December 15, 2011:
For Immediate Release
Contact: Vicky Waters, CCSA
SACRAMENTO, California (Dec. 15, 2011).--The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) is calling today for the non-renewal of 10 charter schools from across California that are below CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal. This public call for non-renewal represents a significant step towards advancing accountability and fulfilling our collective promise of quality education for children across the state.
"The Charter Schools Act, approved in California in 1992, opened the door to education reform and school choice, allowing charter schools to operate with autonomy and flexibility in exchange for higher accountability. California's charter schools are serious about ensuring that the movement improves pupil learning and creates significantly better learning opportunities than are available within the traditional public school system for our students," said Jed Wallace, president and CEO, CCSA. "To that end, CCSA is taking a lead role in ensuring appropriate academic accountability within the movement by establishing clear and transparent academic performance expectations for charter schools."
"We cannot have an honest discussion about education reform and increasing accountability without closing the charters that have demonstrated an inability to meet the challenge of excellence--granted to us by law--and chronically underperform. Our accountability framework has been pressure tested, analyzed and deliberated thoroughly. The time to act on persistently low-performing schools is now, because our children's education cannot be put on the back-burner," said Myrna Castrejón, senior vice president, Achievement and Performance Management, CCSA.
In conjunction with CCSA's Member Council (which consists of charter school leaders from across California), and in consultation with technical experts, CCSA developed an Accountability Framework that is a three-dimensional model that hones in on the value added by schools, as well as measures of academic status and growth. The Framework is the basis of CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal, a minimum performance standard that CCSA developed and uses as part of its advocacy efforts for charter schools seeking a renewal of their petition. Under California law, charter school petitions are authorized for up to a five-year term, and may be renewed by the authorizer for five more years. To inform schools, authorizers and the public on school performance, CCSA publishes Academic Accountability Report Cards every fall that show the results of each charter school on the Accountability Framework and CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal. CCSA encourages authorizers to use this data in making their decisions about whether to renew a school's charter.
Upon the publication of the 2011 Academic Performance Index (API) results, CCSA identified thirty-one (31) charter schools from across California that are "Below CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal." Of those 31, 11 schools' charters expire before June 2012, and thus are in the process of petition renewal. CCSA provided all schools above and below criteria an opportunity to provide demographic data corrections and for those schools below criteria, an opportunity to submit additional student level, longitudinal data. CCSA analyzed the data provided and determined that of the 11 schools in renewal, 10 schools still do not meet CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal. CCSA has informed these schools of this circumstance, and will take steps toward informing the authorizer and encouraging it to exercise their authority not to renew the charter, and close the school.
In order to meet CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal, charter schools must have operated for a minimum of four years and meet at least one of the following:
- Academic Performance Index (API) score of at least 700 in most recent year
- 3-year cumulative API growth of at least 50 points (2010-11 growth + 2009-10 growth + 2008-09 growth)
- Within range of or exceeding predicted performance based on similar student populations statewide, for at least two out of the last three years, based on CCSA's metric, the Similar Students Measure.
In all, the 10 charter schools that do not meet CCSA's standard for renewal represent slightly more than 1% of the 982 charter schools currently in operation in California, and represent all school types and regions of the state.
The list of schools includes:
|Antelope View Charter||Antelope||Center Joint Unified|
|California Aerospace Academy||McClellan||Twin Rivers Unified|
|California Virtual Academy @ Kern||Simi Valley||Maricopa Unified|
|Leadership High||San Francisco||San Francisco Unified|
|Los Angeles County Online High||Palmdale||Antelope Valley Union High|
|Nubia Leadership Academy||San Diego||San Diego Unified|
|Uncharted Shores Academy||Crescent City||Del Norte County Office of Education|
|West County Community High||Richmond||West Contra Costa Unified|
|West Sacramento Early College Prep Charter||West Sacramento||Washington Unified|
|Yuba County Career Preparatory Charter||Marysville||Yuba County Office of Education|
"It is encouraging to see the level of support the Association has received in this call for non-renewal and closure, as we believe that closure of persistently low-performing schools is a natural part of a healthy charter school movement, and will allow us to continue reinventing public education in California, and offer the best quality education possible to students everywhere. Ultimately, the intent of the Charter Schools Act cannot be fulfilled if charter schools do not improve pupil learning and increase learning opportunities for all pupils," added Wallace.
For more information regarding CCSA's Accountability initiative, visit www.calcharters.org/advocacy/accountability, which includes links to the reports, and an FAQ on the Public Call for Non-Renewal.
About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 982 charter public schools and more than 412,000 students in the state of California. The Vision of the California Charter Schools Association is to usher in a new era in public education so all students attend independent, innovative, accountable schools of choice. The Mission of the California Charter Schools Association is to influence the legislative and policy environments, leverage collective advocacy, and provide resources to support our members in developing and operating high quality, charter schools reflective of California's student population. For more information, please visit www.calcharters.org.