Vallejo looks more closely at the diverse school choices available to parents and students, including charter schools, and the Modesto Bee gets a closer look at a new facility for a Turlock area charter school.

We also wanted to make sure kudos are give to Synergy Charter in Los Angeles, as it was singled out for the great accomplishments they've achieved in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District, particularly focusing on their student-driven curricula. Read the story here.

And the Palisades Post highlighted the great work the Palisades Charter school is doing, particularly having one of the highest graduation rates in the area.

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