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January 14, 2011

LAUSD Selects New Superintendent

This week, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) selected John Deasy as the new Superintendent, replacing Ramon Cortines, who will be officially retiring this spring. Deasy has been deputy-Superintendent since 2010, and has a solid reputation in public education. Read CCSA CEO Jed Wallace's statement on the appointment, as well as articles in the L.A. Times and the Los Angeles Daily News.

Public School Choice in the News

The second round of LAUSD's Public School Choice reform is quickly approaching, with the community advisory vote scheduled to take place in the next few weeks. Several charter schools are applying for the campuses selected under PSC 2.0, and have been engaging the community to inform them on their plans. For more information in Public School Choice, visit the Public School Choice section of the CCSA website. and read this Eastern Group Publication article To see how PSC 2.0 is playing out in one Los Angeles neighborhood, check out this story in The Eastsider.

Hope for New Charter Middle School in Downtown Los Angeles

Also in LAUSD, the board will make a decision on the construction of a new middle school in the next few weeks, which would be run by one of the area's top charter schools, Camino Nuevo. The project is one of four new downtown area public schools which, if approved, would be built with existing funds. This is one of several long-term facilities solutions CCSA will be working on to expand choices for charter schools and families seeking high-quality educational options. For more, read the article in the L.A. Downtown News.

New Members Change the Face of the State Board of Education

Several new members of the State Board of Education met for the first time this week following their appointment by Governor Jerry Brown. The governor was present at their Wednesday meeting, in which the members elected Michael Kirst as their new president. In his "Educated Guess" blog, John Fensterwald gives some clarity on the new members of the Board as they relate to charter schools.

New Charter Schools Approved

A new charter school was approved by the Yolo County Board of Education this week, but the approval is teetering on whether board members and charter petitioners can come to a mutual agreement between members and petitioners. The Woodland Polytechnic Academy has been in the works for several months, and board members decided to give their tentative approval, with the condition they be allowed to negotiate certain aspects of the petition. For more on this, read the story in the Daily Democrat.

In Kern County, children and families will now have a new school option as the County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the Grimmway Academy charter school. Grimmway Academy is is slated to open in Arvin this fall. Read the KGET story for details.

District-Charter Collaboration Benefits Students and Schools

"We need to focus... on improving classrooms so that every school can be a great school, and every student can get the education she deserves," wrote Vicki L. Phillips in commentary in Education Week. Her piece highlighted the need for traditional public schools and charter public schools to work together, citing the Quality School Compact signed by districts and charters in nine cities as "a bold commitment between district and charter leaders to build on each other's strengths in pursuit of a common mission--giving every student a great education."

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