Educational Listening Tour at Gompers Preparatory Academy

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August 5, 2011 I had the opportunity to attend a session of the Educational Listening Tour, initiated by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and City Council President Tony Young, hosted at Gompers Preparatory Academy (GPA) last week. The topic of this session of the tour was the achievement gap and about 50 people or so were in attendance.

GPA were gracious hosts, setting up their auditorium stage to look like a news cast studio. GPA parents in attendance took this opportunity to brag about their charter school and talked about how GPA meets their child's needs. GPA also had a student speak quite articulately about his growth as a student at GPA, which very much impressed the council and assemblyman. Jenny Parsons, Chief of Staff at GPA was asked by Councilman Young to tell the GPA story and she did so eloquently.

In addition to GPA, several other charters had representation in the audience and were mentioned during comments including Magnolia and High Tech High. Charter schools were not the only people in attendance, as there were also representatives there from the Monarch School, SD Future's Foundation and the League of Women Voters.

Assemblyman Fletcher and Council President Young began their listening tour in May and they have monthly sessions scheduled through the month of November. At the November session they will present their findings. It was a great opportunity for the charter community to be included in these discussions. I encourage anyone interested in participating in these to do so, even if not hosted at a charter school.

The purpose is to hear the public address the educational topic, so there are lots of opportunities to brag about your charter school. The topics change monthly and next one is early education. You can find information regarding these sessions on the websites of Assemblyman Fletcher and Council President Young.

Lisa Berlanga
Regional Director