September 16, 2011:
More Charter Schools
One of our top priorities at CCSA is to ensure that growth continues, so that more students will have access to a quality public education. This week, the House of Representatives approved a bill that will help expand the number of charters nationwide, and increase funding to help states achieve that goal over the next few years. For more details, read the piece in The Hill Blog. Also, CNN featured an op-ed about the need for more charter schools nationwide. You can read it here.
Expanding Charters in California
California is already leading the way in charter school growth. With the school year finally underway, plans to open new charter schools, and even expand existing ones, are beginning to take shape. In Berkeley, the local board had such items on their agenda. For more, read the post on Patch.com. Meantime, in Woodland, a successful charter is looking for ways to expand their program to offer more opportunities to area students. Read about their efforts in the Daily Democrat. And Alum Rock Unified also approved a new charter middle school for area students. The San Jose Mercury News has more.
Inspiring New Charter Schools in California
New schools that are making news across our state include the TEAM program in Stockton. The Stockton Record featured the charter and the impact it's having on the community. In the Encanto area of San Diego, a new charter school will not only focus on academics, they will encourage students to also participate in programs that will also challenge them physically to give them the tools to build more character. Read about that in the San Diego Union Tribune.
National Blue Ribbon Schools
The U.S. Department of Education announced this week the winners of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which highlights public and private schools that have excelled academically and made gains in closing the achievement gap. Two California charter schools were part of the 21 public schools in the state that made the list this year. Read CCSA president and CEO Jed Wallace's statement congratulating the schools, as well as stories from the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento's NBC station KCRA.
With Session Officially Over, Dozens of Education Bills Await Fate
The Legislature officially wrapped up business last week, and now, dozens of education-related bills await their fate on Governor Brown's desk. The bills include, among other things, implementation of Common Core standards and reform in the academic accountability system. For more details, read the article in Educated Guess.
School Conversion Sparks Controversy
For months, teachers, parents, and community members have worked together to submit a petition to the Mt. Diablo Unified School District to convert an area school to a charter. The board decided to approve the petition this week, but with a set of conditions that the group and the charter community do not support. To read more about this, see the articles in the Contra Costa Times and Patch.com, as well as a press statement from CCSA.
San Diego Union Tribune Pledges To Cover More Education, Including Charters
And to end on a good note...the daily San Diego Union Tribune newspaper has reached out to the education community, including CCSA, to discuss efforts on improving their coverage of education issues. This week, the Tribune wrote about those efforts in this article. They also featured a story on one of San Diego's top charter schools, High Tech High, and their receipt of an invitation to visit the White House. The invite came as a result of the charter getting second place in a competition to get President Obama to be their commencement speaker. Read more on that here.