12/16/11 Charter News Round-Up

December 16, 2011

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CCSA Calls for the Non-Renewal of 10 Charter Schools

This week, CCSA called for the non-renewal of 10 charter schools across California that did not meet CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal. The schools represent slightly more than 1% of the total number of charters in the state, and represents a step toward increasing accountability in schools. For more, read CCSA's press release, as well as articles in the Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, tSan Diego Union Tribune, Bakersfield Californian and EduBlog.

Moratorium for Public School Choice Initiative As UTLA Approves LAUSD Contract

A couple of weeks after leaders of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the United Teachers of L.A. (UTLA) announced a contract agreement that increases local control in public schools, the members of the union approved the pact. The new contract does put a moratorium on the Public School Choice (PSC) initiative, which had allowed charter schools to apply to run new and low-performing schools. Several charters were approved to run these schools in the first two rounds of PSC. Read stories in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, and Associated Press for more on this.

Rocketship Gets Approval To Open Several Charter Schools

The Santa Clara County Office of Education voted in favor of allowing Rocketship to open more than 20 charter schools over the next few years in the San Jose area. The schools will focus on serving primarily low-income students, and work toward closing the achievement gap with innovative programs and teaching. CCSA has been very supportive of these efforts. Read the stories featured in the San Jose Mercury News, Peninsula Press, and John Fensterwald's blog, Educated Guess.

Choice, Renewals, and New Charters

As this is our last Charter News Round-Up of 2011, we want to wrap up the year by highlighting some positive charter news featured in publications across California. This week, for instance, a top teacher at the Lighthouse Community Charter in Oakland was invited to speak at the White House, and participate in a panel discussion with--among others--Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The discussion centered around the needed collaboration among teachers to maximize student learning today and in the future. Read the article in the Oakland Tribune, which also features a link to a video of the panel discussion. Also this week, the San Diego Union Tribune published a piece on a study that names the San Diego Unified School District as one of the top districts in the nation on school choice. This was due primarily to the quality charters in the area. The Los Angeles Unified School District made the top 25 of the list. For more, read the article; read the Brookings Education Choice Study here.

And as we wrap the year, we have seen charter schools continue to grow, even as we all face precarious economic and financial times. Next year, there's already plans to open a new charter in the San Miguel area, which also happens to be the first charter to be available to parents and students there. The San Luis Obispo Tribune has more. Finally, this week the Vallejo School District renewed the Mare Island Technology Academy, despite fears of budget trigger cuts. For more on what this means, see the piece in the Vallejo Times Herald.

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