Torlakson Launches Charter School Best Practices Project; Hundreds of Resources Available

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November 8, 2013 The California Department of Education is launching a new project to strengthen charter schools across the state by providing teachers and administrators access to hundreds of online resources to aid their work, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced on November 5th.

The Charter Schools Best Practices Project has information to assist in planning and starting charter schools; evaluating charter school petitions; developing partnerships with other schools and local districts; and increasing student achievement in the classroom. Two charter school-related groups have been created for educators to share ideas.

"Charter schools are an important part of the education landscape in California, and strengthening them is a step toward strengthening the system as a whole," Torlakson said. "That's why the department launched this effort to pool resources, share ideas, and serve all our students."

Charter schools are public schools that can provide instruction in any of the K-12 grades. They are typically created or organized by a group of teachers, parents, or community leaders or by a community-based organization. California became the second state in the nation in 1992 to adopt public charter school legislation, and there are now 1,161 active charter schools in California.

The Charter School Best Practices Project includes more than 700 online resources linking users to best practices and profiles of successful charter schools. The information is collected from the National Charter Schools Resource Center, which serves as a clearinghouse of high-quality resources on charter schools nationwide.

As part of this Best Practices Project, the California Department of Education is also offering eight free training sessions throughout California, where educators can learn strategies for connecting to partners across the state to find the information and resources they need. Attendees must pre-register for each of the events through the links provided below.

The California Department of Education (CDE) is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. For more information, please visit or by mobile device at You may also follow Superintendent Torlakson on Twitter at and Facebook at