August 2015 CEO Message

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August 31, 2015 Welcome back! As students return to their classrooms, I am eager to see what we can achieve this school year in our enduring efforts to ensure students across California have access to great public schools.

Whether visiting schools or hearing directly from school leaders, parents and community members, I know the life-changing experiences our charter schools are providing to their students. O'Farrell Charter School in San Diego was recently recognized for being one of the highest performing urban schools in the nation based on their work serving a diverse student population in grades kindergarten through 11th grade with a high percentage of low-income students. Parents like Betty Ly and Bernadette Richards feel fortunate to be a part of the Community School for Creative Education (CSCE) in Oakland. And Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning (SAEL) in Grass Valley is building community partnerships to help curriculum come alive with real, hands-on work.

At CCSA, we want to help amplify your charter school stories of success. We know that, while charter schools enjoy support among the general public, they also have some vocal critics who perpetuate a number of myths. That is why we are launching a new public awareness campaign called the Truth About Charters. By providing information based on facts and independent research, we hope to clarify a number of common misperceptions. The Truth About Charters campaign will be rolled out over several weeks starting in mid-September and going through October, focusing on one charter school fact during each week.

Also launching in mid-September is another new CCSA campaign that will last several weeks and be featured across our social media feeds, Charter Voices. Charter Voices is a website repository of videos featuring the voices of charter school leaders, teachers, parents and community members sharing their transforming experiences with charter schools.

We are excited to work with our members to use these campaigns as additional opportunities to dispel myths and further share the good news about California's charter schools. Watch for more details in the coming weeks on how you can get involved in our Weekly Member Digest and during upcoming Regional Meetings.

It is particularly important for charter schools to be able to communicate their academic progress during this time of transition in the state's accountability framework. We recently learned that the California Department of Education (CDE) announced a tentative public release date of September 9 for the 2014-15 CAASPP results. For more information and helpful resources about this upcoming data release, click here.

The beginning of the school year also marks the end of a challenging legislative session on September 11. Stay tuned for updates in the Capitol Update for final actions of the bills as this session wraps up.

Throughout the 2015-16 school year, CCSA will continue our work advocating on behalf of California's charter schools, parents and students. And we look forward to working side by side with our member schools, making our voices heard in California's legislature and beyond.

Here's to an incredible school year!


Myrna Castrejon
Acting CEO
California Charter Schools Association