9/2/11 Charter News Round-Up

September 2, 2011

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API Scores Released This Week, Many Charters Outperforming Traditional Public Schools

The California Department of Education released this week the annual Academic Performance Index (API) scores to public schools, and while there were some improvements made overall, many schools and districts still aren't meeting the federal guidelines set out under No Child Left Behind. That has state officials concerned over possible loss of funding, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is taking steps to seek exemption from the requirements. To read more on that, check out articles in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Daily News, the San Diego Union Tribune, and the Sacramento Bee.

Several charters outperformed traditional public schools on the API. Here are some of the featured stories you can find in the San Diego Union Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News, the Dixon Patch.com website, the Daily Democrat, and Echo Park Patch.com.

LAUSD Approves Changes to Public School Choice Program

The Los Angeles Unified School Board approved some reforms to the two-year old Public School Choice (PSC) program that will in essence give preference to district applicants over charter schools for the new schools identified in the program, and create obstacles in the collaboration needed to truly reach significant reform. In addition, charter schools already running through Public School Choice are showing great results for students, according to just released state-test data. To find out more on what this means, view our special Public School Choice news round-up.

Former UTLA Leader Spearheading Plans For New Charter

A.J. Duffy, who until earlier this year was the head of UTLA and a vehement opponent of charter schools, is now planning to open his own. Duffy is moving forward with plans to submit an application for a new charter school in the Los Angeles area that, if approved, would open next fall. The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Daily News, and the Los Angeles Times have more on this developing story.

St. HOPE Oak Park Middle School Plan Vote Delayed Until Next Month

The Sacramento Unified School District delayed the vote on plans for St. HOPE to open a new middle school in Sacramento until the beginning of October. St. HOPE, which runs top-performing charters such as PS7 and Sacramento Charter High School, submitted a petition to the board to open a middle school in the Oak Park area next year. If approved, the middle school would be the first in that neighborhood. The Sacramento Bee has the story.

Back To School

Schools continue to ring in the new school year throughout the state, with several charters opening their doors and giving new opportunities to students for a quality education. Many charters focus their curricula on college preparedness, while others simply offer more choices in elective courses. Several publications published stories this week featuring an array of these charters, and how they are transforming public education. The Desert Sun, for instance, has a story on a local charter offering college level courses, while the Christian Science Monitor delves deeper into Rocketship's success.

In addition, new charter schools statewide are setting high expectations for their students, while also keeping parents involved. To read more on a new charter in the Rohnert Area, read the Community Voice. The Roseville-area has its first charter opening its doors, as featured in the Sacramento Bee. The Redlands Daily Facts featured a wonderful article about how parents and students worked together with their local charter schools to get it ready for opening day.

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