California Charter Schools Association Proposes Higher Accountability Standards For Charter Schools

April 20, 2010

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PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release April 20, 2010

Contact: Vicky Waters, CCSA (415) 505-7575 vickyw@charterassociation.org

California Charter Schools Association Proposes Higher Accountability Standards For Charter Schools

Renewals would be linked to performance

SACRAMENTO, California.--The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), along with Assemblymember Juan Arámbula (I-Fresno), have introduced AB 1991, which would specify and raise accountability standards for student performance and outcomes in the state's charter schools.

Under AB 1991, charter schools would be required to meet more rigorous accountability and student academic performance standards at their time of renewal, or face closure if the school has not demonstrated progress. Currently, the criteria a charter needs to meet for renewal is not monitored accurately. Some standards, which would be developed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education, may include collective academic performance of a charter school, progress in the API yearly growth, as well as comparing individual pupils in similar demographics.

"We want charter schools to be successful and to deliver on the promise of a quality education for every child that make the choice to attend our schools," said Jed Wallace, President and CEO of the CCSA. "The accountability standards set forth in AB 1991 will be an incentive to schools, so they can keep growing, and ensuring that the charters in California become a model for the nation."

The State of California adopted the Charter Schools Act in 1992, and is currently home to the largest number of charter schools (809) and charter students (341,000) in the country. Charter schools are public schools, tuition-free, and open to all students, and provide innovative, alternative and diverse educational programs with the goal of improving academic achievement. Charter schools operate free of most rules and regulations in exchange for increased accountability.

Currently, charter schools are required to submit renewal applications with a certified chartering authority every five years. Under AB 1991, schools that meet and exceed accountability standards may be renewed for up to ten years. Those that fail to demonstrate progress will face closure.

"We have some of the most academically successful charter schools in the nation, and if a school doesn't succeed, then they need to face the consequences," said Arámbula.

AB 1991 is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Education Committee on April 21, 2010 at 1:30pm in Capitol Room 126.

About the California Charter Schools Association

The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 809 charter public schools that educate more than 341,000 charter school students in the state of California. The mission of the California Charter Schools Association is to lead the charter public school movement in California in order to increase the number of students attending high-quality charter schools. www.myschool.org.

Note to Media: We invite you to pursue the story and interview members of the California Charter Schools Association. CCSA will fully support your needs for resources pertaining to the story.

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If you are a member of the news media, please contact Emily Galbreth at: (412) 559-8571 or egalbreth@calcharters.org.

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