Highlighting inspiring efforts that parents, teachers, school leaders and board members are making across the state and how CCSA is supporting that work through increased parent organizing work, our new Teacher Advocacy Fellowship and work to engage charter board members
On Wednesday, October 23, Oakland families gained two exciting new secondary school options. Oakland Unified School District approved Education for Change's proposal fr a new middle school, Epic Charter School, as well as East Bay Innovation Academy, which will serve grades 6 through 12. Both will open in the Fall of 2014.
Tremendous momentum as 104 new schools open this fall, how Prop. 39 is making a difference for schools and exciting wins on SB 740 funding
New 9th Street Campus Opens in LA Garment District Housing LAUSD Elementary, Para Los Niños Charter Middle School and Family Center
Students from Para Los Niños Charter Middle School performed at the ribbon-cutting for the new 9th Street campus, which opened its doors in downtown LA this fall.
San Diego Cooperative Charter School places a high value on the full inclusion of all students, including those eligible for special education services. However, they had challenges and frustrations with the structure for special education delivery. Learn how they worked with others to create a new option and how it has benefited their school community.
We've compiled a few handy Twitter lists that feature charter schools by region. By subscribing to a list, you can easily keep up-to-date with the tweets of a particular region's charter schools, all in one place.
CCSA and NWEA Announce Partnership to Provide MAP Assessments for California Charter Schools at a Substantial Discount
CCSA has partnered with the Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) allowing California charter schools to receive a substantial discount on Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) assessments in Math, Reading, and Language Arts.
Gina Plate, CCSA's Senior Advisor for Special Education and Vice President of California's Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE), recently had the pleasure of joining a three-day bus tour coordinated by Senator Carol Liu (52nd District - Pasadena) featuring community schools. She shared this report from the field.
José J. Cole-Gutiérrez has led LAUSD's Charter School Division since 2007, previously working for CCSA and as a teacher and administrator at charter schools.
Meet Allison Kenda - From Leading a School to Leading on Accountability and School Improvement Statewide
"I've been in the trenches of accountability for the past 10 years," says Allison Kenda, who became Managing Director, Achievement and Performance Management for the California Charter Schools Association after more than 27 years as a teacher and administrator in public schools. In this role, she will work to develop services and supports for schools that are struggling and continue to advance the work of the charter school community to ensure high levels of accountability across the movement.
"If poverty is the root problem for our schools, then charter schools are a critical part of the answer," write Jed Wallace of CCSA and Nina Rees of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools in an op-ed published in the Sacramento Bee. They respond to inaccuracies being pushed by Diane Ravitch in her latest book.
Exciting new charter schools open across the state, how the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is making a significant financial difference for new schools and how members are stepping up on advocacy challenges whether facilities in LAUSD to pension benefits under CALPERS to SB 740 funding in the Senate
Connect Community Charter School was launched by a team of committed parents and educators who wanted to bring a new school model to the families of Redwood City. They spent several years developing the concept for the school, which would ultimately emphasize hands-on learning, self-management skills and empathy, and connections between students, teachers, parents, and the broader community. They worked closely with CCSA as Developer Members and after overcoming several obstacles, the school opened in fall 2013.
Charter schools in Northeast and Central Valley region are growing in response to demand from parents looking for high-quality educational options.
Charter schools in the San Diego region are growing in response to tremendous demand from parents looking for high-quality public school options.
Charter schools in the Bay Area are growing in response to tremendous demand from parents looking for high-quality public school options. The Bay Area is home to over 250 diverse charter schools that are helping to close the achievement gap.
Charter schools in Los Angeles are growing in response to tremendous demand from parents looking for high-quality public school options. LA is home to over 250 diverse charter schools that are helping to close the achievement gap.
The California State Department of Education (CDE) recently released the latest academic scores for all of California's public schools. The Academic Performance Index (API) is California's primary accountability metric for schools, with the statewide goal for all schools set at 800 on the state's 1,000 point scale.
On average, charter schools in SCUSD outperform traditional public schools in the district by 41 API points, averaging an 805 API to the district average of 764.
On average, charter schools in OUSD outperform OUSD traditional public schools by 52 API points, averaging a 780 API to the district average of 728.
On average, autonomous charter schools in LAUSD outperform LAUSD traditional public schools, averaging a 782 API to the district's 761.
Fundraisers can be a daunting task, especially when you are trying to raise $24 million dollars to build a new school site. Santa Rosa Academy in Menifee was able to achieve just that with the help of private bonds. The school opened its doors on September 9 to a bustling group of kids. Learn how they did it.
Emily Scheines is an Education Pioneers fellow working with CCSA Advocates this summer.
The 2014-15 Prop. 39 cycle is already underway. The deadline to request Prop. 39 facilities for the 2014-15 school year is November 1, 2013.
Jeanette Marrone is a Leadership for Education Equity ("LEE", Teach For America's c4) fellow working with CCSA Advocates this summer.
The seventh-annual USC School Performance Dashboard includes for the first time Top 10 lists for charter schools at both the elementary/middle school and high school levels.
Hana Imoisili is working with the Research and Evaluation team to learn about the policy implications of common core on charter schools as it relates to the critical issues that need to be considered and weighed during the implementation process.
Superintendent of Guajome Schools Bob Hampton surprises staff with professional development day aboard the USS Peleliu.
Mark enjoyed the diversity of backgrounds and experiences from other fellows within Education Pioneers who provided him with critical insight about how different stakeholders view both the challenges and solutions to educational inequity and access.
In January 2011, the LAUSD Board of Education voted unanimously to restructure the existing Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) SELPA to provide charter schools a new option with full responsibility, flexibility and autonomy for serving students with disabilities. Read about the progress to date in this detailed report on the first year of the program.
Activate Instruction is an open platform where teachers can browse, search, rate, add, share, and organize their favorite Common Core-aligned resources, and put them together in personalized playlists for students.
Myrna Castrejón, CCSA's Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Named Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow
The Fellowship is a two-year, cohort-based program that identifies innovative leaders in the educational equity movement, facilitates their dynamic growth, and strengthens their collective efforts to dramatically improve public schools for low-income children and communities.
Cameron joined Education Pioneers to expand his leadership skills and gain further knowledge around the conception and implementation of reform efforts at educational organizations.
Education Field Provides Top Leadership Opportunities for Business, Finance, Legal, and Technology Professionals
A new report finds that the education field is a rewarding place for America's top talent, including young people and professionals of color.
The Los Angeles Times' new editorial "Charter Schools - a report card" discusses how charter schools are improving education for students and the importance of accountability for California charter schools.
Sacramento Charter School Leaders (SCSL) is an example of how effective teams spur success through collaboration. The SCCL is a great model for charters looking to exchange ideas that benefit the students they serve.
Exuberance, attention to detail and an ability to recognize small strides as progress are trademarks of the 2014 Sacramento County Charter School Teacher of the Year, Vanessa Belair. This year, charter schools were invited by Sacramento County Office of Education to nominate a teacher.
Charter public schools throughout the state are recognized for excellence in serving public school students, including low-income and special education students. Read more about the honors and see how California charter schools place on the US News Top Schools list.
Myrna Castrejón was recognized by the Walton Family Foundation for work that empowers families with high-quality, publicly funded educational options. In honoring Castrejón, the foundation will donate $10,000 to Language Academy of Sacramento (LAS), a K-8 dual language immersion charter school focused on historically underserved populations.
CCSA has a great program to help our member schools save time and money. Charter Advantage is a group purchasing program offering charter relevant products and services at **significant discounts**, exclusively for our members.
Before you turn off your cell phone and head to the beach, take 5 minutes to lock-in the lowest available registration rate for the 21st Annual California Charter Schools Conference and don't pay until spring 2014!
The Charter School Facilities Initiatives Survey is a comprehensive analysis of the issues and challenges facing California's charter schools and their access to affordable, adequate facilities.
We are pleased to share that the Fillmore Unified School District (Fillmore) refused to challenge the ruling which found in favor of the teachers the district retaliated against for their efforts to convert a failing district school to a charter - giving finality to the decision.
In order to make the renewal process as easy as possible for our members, the Association has several renewal resources available.
A new national study finds improvement in the overall performance of charter schools, driven in part by the presence of more high-performing charters and closure of under-performing charter schools.
Wondering how your school will be impacted by the State Budget? Please join CCSA's Government Affairs team on **Friday, July 12 from 11:00 am - Noon**, for a webinar on the final 2013-14 State Budget and the Local Control Funding Formula.
As we wind up the school year during which charter schools celebrated our first two decades of success and momentum in California, we find that something of great importance has occurred in the past few weeks which has the potential to provide charter schools the long term stability we will need to have even higher levels of success and impact in the decades to come.
A new national study finds improvement in the overall performance of charter schools, driven in part by the presence of more high-performing charters and closure of under-performing charter schools. This study is a follow-up to the 2009 study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University.
In the past, students with special needs were separated from their classmates and pushed into separate classes and schools. Over the past decade, educators have moved from exclusion towards inclusion. But how do you design a school program to support that approach? In 2010, PUC Schools piloted a new model - see their successes to date and what they've learned.
Hoang Pham, who teaches first graders at KIPP Empower Academy, was recently one of four teachers in the country selected for the Sue Lehmann Award from among 23 semi-finalists and 117 regional nominees.
Nothing beats real world learning - students at Da Vinci recently got a shot of real world inspiration from Gwynne Shotwell, who shared her passion for engineering.
A recent article in LA School Report ranked schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) based off the state's similar schools rank.
Univision KUVS: Huerta, Castrejon discuss education(Spanish) Cabinet Report: Legislation would subject charter schools to disclosure laws Palo Alto Online: Palo Alto schools not top-performing for Latino, low-income students EdSource: No year's delay: Deal likely on school finance reform, Steinberg...
The California Charter Schools Association is proud to award $1,500 college scholarships to five deserving charter high school graduates at Association member schools.
It may be hard to believe a student with a 4.61 GPA could ever make mistakes or lack courage. "I was a coward," Hamidah Mahmud told her fellow graduates at Granada Hills Charter High School's commencement last week. Read the rest of her great speech!
Synergy Charter Academy in South Los Angeles has been named the Best Urban Elementary School in America by the National Center for Urban School Transformation. Synergy's 953 API makes it the highest performing elementary in Los Angeles - 88 percent of the school's students qualify for free or reduced price lunch.
A new report on Silicon Valley public schools finds low rates of college-readiness for Latino, African American and Pacific Islander students - but some high-performing charter schools are bucking that trend.
Did you know that CCSA has over 50 online resources dedicated to special education?You will find an array of resource guides, fact sheets and online training videos covering a wide range of special education topics.
Nineteen California charter school students were among just 1,000 students nationwide selected for the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program. GMS rewards high-performing, low-income students by fully covering the cost of pursuing a degree in any undergraduate major at the accredited college or university of the recipients' choice. See the full list of students and their schools.
CCSA recently Health Sciences High & Middle College and met four students who shared their thoughts on why they chose HSHMC, education reform ideas, what makes a great teacher and their dreams for the future.
Cameron Curry, Executive Director, The Classical Academies, Discusses his New Book on Charter School Leadership
Cameron Curry is a strong advocate for school choice and he provides ongoing support to charter school developers with questions, resources, and information on independent study operations and programming.
The "parent trigger" law was passed by the California Legislature in January 2010 and has been making headlines ever since.
If you are renewing in the 2013-14 school year, CCSA is here to support you!
CCSA's Regional Meetings offer charter school leaders a rare and important opportunity to meet in-person and focus on advocacy and collective action.
Nearly 200 charter school parents, leaders, teachers and students came to the State Capitol on May 8, 2013 to advocate for charter schools during the 20th Anniversary Advocacy Day.
On May 14, Governor Jerry Brown released the May Revision to his 2013-14 fiscal year budget proposal.
May has been another remarkable month for CCSA members across the state.
KPCC: Arts in schools: Charters use dance, string instruments to motivate students Sacramento Bee: Gov. Brown's school funding plan runs into lawmakers' concerns KPCC: Which revenue picture will state lawmakers use for public schools? LA Times: California drops a...
Marysville Appeal Democrat: Walden advocates for charter schools at Capitol EdSource: Lower-income districts would benefit from 55 percent parcel tax threshold, study suggests Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Love could kill Jerry Brown's school plan LA Times: Editorial: A return...
Newsweek recognized America's top 2000 high schools. It also identified Transformative Schools and Top 25 in the West.
The Edith and Ely Broad Foundation named the three finalists for the 2013 Broad Prize for Charter Public Schools: **Achievement First**, **KIPP Foundation** and **Uncommon Schools**.
Sacramento Bee: California advocates mark 20 years of charter schools KTXL Fox40: California Charter Schools Seek To Spread Influence EdSource: Many charter schools to begin offering transitional kindergarten in fall 2013 LA Community Organizations: Letter to the Next Mayor...
Four charter schools were recognized as "Exemplary Schools" for "their successful and innovative efforts to promote the arts," according to the California Department of Education (CDE).
We are pleased that LA's mayoral candidates are having a debate focused on education on May 7th and will listen with interest to what they have to say. We hope LA's next mayor will use the role to push for great public schools.
KNBC Los Angeles: Granada Hills Charter Wins 3rd Consecutive National Academic Decathlon, El Camino Real Charter places 2nd LA Daily News: CHIME charter wins state special education award EdSource: Washington and Sacramento must end Cold War on education EdSource:...
U.S. News released its prestigious ranking of the nation's best high schools. One third of the nation's top 100 schools are charter public schools, including 9 California schools.
Redding School of the Arts (Redding, CA) and Journey School (Aliso Viejo, CA), both K-8 charter public schools, were awarded Green Ribbon Awards from the U.S. Department of Education.
Seven charter public schools with sustained progress in academic improvement among low-income students were honored with the 2012-13 Academic Achievement Award.
The 2013 Grazer Outstanding Achievement in Learning Award goes to CHIME Institute's Schwarzenegger Community School, a K-8 charter school in Woodland Hills. The prestigious GOAL award focuses on special education, celebrating innovation and "exemplary practices" that serve California youth with disabilities. Presented to just one school each year, 2013 marks the first time the GOAL award was presented to a charter school.
Granada Hills Charter High School wins consecutive three-peat at the 2013 US Academic Decathlon. El Camino Real Charter High School wins second place.
Each year, CCSA advocates for fair and adequate funding for charter schools. In 2012 we fought for, and with your help, secured many funding wins for charter schools.
To help CCSA members celebrate National Charter Schools Week and to kick-off the 21st Annual California Charter Schools Conference next year in San Jose--CCSA is proud to offer a flat rate registration special of $325.00.
National Charter Schools Week held May 5-11, 2013, is an opportunity for charter supporters, leaders, teachers, parents and students to continue to raise public awareness, organize local activities and outreach, and focus on advocacy issues impacting charters.
Charter school advocates across the country will celebrate great work accomplished by charter public schools and the increasing momentum that we have enjoyed over the past year.
One of the greatest things about gathering for our annual conference each year is the chance to reconnect to the sense of momentum that our movement continues to build.
Schools earning California Distinguished School recognition are chosen because of their strong commitment and innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement. "California charter schools are known for innovative approaches that enable each child to achieve academic success," remarked Jed Wallace, President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Charter Schools Association.
Four public charter school champions in the U.S. House of Representatives are seeking support for an increase in federal funds for the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP).
Imperial Valley Press: Imagine School charter renewed Cabinet Report: Assembly ed leaders challenge school funding plan EdSource: Apples to apples comparison of Brown's funding formula Los Angeles Times: New science standards call for teaching climate change and more KPCC...
On April 11, parents of students at 24th Street Elementary announced that they have overwhelmingly chosen an unprecedented partnership between Crown Preparatory Academy and the Los Angeles Unified School District to operate their school under a unified K-8 model.
The California Charter Schools Association is deeply disappointed with the actions of both the Carlsbad Unified Board of Education and the County Board of Education regarding the denial of a new petition and appeal of the Oxford Preparatory Academy's (OPA) new charter school.
Granada Hills Charter High School and Pinecrest Schools in Northeast Los Angeles announced on April 8 that Granada Hills Charter has acquired Pinecrest's Northridge Campus located at 17081 Devonshire Street.
SIA Cabinet Report: K-12 online agenda faces legislative scrutiny Marysville Appeal Democrat: YES Charter Academy appeal rebukes findings Marysville Appeal Democrat: Our View: YES appeal should focus on merits Santa Cruz Sentinel-SJMN: Pacific Collegiate charter school could tap district...
CCSA's special education team has recently had the pleasure of learning about the Da Vinci Charter Academy's program. In the 9th year of operation, the school achieves tremendous success with unique populations through a project-based learning approach to instruction.
Charter school teachers offer a unique perspective and add an important voice to education policy discussions. But how can they get involved? Find out in these new videos.
Oakland Tribune: Oakland's Lighthouse named charter school of the year California's Children: Fenton Ave school is a Hart Vision Charter of the year Pacific Palisades Patch: Pali High's Jeanne Saiza Honored as Charter Teacher of the Year Anderson Valley...
An exciting new campaign called The Dream is Now has been launched to support The DREAM Act.
During the past 20 years, charter schools have been reinventing public education in California, growing to 1,065 schools serving 484,000 students across the state. Here are five ways you can continue to propel the movement.
In 1992, parent Alice Miller connected with Don Shalvey, superintendent of San Carlos School District in the Bay Area, and the two joined with other parents, educators and community leaders to found California's first charter school - the San Carlos Charter Learning Center.
The 20th Annual California Charter Schools Conference and Anniversary Celebration, held March 11 - 14, 2013 in San Diego, was host to 3,500 charter leaders, supporters, advocates and parents, and featured many highlights, including a look back at 20 years of the movement.
Learn what charter schools be doing right now to prepare to implement the CCSS. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for grades K-12 are national educational standards which were adopted by the California State Board of Education in 2010.
CSA's credit enhancement program, the California Charter Building Fund (CCBF) helps to provide competitively-priced capital for member schools for the purchase, construction and renovation of facilities.
On May 8, families, teachers and school leaders will gather in Sacramento at CCSA's 20th Anniversary Advocacy Day. We hope that you will join us.
February 22 was the last day for legislators to introduce legislation for the 2013 year. All of the introduced bills will now be vetted through multiple policy committees, have their cost analyzed by fiscal committees and be voted on by both houses of the legislature.
CCSA hosted a great panel discussion on how teachers can get involved in policy and advocacy at the 20th Annual California Charter Schools Conference in San Diego this March.
In celebration of the 20th Annual California Charter Schools Conference and Anniversary Celebration, Jed Wallace presented a keynote address to 3,500 conference attendees.
The 20th Anniversary California Charters Conference was attended by 3,500 teachers, leaders and parents. Re-live the special moments or discover what you missed: awards, youth performances and presentations by keynote speakers. Please check back as we will be adding video...
San Diego Union Tribune: Charter Schools Focus of Four-Day Conference San Diego Union Tribune: Have charter schools grown too fast? San Diego Union Tribune: Rhee: Not all charters created equal Education Week: L.A. Chief John Deasy: Depoliticize Education Research...
CCSA's communications team lead a breakout session at this year's California Charter Schools Conference on how schools can develop a powerful key message and put together an integrated communications strategy for maximum impact. Get links to the presentation and useful resources!
New York Times: Inside the World of Charter Schools-Letter from Wallace Los Angeles Times Blog: Teachers union to vote on stand against Deasy policies Palo Alto Online: A champion for charter schools Press Release: Top Urban Public Charter School...
Review of the week's top charter school stories in California for the week ending February 22.
Review of the week's top charter school stories in California for the week ending February 15.
Lots of Angelenos are gearing up to vote for the next Mayor of Los Angeles this spring. But charter school parents and educators are particularly focused on another race - three out of seven seats are up for election on the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board.
Join more than 3,000 charter leaders, teachers, parents and supporters in San Diego, March 11 - 14, 2013 at CCSA's historic 20th Conference and Anniversary Celebration! Register today and you'll hear from thought provoking speakers, choose from more than 170 breakout sessions and enjoy special programming and networking events!
We are counting down to the excitement as we are less than a month away from our 20th Conference and Anniversary Celebration!
Schools across the country celebrated National School Choice Week in late January. Granada HIlls Charter High School in Los Angeles took advantage of the opportunity by creating three original videos celebrating choice and highlighting their school for prospective students.
Worried about money? Attend CCSA's Fundraising Workshop!
Start-Up Circles in the Bay Area and Sacramento brought together educators, parents, and community leaders to discuss the process of starting a school, the landscape in the Bay Area and Sacramento, respectively, and supports available to teams interested in starting a school.
The 20th Annual California Charter Schools Conference is almost here and will be held March 11 - 14, 2013 in San Diego at the San Diego Convention Center. We are proud to unveil the new, exciting look for the 20th Anniversary Celebration as well as opportunities to win amazing prizes to attend our 2014 conference.
The New Year is off to a tremendous start and I wanted to share an update on significant legislative matters that we are working on with members.
Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) penned an op-ed for Edsource calling for high accountability for charter schools and for the charter community to lead the way.
Recently, CCSA visited Voices College-Bound Language Academy to talk with Frances Teso, the school's founding principal and we left truly inspired
The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) issued the challenge as its new membership survey shows the closure rate for charters in renewal has doubled from year to year but is still leaving far too many schools among the lowest performers, according to state accountability data.
Securing equitable facilities is one of the biggest challenges faced by charter schools. Every year, over one hundred charter schools turn to their school districts for facilities solutions through Proposition 39, the California law which requires school districts to offer "reasonably equivalent" facilities to charter schools.
CCSA's Regional Meetings offer charter school leaders a rare and important opportunity to meet in-person and focus on advocacy and collective action.
As 2012 comes to an end, we would like to take a moment to reflect on this year's legislative changes.
Happy Holidays! As the season begins, CCSA wishes everyone a warm holiday greeting and we know you join us in keeping the families who lost loved ones in Newtown, CT in our hearts.
The objective of the Facilities Initiative Survey is to gather concise data about charter school facilities to foster a policy environment that improves support for the diverse facilities needs of charter schools across the state. Read more for easy, detailed instructions and the link to complete the survey.
CCSA joins nationwide call for closure of under-performing charter schools and expansion of high-quality schools
On Nov. 28, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), which represents government and other entities that approve and oversee charter schools, called on charter authorizers to be more proactive in closing failing schools and opening great ones. Jed Wallace, president and CEO of CCSA, joined the president of the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools and leaders of charter school associations in New York and Colorado in supporting NACSA's call to action.
How does a school effectively teach students how each of them can make a positive impact on the global community? Ask Founder and Executive Director Debbie Beyer of Literacy First Charter Schools in San Diego County
Every January, National School Choice Week provides an unprecedented opportunity to shine a spotlight on the need for effective education options for all children.
CCSA is proud to announce that the nationally known student advocate and founder and CEO of StudentsFirst, Michelle Rhee will be speaking at the 20th Annual California Charter Schools Conference being held March 11-14, 2013 in San Diego, CA.
Our School Accountability Report Cards will be available on our website on November 19, outlining new (2011-12) academic performance results for all public charter schools against CCSA's academic performance framework.
CCSA's new Facilities Initiative Survey aims to collect data to develop an analysis of the issues and challenges facing California's charter schools and their access to affordable, adequate facilities.
Parents Win! Defeat of Anti-Charter Resolution in Los Angeles Shows the Power of our Collective Advocacy
In September, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board member Steve Zimmer proposed a resolution that would limit parent choice by not allowing any new charters and adding more bureaucracy on existing charter schools.
In the fall of 2012-13, California saw 109 new charter schools opening their doors at the beginning of the school year.
Last week's General Election provided California voters with numerous opportunities to impact education policy, from the Presidential contest to local school board races and everything in between.
The power of collective action is a credo the charter school movement keenly understands as evidenced by the results of the November elections, a recent rally in Los Angeles and the number of new charter schools opening in the state this year.
A special news round-up of coverage on a major parent rally in Los Angeles opposing a resolution to limit parent choices with a voluntary moratorium on any new charter schools
Three California charter school organizations were recipients of the U.S. Department of Education awards. The winners were selected from a pool of over 120 applications.
Review of coverage on CCSA's New Charter Schools Announcement, which brings the total of charter schools in CA to over 1,000.
California's charter schools don't only offer unique options for families, but they also offer a wide range of opportunities and work environments for educators. Hear first-hand from teachers about the differences between working at charter public schools and traditional schools in this short video!
"Shelby is 13 and she's in 6th grade, and up until last year, she was never in any grade," says her mom. Thanks to Aspire Alexander Twilight College Preparatory Academy, that's no longer the case.
Senate Bill 1381 of 2010 changed the required birthday for admission to kindergarten and first grade and established a transitional kindergarten (TK) program beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.
After the California Legislature adjourned at the end of August, Governor Jerry Brown had hundreds of bills on his desk on which to act. By the end of September 30, Governor Brown had acted on all of the 996 bills sent to him in 2012.
CCSA extends a very special thank you to all of our hundreds of members who celebrated the 20th Anniversary of California Charter Schools in Chico, Fresno, Oakland, San Jose and San Diego!
As I continue my travels throughout California, I continue to be deeply impressed by the great passion and resolve that parents and educators are showing in community after community to open new charter schools and to support our existing schools to become even more successful.
Roseland Charter School receives AT&T grant.
Charter News Round-Up blog reviews top news stories highlighting California charter schools for the week ending on 9/21/12.
On September 11, 2012, LAUSD Board Member Steve Zimmer introduced a resolution to limit choices for parents by not allowing the board to hear any petitions for new charter schools.
Charter school laws across the country, including California, place the burden of obtaining and paying for facilities on the charter schools themselves. As a result, charter schools often struggle to find adequate and affordable facilities, and charter leaders routinely identify...
In California, charter schools not only receive less funding than traditional public schools, many also face challenges simply acquiring facilities.
The November 6 elections are quickly approaching, and in many areas, voters will be deciding not only the Presidential outcome but also facilities bonds
Many charter schools across the state submit applications to their districts every year in an effort to secure space, and under Prop. 39, districts are required to provide reasonably equivalent facilities.
Students were treated to a bit of history on the charter schools movement, as CCSA officially kicked-off the 20th Anniversary of California Charter Schools with a news conference and celebration.
Over the next several weeks, CCSA will be participating in a series of local events in cities like San Diego, Oakland, San Jose, Fresno, Butte and Chico, which will celebrate the contributions charters have made to education, and engage charter school supporters to collectively raise awareness on the issues that impact us all.
Welcome to the new school year! By now, charter schools throughout California have begun classes, and are well on their way to having a wonderful year. We are too!
Imagine if all charter teachers in the state of California advocated for their schools.
Students across California headed back to school in the past few weeks, with several charter schools opening their doors across the state.
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) recently launched an innovative education database system, the Education Resource Information Navigator Project (ERIN Project). The web-based system is free and open to the public.
As schools, we have an incredible opportunity to engage the community in voting. CCSA has launched a new campaign and toolkit to make it easy!
Los Angeles Times Editorial on private school students choosing to attend charters in greater numbers.
News Round-Up of top news stories featuring California charter schools for the week ending on August 31, 2012.
Round-up of news stories featuring California charter schools for the week ending on August 24, 2012.
On Tuesday August 21, 2012, CCSA hosted a news conference at California's longest-running charter. Charter leaders, as well as former and current parents, and some alumni, joined the celebration.
Review of top charter news stories featured in the media for the week ending on August 10, 2012.
Over 300 charter school educators came together for a Special Education Summit hosted by Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) on Aug. 2.
Lisbet Ballon, who is working on a dual degree student in law and education, worked on a project to analyze district facility costs related to Proposition 39.
Review of top news stories on California charter schools featuring in the media for the week ending on August 3, 2012.
Throughout the summer CCSA had Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) Policy and Advocacy Summer Fellows working on a diverse group of projects. To learn more about the projects and meet the fellows, continue reading!
Weekly blog reviewing top stories of California's charter schools and issues featured in the media for the week ending on July 27, 2012.
Are you interested in getting more involved in the world of education policy and reform but not quite sure how to do it? This directory will help you get started. Read on to find out more about the different opportunities that are available for teachers to get their voices out there and make their opinions heard.
Synergy Academies is dispelling the myth that charters and districts can't co-exist peacefully. Synergy Charter Academy principal, Jennifer Epps shares her perspective on the charter movement, co-location, and the work still to be done in closing the achievement gap.
Charter schools are using innovation to drive instruction all across California. Oakland Unity High School is using blended learning through Khan Academies to allow students to drive their own instruction. Teacher Kallie Berg says this 21st century approach isn't just great for her students - it's great for her.
Does your morning routine including skimming education headlines of multiple publications, flipping through the latest copy of Education Week, checking your Twitter feed for what's trending and scanning multiple newsletters from different education organizations?
Review of top charter school news headlines in California for the week ending on July 20, 2012.
Review of charter school stories featured in the media for the week ending on July 13, 2012.
Robin Mathews is a great example of the definition of recovery: the regaining of something lost or taken away. She regained her confidence, her inner strength, but most of all her dream.
Eleven students from Environmental Charter High School have earned coveted spots in its Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program.
Special education advocacy is a priority for CCSA and we strive to raise awareness about special education issues. See how one charter teacher moved special education "out of the bungalows and into the spotlight" at her school.
"Upon receiving my Masters, I want to teach underprivileged children in public schools about the wonders of innovative technology," writes Zaida Mejia. "I have always wanted to give back to my community for the help and support I have received throughout my educational career. "
Review of the week's top charter school stories in California for the week ending 7/6/12.
Port of Los Angeles High School teamed up with California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera on a gigantic communal poem.
On July 2, the Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) Board of Education voted to re-elect Mónica García as School Board President for the 2012-13 school year, an unprecedented sixth consecutive term.
Round-up of the week's top news stories in California featuring charter schools for the week ending on June 29, 2012.
The California Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Los Angeles Unified School District in a lawsuit brought by the UTLA challenging the District's 2007 approval of Green Dot Public School's Locke High School conversion.
The charter school movement is dependent upon the hard work of visionary founders, leaders, and authorizers, plus dedicated teachers and volunteers and inspired students. The Association is proud to recognize several of them this month.
On Wednesday June 27, the Oakland Unified School Board is set to vote on a plan to include a facilities bond measure on the November ballot. However, 20% of the public school students in Oakland are being left out of the bond.
The Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) grant recognizes schools that are pushing the boundaries on real-world and project-based learning.
Looking for a scary story to tell around the campfire this summer? Look no further than some of the challenges that charter schools have faced around renewals over the last year. Don't get trapped in an ugly renewal game!
"Our job is to provide member schools with rapid, accurate information," explained Alice Miller, director, Knowledge Management. "We provide answers to questions, issues, and concerns spanning a complete range of charter school topics, and offer direct support for highly targeted compliance issues on a consultation basis."
Yesterday, the Gompers story came full circle with the graduation of its first senior class. CCSA was there to capture the graduation ceremony, talking to some of the graduating seniors and adults who were instrumental in the Gompers conversion.
Review of stories on California charter schools profiled in the media for the week ending on June 22, 2012.
In addition to allowing your school to explore alternative special education arrangements, submitting a letter of intent to exit your Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) can serve as a valuable bargaining tool with your authorizer.
A backroom decision by the Legislature to remove charter school categorical block grant growth funding means a cut of approximately $100 per charter school student. Act now to demand the restoration of this funding!
Round-up of the top headlines on charter school graduations for 2012.
This year's Golden State graduates have been accepted to prestigious colleges and universities across the nation, including Howard University, University of California - Santa Cruz and Xavier University of Louisiana.
Some days we can forget why we signed up to advocate for charter public schools. We constantly have to battle those whose only interest is stopping charters from flourishing in California. Or we have to explain for the umpteenth time how our schools are being hurt by funding inequities and delays.
There are currently a couple dozen Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) schools that have petitioned to become "affiliated" charter schools. These petitions were presented to the LAUSD board on May 1, and are expected to be voted on in June.
100% of Grads at Aspire Benjamin Holt College Prep Academy Accepted to Four-Year College for 3rd Consecutive Year
Aspire Benjamin Holt College Preparatory Academy held a commencement ceremony for its 47 graduates on Friday, June 8, all of whom were accepted to four-year colleges or universities.
Students at Animo Pat Brown charter school write about Green Dot's new teacher evaluation system.
Port of Los Angeles High School (POLAHS) received a $20,000 grant from The Crail Johnson Foundation last month - an award that will directly benefit the nearly 10% of POLAHS' population that is identified as intellectually or developmentally disabled.
Review of top charter school stories across California for the week ending on June 1, 2012.
Five school gardens provide a framework for Journey's innovative ecoliteracy program, and dedicated parents and deep community partnerships keep the program strong.
The charter school movement is dependent upon the hard work of visionary founders, leaders, and authorizers, plus dedicated teachers and volunteers and inspired students. The Association is proud to recognize several of them this month.
Review of top news headlines featuring charter school and education-related stories in the media for the week ending on May 25, 2012.
Lanie Holmer, a parent at Westlake Charter School in Sacramento, testified before an Assembly committee on behalf of her school and all charter schools. "I had to say something," she says, "I'm the voice for my child and my school and if I don't, only the voices on the other side of the issues would be heard."
Proposition 39, charter renewal and revocation regulations, the high school exit exam, statewide benefit charters and the state's response to failing districts and schools in the wake of No Child Left Behind - these are just a few of the issues the California State Board of Education (SBE) took on during Dr. Yvonne Chan's seven-year tenure on the board.
With 17 hours before the Assembly subcommittee was set to take action, CCSA issued an urgent Action Alert to our members, and you responded in force. From emailing, calling, and showing up in person, the Assembly subcommittee heard from 13 charter school advocates defending the Governor's proposals. And when the Senate subcommittees met just days later, you responded again, with school leaders coming to testify in Sacramento from as far away as San Diego.
Top media stories of charter school-related news across California for the week ending on May 18, 2012.
UCLA Study: Students from Locke Family of High Schools Show Significant Improvement in Achievement, College-Preparedness
New UCLA study finds that "students attending a cluster of Los Angeles schools overseen by the charter operator Green Dot significantly increased their test scores and persistence in school, and took more challenging courses than comparable peers," according to Education Week.
Round-up of news stories featuring charter schools in California for the week ending on May 11, 2012.
National Charter Schools Week Guest Blog: Gompers Preparatory Academy Will Graduate 100% of Students in its First Senior Class in 2012!
National Charter Schools Week guest blog from Gompers Preparatory Academy, which will be graduating 100% of its senior class in June!
Guest blog from Granada Hills Charter High School student on their recent National and State Decathlon Championships. Part of National Charter Schools Week CCSA special content.
National Charter Schools Week Special: Discovery Elementary Charter Student Already A Published Author
Charter school student feature in honor of National Charter Schools Week (May 6-12, 2012).
National Charter Schools Week charter school feature on students at Albert Einstein Academies Elementary School in San Diego, CA.
National Charter Schools Week feature on an after-school program for students at America's Finest Charter School in San Diego, CA.
National Charter Schools Week Q & A with former Assemblymember Ted Lempert, author of the charter school expansion bill, AB 544, in California.
Message from Jed Wallace, President and CEO, CCSA, on National Charter Schools Week and the impact of charter schools in public education.
Background document on the charter movement in California and across the nation.
To help CCSA members celebrate National Charter Schools Week AND to kick-off the 20th Anniversary Celebration culminating with the 20th Annual California Charter Schools Conference in San Diego, CCSA is proud to offer a 20th Anniversary Conference Registration Special of only $300!
A summary of California charter schools and public education issues featured in the news for the week ending on 5/4/12.
Corri Ravare, Managing Regional Director, Los Angeles, talks about an unprecedented creative partnership through which a high-performing charter school will turn around a charter that has been struggling.
At Aspire charter schools, students start preparing for college from day one of kindergarten. Dr. Roberta Benjamin shares what it means to live "College for Certain."
The charter school movement is dependent upon the hard work of visionary founders, leaders, and authorizers, plus dedicated teachers and volunteers and inspired students. The Association is proud to recognize several of them this month.
Review of charter school news in California media for the week ending on April 27, 2012.
You have a tight budget and kids with a lot of social and emotional needs. So what do you do to make sure students get the support they need?
The majority of California's 982 charter schools are independent start-ups. However, among these is a unique group of 139 conversion charters - traditional public schools that converted into charter public schools. Conversion charters represent 16% of California's charter school movement and enroll 25% of all charter school students since they usually have larger student bodies. But what do they look like and how are they doing?
Aspire Public Schools has opened six charter schools in Huntington Park over the past few years with support from the City Council and community leaders who have seen the positive impact of these high-performing public schools in their community. City Planner Albert Fontanez shares his perspective.
When Sheila Reilly, Administrator at Woodland Star Charter School in Sonoma, heard about the governor's budget proposal and the anti-charter legislation in the pipeline at CCSA's Winter Regional Meeting, she knew it was time for action. So she got a bus and brought five teachers, six boardmembers, a handful of parents and the school's entire 8th grade class to participate in various parts of the CCSA Conference and Advocacy Week in Sacramento.
Review of California charter school stories profiled in the media for the week ending on April 20, 2012.
We sat down with Elaine Guarnieri-Nunn, Managing Regional Director for the Bay Area Region, to learn about her background, how she will approach her work with members, and her first impressions of CCSA since joining the Association in February.
"What's exciting about working in special education at Aspire is that we're able to enact IDEA in the way it was written with the idea of education as a civil right...We were able to be flexible and change our programs based on the needs of the students."
One element of the law passed in California in 1992 creating charter schools was the idea that charters would serve as educational laboratories, discovering effective practices that districts could then adopt. Roberta Benjamin, LA Superintendent for Aspire Public Schools, shares her perspective on collaboration.
Review of California charter school-related stories featured in the media for the week ending 4/13/12.
If you could pick just one thing, what advice would you have for someone who is thinking about starting their own school?
This is the workshop charter school board members DON'T want to miss! Find out everything you need to know to be a responsible steward of your school.
Alliance Gertz-Ressler High School, a public charter school in Los Angeles serving a traditionally underserved community of Latino and African-American students, celebrated its recognition this week as a National Blue Ribbon School.
CDE names the California Distinguished Elementary Schools. Several charters made the list.
Review of the some relevant charter school-related news in California for the week ending 3/30/12.
Highlight of charter news stories in California for the week ending 3/23/12.
An inside look at the Port of Los Angeles High School's Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science Program.
"You don't know me, but indirectly you have a made a significant difference in my life. I am 13 years old and I attend a charter school in San Diego. The same charter school that I have been at since I was in kindergarten."
Each year, The Classical Academies' school community participates in the Letters to Leaders Initiative, a campaign to involve students, parents, and team members in an organized and specific plan to address an issue facing charter schools, and to give them outlet to be involved to communicate directly with our state leaders.
Round-up of stories featured this week on the 19th Annual CA Charter Schools Conference, held in Sacramento, CA, February 27-March 1, 2012.
Excerpt of Dr. Howard Fuller's Rousing Keynote Address at the 19th Annual Califorina Charter Schools Conference
An excerpt of Dr. Howard Fuller's remarks delivered on February 28, 2012, at the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference. The conference's theme was "YOU are the charter school movement."
English Language Learners from SIATech at Los Angeles Job Corps Center interviewed each other to discover each other's background differences and find out how life in the U.S. has changed them. This interview shares the story of Xiomara Amaya as written by Atsede Kahsay.
"What was the point of trying to get to college," thought Rigo Estrada, "if I could not afford to go to the university I applied to?" How Environmental Charter High School helped him answer that question.
Join us at the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference to hear about the great teaching and learning going on in charter school classrooms throughout California. Our all-new teacher strand includes sessions on curriculum areas, closing the achievement gap, standards alignment, and more.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, February 28, programming at the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference will include a number of special sessions focused on underserved students.
On February 29, supporters of the California charter school movement gathered on the steps of the Capitol to demand funding equity. Why? Because charter school students are public school students. They should have access to same levels of funding as any other public school student!
English Language Learners from SIATech at Los Angeles Job Corps Center interviewed each other to discover each other's background differences and find out how life in the U.S. has changed them. This interview shares the story of Janeth Mendoza as written by Jose Ortega.
The Proposition 39 cycle continues to move forward this year, and on February 1, we once again marked the deadline for districts to respond to charter schools that applied for facilities with preliminary offers. Charter schools are required to respond to these preliminary offers by March 1. In the past, many districts have not complied with Prop. 39, and with that in mind, CCSA has been monitoring the process closer than ever.
Summary of charter news stories for the week ending on February 10, 2012.
The California Charter Schools Association is proud to announce the return of a free one-day pre-conference program, the Public Charter School Grant Program Workshop. This event is full of trainings and resources to help your school access funds through the Public Charter School Grant Program.
The special education strand at the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference will take on all of the latest issues facing special education leaders. Our sessions take in a wide range of topics from instruction and budgeting to SELPA status.
The 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference will feature a full schedule of sessions designed to introduce charter schools to the rapidly growing area of blended and online learning programs.
Identifying and securing adequate facilities for charter students is a challenging task for many of our state's charter schools. Attendees at the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference will be able to take advantage of strong facilities-related sessions.
Charter schools throughout California continue to struggle with budget and cash flow issues, due to funding inequities between charter schools and traditional public schools. Expert presenters at the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference will support you in balancing you budget and helping you to create long-term fiscal stability for your school.
Charter school news for the week ending for the week ending on February 3, 2012.
The Board Member Best Practices Summit is a special one-day program for school leaders and governance board members held during the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference.
Many of our schools are looking for new strategies to work effectively with authorizers, so we have designed a strand focused specifically on Authorizer Relations at the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference.
Advocacy Week will be a special event running from the beginning to the end of the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference. During Advocacy Week, you will have multiple opportunities for face-to-face interactions with legislators and policymakers whose decisions impact your students.
"Our philosophy is simple: we should do more of that works, and less of what doesn't," writes Judy Burton, President and CEO of Alliance for College Ready Public Schools. "We know people need to hear from the parents and students who are benefiting from more choice, better schools, and a wider array of options." That's why she's joining the Schools We Can Believe in Rally on Feb. 4 in Los Angeles.
Round-up of top charter school stories in California for the week ending on January 27, 2012.
Are charter schools open to all students? Do they serve students with special needs? Get the answers first-hand from charter school leaders with our new series of videos!
"One of the most critical problems facing education right now is that California is simply not funding its public schools equitably," writes Alison Diaz, founder of Environmental Charter High School. That's why she's joining the Schools We Can Believe in Rally on Feb. 4 in Los Angeles.
As a key element of our efforts to deepen the understanding of the academic performance of all charter public schools in California, our annual report on trends and results, Portrait of the Movement, will again be published in mid-February.
A rally in Los Angeles is one of several events being planned across the state this spring to demonstrate that the charter school movement simply will not be held back. In Sacramento, charter supporters will rally on the capitol steps during the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference and Advocacy Week.
Beginning January 23, nearly 200 Los Angeles Starbucks stores will distribute 285,000 $10 DonorsChoose gift cards that parents and community members can use towards projects at the school of their choice. Charter teachers: post your classroom project today to get funded!
Based on feedback from members, the Association's Statewide Advocacy team has redesigned regional meetings to be more interactive, with members serving as active participants from the development of the agenda to the presentation of information. Now more than ever, regional meetings are designed to draw on the collective wisdom of CCSA resources and your charter colleagues in order to address important state and local issues.
The Hart Vision Awards recognize individuals and schools that have made significant contributions to the Association's mission to increase student achievement by supporting and expanding California's quality charter public school movement. Are you wondering who will receive the 2012 Hart Vision California Charter School Volunteer of the Year award?
English Language Learners from SIATech at Los Angeles Job Corps Center interviewed each other to discover each other's background differences and find out how life in the U.S. has changed them. This interview shares the story of Williams Pirir, as written by Tibebu Gessesse & "Lois" Yanling Xie.
Dr. Jacqueline Elliott of PUC Schools shares why she and 2,000 parents, students and teachers from her schools will be participating in the "Schools We Can Believe In" rally on Feb. 4 in Los Angeles.
Iris Perez, a student at Oakland Unity Charter High School, is a finalist for one of this year's Susan Steelman Bragato Scholarships. Here, Iris writes about how a unique experience relates to the person she is today.
Throughout 2011, CCSA posted more than 40 videos to our YouYube channel, defining the charter school movement, highlighting inspiring figures within it, and allowing students, staff and leaders to explain the tough issues facing California's charter schools. From San Diego to Sacramento, from timelapse to interviews to animated pieces-- CCSA videos run the gamut.
Nineteen California charter school teachers and administrators from four schools won scholarships to attend the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference being held February 27-March 1 in Sacramento.
English Language Learners from SIATech at Los Angeles Job Corps Center interviewed each other to discover each other's background differences and find out how life in the U.S. has changed them. This interview shares the story of Atsede Kahsay as written by Xiomara Amaya.
Charter school news for the week ending December 16, 2011.
Synergy Academies welcomed close to 400 students to their brand new high school, Synergy Quantum Academy. Continuing the Synergy tradition of partnering with the Los Angeles Unified School District, Synergy Quantum Academy is co-located with two LAUSD high schools on the Central Region High School #16 campus in South Los Angeles.
CCSA is excited to announce Dr. Howard Fuller as our keynote speaker for the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference: "YOU are the Charter School Movement."
This November, the State Board of Education (SBE) unanimously approved the Sonoma County Charter Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA), a charter-only SELPA which will help improve special education service delivery to students attending charter schools throughout the state. This new SELPA offers more options to charter schools by giving charters the ability to have autonomy over their special education operations.
Offering inspiration that all things are possible to the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors at Woodland's first charter high school, Udi Manber described Google's beginning -- starting in a garage in 1998 -- to becoming a $30 billion company, with offices all over the world, and 30,000 employees.
November 21, 2011, was a big day in Oakland for charter schools. The agenda of the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Board of Education's meeting was entirely dedicated to charters: three new and four renewing petitions were up for public hearings.
CCSA staff participated in service projects that benefited three Orange County charter schools. We sat down with Fiorella Del Carpio, an Organizer for Parent and Community Engagement with Families That Can , to get her impressions.
Families That Can (FTC), the Association's grassroots organizing effort, hosted community events in Oakland and Los Angeles to raise awareness about CCSA's report on African American student performance.
"Before I came to the Inland Empire Job Corps Center my life was just a black hole," writes Rachel Orona. "I was just another poor young Latina girl from a messed up family, with no bright future and going nowhere in life."
Magnolia Public Schools celebrated the achievement of its graduates during a special Thanksgiving luncheon on November 26 at its flagship school Magnolia Science Academy 1 in Reseda. About 100 MSA alumni, seniors, teachers and administrators attended the event.
The new Julian Charter School robotics team recently received the Innovative Solution Award at a regional First Lego League robotics qualifying tournament in Palm Desert, California.
CCSA's Conference Team cordially invites you to increase your business or organization's visibility in the charter community as a sponsors or exhibitor at the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference, which will take place February 27 through March 1, 2012, in Sacramento.
Thanks to the work of a coalition of hard-working, flexible partners, two Green Dot public charter schools in Los Angeles, Ralph Bunche High School and Jefferson Middle School, now own previously-leased facilities that will serve in excess of 1,000 students.
Earlier this month, parents from across the state gathered in Los Angeles for Camp Educate, a three-day training retreat led by Educate Our State, a parent-lead group which advocates for high-quality public education in California. Several dozen charter parents attended the event.
News Round-Up of CCSA's new schools, enrollment increase announcement in November 2011.
We are encouraged to see in a recent poll by USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times that California voters have a favorable opinion of charter schools. However, we were concerned by the misleading way some of the poll questions were phrased.
Accountability Update from Myrna Castrejón, senior vice president, Achievement and Performance Management
Myrna Castrejón is CCSA's senior vice president, Achievement and Performance Management. In this piece, she shares an update on the Association's academic accountability efforts.
Charter school news for the week ending November 18, 2011.
More than 150 charter schools across the state submitted requests for facilities to their districts under Proposition 39 last year and many did so again this year by the Nov. 1 deadline. They won't receive final offers of space until April, but Families That Can has already started working with several schools to harness one of their most powerful resources - their parents.
In recent years, we have seen an increase in activity in charter schools in the Central Valley, especially schools founded by family farm-based organizations and foundations connected to these organizations. In addition to serving students well, these schools have become actively engaged in the broader movement, to the benefit of charter schools in the Central Valley and beyond.
CCSA has achieved wins at the legislative level that result in more funds for charters and has been successful in defeating legislation that would cost charters dearly.
The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) responds to Arizona State University professor David Dr. Garcia's review for the National Education Policy Center's (NEPC) Think Twice think tank review project of CCSA's report: Chartering and Choice as an Achievement Gap-Closing Reform: The success of California charter schools in promoting African American Achievement.
Ana Ponce, founder of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles and a member of CCSA's board of directors, was one of just seven educators recently featured in Forbes magazine on a list of "Most Powerful Educators."
Last month, KIPP LA Prep students were treated to an exciting visit from actor and musician, Jackson Rathbone.
Charter school news for the week ending October 28, 2011.
"Scenes from Schools" is an occasional piece on the CCSA News Blog that offers a glimpse at the tremendous work taking place on charter school campuses across California. Today's "Scenes" is about SIATech Sacramento's Robotics Team presenting their advanced robots at the California State Fair.
CCSA President and CEO Jed Wallace on CCSA's receipt of the Award for Excellence in Advancing Knowledge from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers for the "Portrait of the Movement" report, the cornerstone of CCSA's accountability work.
Two recent favorable court decisions signal groundbreaking new opportunities for California's charter schools and the school districts that partner with them to enact local reform.
Imagine a moment when charter operators will be able to focus purely on their educational vision for teaching their students, rather than spending the time to fight for the structures to teach them in.
CCSA statement on recent media articles on enrollment and admissions procedures at some California charter schools.
The Sacramento City Unified became the second district in California--and the 12th nationwide--to approve a charter-district Compact agreement, in which school districts and charters work together and collaborate toward one common goal--eliminating their differences to better educate students.
Charter school news for the week ending October 21, 2011.
If you ask Warren Cornelio about his first day of class, he probably will not remember because he was sleeping, not doing work, and he did not listen to directions.
Why not take a moment to recognize those teachers and volunteers that have risen to the top over the past year? Submit your nomination for the Teacher of the Year and Volunteer of the Year Hart Vision Award categories.
To start a charter school in California, you need a vision, passion, and perseverance. You also need a rock-solid petition, a board of directors, authorizer approval, and a facility. It's not easy to turn the dream of opening a school into reality, especially in these tough economic times, but the growth of new high-quality charter schools is critical for families in communities with few good educational options.
Ricardo Soto joined the California Charter Schools Association in September as Senior Vice President, Legal Advocacy and General Counsel. We sat down with Ricardo to learn about his background, his thoughts on why charter schools and education reform are important, and his first impressions of CCSA.
By partnering with other charter schools and highly regarded service providers in a regional special education consortium, charter schools will strengthen their expertise around special education and develop the infrastructure to offer a full range of program options.
KIPP Raíces Academy kicked off the 2011-12 school year in its new long-term home in East LA, the Otis Booth Campus. The school celebrated the official grand opening of the Otis Booth Campus last month with key supporters, community partners, and a very talented group of student performers.
Charter school news for the week ending October 14, 2011.
Our Community School (OCS), a K-8 charter school in Chatsworth has partnered with a Chatsworth computer manufacture and support company, The MSM Technology Group, to launch an innovative program.
Teressa Zayas entered SIATech High School a few months ago. In those short months, she has shown determination and leadership skills that are above average.
News Round-Up from Sacramento news conference on CCSA's African American Performance report.
In 2006, Locke High School was one of the most dangerous schools in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), with a graduation rate of under 25%. Now, thanks to Green Dot Public Schools, it's become a nationally recognized turnaround school, all while serving the same community, spending less money, and maintaining a unionized teaching and classified staff.
Celerity Educational Group opened their first charter school in the heart of the Crenshaw community in 2005 with a focused commitment to serve LA's most impoverished and underserved students. Their model was simple - expect the best, give the best and accomplish the best. This has proven true.
From their first day of kindergarten, all Aspire Public School students know one thing: they are going to college. Aspire's "College for Certain" philosophy is woven into every aspect of students' school day.
One of the pressing education issues of our time is the persistent achievement gap among African American students and their White and Asian peers.
At some middle and high schools, students are "tracked;" some are put in honors, others in basic classes. But not at PUC charter public schools in Los Angeles. At PUC, the staff has the same high expectations for every student and all are prepared to graduate from high school prepared for college success.
Macy Olivas, a graduate of the Preuss School UCSD, writes that access to an effective education at a San Diego-area charter school was her ticket to college.
CCSA ramped up our advocacy efforts this year in response to a vast increase in the number of anti-charter school bills introduced in the Legislature. Because of member participation and CCSA's advocacy efforts, no bills are headed to the Governor for his signature or veto that CCSA opposes.
The U.S. Department of Education announced this week charter school grants totaling $25 million to replicate and expand high-quality charter schools. Recipients included three charter operators with schools in California.
Gabriella Charter School offers students, families and the community of Echo Park a rigorous standards-based K-8 academic program with music, visual arts and daily one-hour dance instruction.
"Scenes from Schools" is an occasional piece on the CCSA News Blog that offers a glimpse at the tremendous work taking place on charter school campuses across California. Today's "Scenes" take place across the state, in the form of sleep-away camps organized for students by Valor Academy in Arleta.
Students from Redding School of the Arts are now housed on a new campus off of Shasta View Drive in Redding that unites children in grades kindergarten through 8th grade who have been taught in two separate locations for years. Strikingly, the campus boasts LEED certification, the US Green Building Council's coveted certification and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
Charter school news for the week ending September 16, 2011.
The new Celerity Sirius charter school located on a closed Compton Unified campus represents an unprecedented collaboration between the charter, the community and local educational agencies.
The Association has been supporting members in Sacramento City Unified School District on facility issues for the past three years, and a lot has changed since 2008.
We recently took advantage of the summer break to squeeze in a few minutes with Meredith Dadigan, the 2011 Hart Vision Teacher of the Year. Dadigan is an elementary school teacher at Aspire Titan Academy in Los Angeles, one of 30 Aspire schools throughout California.
Because of intricacies of the charter program, charter schools have historically been disadvantaged in the school construction process. The current State Allocations Board recognized this disadvantage and recently began working to put charters on an equal playing field with the rest of the school facilities projects.
Capitol Collegiate is located in a rough area of south Sacramento. Their goal is to deliver a rigorous college preparatory program to inner city students in grades K-8. The school will serve over 500 students when full, with the majority coming from socio-economically disadvantaged households.
Charter school news for the week ending September 16, 2011.
CCSA knows that finding and securing facilities can be challenging work for charter schools. The Association will once again offer a variety of resources for our members, including templates, pro-bono legal reviews for member applications in selected regions, and technical support from CCSA's Help Desk. This year, however, we will also be trying something new.
A two-day summit, "Charters Taking the Lead on Special Education: Practical Ideas, Actively Taught," was a demonstration of the great strides made by CCSA and Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) members.
"Scenes from Schools" is an occasional piece on the CCSA News Blog that offers a glimpse at the tremendous work taking place on charter school campuses across California. Today's "Scenes" takes place not on campus, but at the Grammy museum located in Downtown Los Angeles.
Bayshore Preparatory Charter School Executive Director Nancy Spencer announced this week that the school has exceeded all expectations and increased its Academic Performance Index (API) score by a record 65 points.
For the seventh consecutive year PS7 showed gains on the CST, both overall and relative to their peers. PS7 students were the highest performing students in the Sacramento City Unified School District on ten of seventeen CSTs and they were the second, third or fourth highest performing on three additional exams.
Sacramento Charter High School students again showed strong gains on the CST, both overall and relative to their peers, and continue to prove that when provided a high quality, college-prep education, all students can rise to the challenge and the achievement gap can be closed.
"Scenes from Schools" is an occasional piece on the CCSA News Blog that offers a glimpse at the tremendous work taking place on charter school campuses across California. Today's "Scenes," was written by Ernie Silva, Director of External Affairs for SIATech.
Bullis Charter School announced that it earned 984 on the 2011 Academic Performance Index (API) growth score, making it the highest-performing public school serving Los Altos School District students.
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Unified School Board approved changes to the Public School Choice Initiative that could give in-district teams priority in applying for new schools. The charter school community, joined by parents and students from other community organizations, came out in opposition of the proposed
Fenton Avenue Charter School has plenty to boast about - it is a California Distinguished School, has been visited by dignitaries like former First Lady Hilary Rodham Clinton and more students want to go there than for which it has space. That is now, but let's step back to 1993, when the school's staff decided to convert the former Los Angeles Unified School District school into an independent charter school, a tremendously bold step at the time and a key factor of their success.
Walton Family Foundation Invests $15 million to Expand Parental Choice in California's Public Charter Schools
On August 23, the Walton Family Foundation announced a three-year, $15 million grant to CCSA to expand parental choice in California's charter public schools, with a specific goal of allowing 100,000 more students to attend quality charter schools over the next three years.
Skye Tirsbier has prepared a comprehensive Charter School Facilities Manual, which empowers charters to navigate the process of finding, securing, and financing a facility that fits their needs.
Mary Laihee has been working with CCSA's special education team to produce a funding guide for charter school operators and educators on the federal and state resources available for providing quality and compliant services to students with special needs.
Megan Kinney has been applying her experience in political research and analyzing political landscapes to map key stakeholders in different communities across California that CCSA can work with on local advocacy efforts.
Summer for Jasmine Perez has been anything but quiet. In addition to helping out with her eight-year old brother, she's been planning, and anticipating, the trip of her life. No, it's not to an exotic resort, or a beach, or anywhere warm for that matter. It's to the glaciers in the North Cascades in Washington state.
Teach for America alumni Hrag Hamalian leads Valor Academy, a charter middle school he founded in the San Fernando Valley to prepare low-income students for college. He recently sat down with CCSA to reflect on the state of public education in Los Angeles, Teach for America, education reform and the charter movement.
The Advisory Commission on Charter Schools (ACCS) is an advisory committee established by the State Board of Education (SBE) to advise the SBE on all aspects of the Board's duties under the Charter Schools Act. This July, four new members were appointed to the commission, which assists the SBE in ensuring that charter schools realize higher student achievement through sound educational programs and practices and proper financial management.
Answer the call! Submit your proposal for the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference, and take advantage of our "summer special" registration rate, now!
Check out our new video on Families That Can, a statewide organization of charter school parents, and find out how to get your voice heard!
CCSA is offering a rock bottom flat rate of just $250 for Association members who register for the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference by Friday, September 9, 2011. This rate is $125 less than the Super Early Bird Registration Rate, which is normally the best deal you can receive.
Regional Director Lisa Berlanga participated in a San Diego parent summit on June 25. The summit was an opportunity to hear a panel of educational leaders address the question, "how do we improve public education?"
"Scenes from Schools" is an occasional piece on the CCSA News Blog that offers a glimpse at the tremendous work taking place on charter school campuses across California. Today's "Scenes" is a first-person piece from Adriana Madrigal Meneses, a SIATech San Diego graduate who shares her story of transformation at SIATech.
With economic turmoil persisting nationwide and statewide, many California charter schools have few options to obtain financing to purchase, construct or renovate facilities. CCSA's California Charter Building Fund (CCBF) has continued to provide reasonably-priced capital for charter schools. Thanks in part to the CCBF, the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools recently secured permanent homes for three of their 16 Los Angeles-based schools.
It is often stated that charter public schools do not serve the same population of students with unique learning needs - such as students with disabilities - as their traditional public school counterparts. To dispel this myth, CCSA's Special Education and Government Affairs teams held a special event for policy makers and legislative staffers. The meeting, which took place at the State Capitol, attracted staff from Assembly and Senate education committees, the Department of Finance, the Legislative Analyst's Office, the California Department of Education, numerous Legislative offices, and two Congressional offices. The roundtable discussion, which was fueled by questions from the attendees, focused on current successes and challenges of charter schools when it comes to serving students with disabilities.
Corri Tate Ravare is the new Executive Director of Families That Can, CCSA's statewide organization of charter school families. Ravare brings a wealth of experience to the job, most recently having served as president of Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF) Public Schools, a network of 15 high-performing charter schools serving 4,600 students in south Los Angeles. Read the interview with Corri.
Deirdre Fennessy, head of Golden Oak Montessori School, reflects on her experience on Advocacy Day in this first person piece.
This September, Jim Kennedy will be heading a new elementary school opening on the eastside of Los Angeles called Extera Public School. This exciting new beginning is also the culmination of two decades of work in education for Kennedy, who had two key pieces of advice for those thinking about starting a charter school.
Charters interested in exploring LEA status for special education for the 2012-2013 school year, must submit a letter notifying your existing District and SELPA of your intent to exit the SELPA by June 30, 2011. If you are interested in learning more about charter schools and special education, register for "Special Education 101: Understanding your Rights, Responsibilities and Options when Serving Students with Special Needs."
This September, Jim Kennedy will be heading a new elementary school opening on the eastside of Los Angeles called Extera Public School. This exciting new beginning is also the culmination of two decades of work in education for Kennedy, who in this piece reflects on the events of the past year since taking the plunge into the charter school landscape.
The California Department of Education (CDE) is still accepting updates to schools' socioeconomic data used to make funding determinations for Economic Impact Aid (EIA), Title 1, and other categorical funding programs for the 2010-11 school year. EIA funding can be rectified as far back as 2009-10. One of our members recently updated their socioeconomic data at no charge and received an EIA boost to the tune of nearly $200,000!
An update on what's happening in the state capitol during the week of May 30.
"Scenes from Schools" is an occasional piece on the CCSA News Blog that offers a glimpse at the tremendous work taking place on charter school campuses across California. In today's "Scenes," we learn about students from Academy for Civic and Entrepreneurial Leadership (ACEL Fresno), who recently met with and testified before state legislators.
On May 15, a couple dozen charter school teachers from Los Angeles participated in a Teacher Town Hall meeting broadcast live on NBC. The panelists included Meridith Dadigan, CCSA's Charter Teacher of the Year. Janie M. Holm, a teacher at...
On May 15, a couple dozen charter school teachers from Los Angeles participated in a Teacher Town Hall meeting broadcast live on NBC. The panelists included Meridith Dadigan, CCSA's Charter Teacher of the Year, who teaches at Aspire Titan, as...
California's budget problems are creating an unsustainable cash flow situation for public schools, which have been forced to cope with multiple payment deferrals. While districts can reliably access Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANs) to address most of their cash flow concerns, charter schools have far fewer options. CCSA, together with financial partners Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), Enterprise Community Partners and Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), launched an Emergency Loan Program in response to Spring 2011 state delays. The program provided approximately $2.2 million in loans at a competitive rate.
On May 2, Families That Can hosted a celebratory luncheon honoring 55 parents who led grassroots organizing around Public School Choice (PSC), the Los Angeles Unified School District's initiative to create excellent new schools and turn around the lowest performing...
In California, there is a persistent and clear pattern of funding inequity for charter schools. It is an issue that has been exacerbated by the tough economic times the state has gone through for the past decade. CCSA continues to work on increasing charter access to working capital options that allow schools to address their financial needs so they can focus on educating students.
To commemorate National Charter Schools Week, the California Charter Schools Association is highlighting success stories in the charter movement. This is a "Spotlight" of an exemplary student in Sacramento Charter High School.
Today, during our annual commemoration of National Charter Schools Week, the California Charter Schools Association is also holding our annual Advocacy Day. On Advocacy Day, we invite charter school leaders, teachers and students to the Capitol to talk to their elected representatives, to find out how powerful their voice, and their stories, can be as legislation is being decided.
While serving as state senator, Gary K. Hart sponsored the legislation that established California charter schools. The California Charter Schools Act was one of many education-related bills Hart, who was voted most ethical California legislator by his peers, authored. In honor of National Charter Schools Week, we sat down with Senator Hart to get the story behind the Charter Schools Act, as well as his thoughts on everything from the state of the movement to critical issues facing public education to Waiting for "Superman."
"The state of education in California is something I think about on a daily basis. Not only is it part of my job as president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association, it's also my duty as a parent and school choice advocate," writes CCSA President and CEO Jed Wallace.
On April 29, 2011, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation declaring National Charter Schools Week 2011.
Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) took first place in the National Academic Decathlon competition in a crowded field that included past national champions J. Frank Dobie High School (Texas) and Waukesha High School (Wisconsin).
High Tech High International is one of the top six finalists in the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge put on by the White House. Teams of students had to submit essays and videos on why their school is exemplary. High Tech High International students worked collaboratively for weeks to produce their video, which we all now have the opportunity to view and rate, with an eye toward having President Obama speak at the school's commencement.
Every year as the first week in May approaches, we encourage charter schools to take advantage of National Charter Schools Week by using it as a spring board for getting the word out about their charter school. We encourage charters to invite legislators, board members, parents and community members to visit their school and see firsthand what charters are about. Last year, Edward B. Cole Academy held its first-annual "C.O.L.E. Day - Celebration of Literacy in Education" to commemorate the week.
The third round of Public School Choice has officially kicked off with potential applicants submitting letters of intent for 39 schools projected to serve over 50,000 students at 17 new campuses and 22 "focus schools," which are under-performing existing schools. The Los Angeles Unified School District's Public School Choice resolution allows non-district school operators - like charter schools, teacher teams, and community groups - the opportunity to apply to run schools.
CCSA's Government Affairs team makes public school funding a top priority. Today, Assemblymember Julia Brownley, chair of the Assembly Education Committee, held an informational hearing on developing a new structure for school finance, and CCSA was in attendance on behalf of our members. Our major message at the hearing was that CCSA encourages the Legislature to look to charter schools as laboratories: we can help!
About 4,750 students in Los Angeles will be attending high-quality charter schools this fall, thanks to a massive effort from the charter school community and the bold actions of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board to push for reform and put kids first in the second round of Public School Choice.
CCSA has traditionally featured Regional Meetings, hosted in conjunction with the Annual California Charter Schools conference, but this year's focus was a novel call to action to begin to engage the charter schools community broadly in the essential work of protecting and promoting charter school interests in the state's capital.
Music Watson sat hunched over her laptop in the back corner of a San Diego Convention Center ballroom, typing frantically as a parade of high-powered speakers and charter school luminaries took the stage. Watson's job over the course of three days' worth of keynote speeches and award acceptances was to keep the outside world--the people behind handles and hashtags on Twitter, those checking in via Facebook, and visitors from across the county to CCSA's blog--appraised of the goings on at the 18th Annual California Charter Schools Conference.
"Scenes from Schools" is an occasional piece on the CCSA News Blog that offers a glimpse at the tremendous work taking place on charter school campuses across California. In today's "Scenes," we learn about an innovative partnership to offer Chinese language and culture courses at Heritage College-Ready Academy High School.
Reviews of the 18th Annual California Charter Schools Conference, held in San Diego March 7-10, 2011, are rolling in.
"Scenes from Schools" is an occasional piece on the CCSA News Blog that offers a glimpse at the tremendous work taking place on charter school campuses across California. In today's "Scenes," we learn about the achievements of the Locke High School CyberPatriots.
This week, the LAUSD Board selected several top-performing charter schools to run various campuses identified in the second round of the Public School Choice (PSC) initiative. Late last year, seven charter schools submitted applications to the board for the opportunity...
The California Charter Schools Association is proud to award $1,500 college scholarships to five deserving charter high school graduates at Association member schools. The scholarship is named for Susan Steelman Bragato, the co-founder of the first charter school in California,...
The 18th Annual California Charter Schools Conference runs March 7-10, 2011. Find out what's on tap for Thursday, March 10.
The 18th Annual California Charter Schools Conference runs March 7-10, 2011. Find out what's on tap for Wednesday, March 9.
The 18th Annual California Charter Schools Conference runs March 7-10, 2011. Find out what's on tap for Tuesday, March 8.
The 18th Annual California Charter Schools Conference runs March 7-10, 2011. Find out what's on tap for Monday, March 7.
Even if you're unable to attend the 18th Annual Charter Schools Conference, you can still access some of the amazing speakers, presentations, and resources that will be presented March 7-10, 2011, in San Diego.
This week, CCSA unveiled the Portrait of the Movement report, which offers an assessment of charter school performance in the state and provides a framework to press for higher accountability for low-performing charters. This is a list of selected media articles that highlight the report.
This week our first annual Portrait of the Movement report, which details the academic performance of charter schools and provides a framework to press for higher accountability for low-performing charters. The report reveals reasons for great optimism in the areas where charter schools are excelling and for greater resolve in the areas where charter schools need to improve.
The 18th Annual California Charter Schools Conference is now just two weeks away! The event will be held March 7-10, 2010 at the San Diego Convention Center. If you have not yet registered for the conference, we hope you will consider doing so today.
The charter school movement is dependent upon the hard work of visionary founders, leaders, and authorizers, plus dedicated teachers and volunteers and inspired students. The Association is proud to recognize several of them in this month.
Charter schools have long modeled best practices for engaging parents and harnessing the power of families to create great schools. That powerful parent voice will be out in force at this year's California Charter Schools Conference. The annual event is not only the biggest gathering of the year for charter leaders, teachers and education reformers - it is also home to the charter community's annual Parent Summit, which is completely free for parents to attend.
We sat down with Cynthia Bryant, the Association's new senior vice president, Government Affairs, to learn about her background, her thoughts on why charter schools and education reform are important, and her first impressions of CCSA.
Countywide Benefit Charter Approved in Sacramento will serve the Region's Lowest Performing Students
This was not an ordinary board meeting. A gospel choir greeted members of the public as they pulled into the parking lot of the Sacramento County Office of Education. Supporters were handed t-shirts, buttons, instructions on decorum, and a ticket for a hot dog and water as they lined up to pack the hearing room and two overflow rooms. And after a marathon eight-hour deliberation, at 2:00 in the morning, the Board of Education voted to approve the region's very first countywide benefit charter.
To equip member schools with resources and foundational knowledge to facilitate teacher effectiveness and student achievement, CCSA is offering a series "Performance Institute" webinars. These webinars are designed to share promising practices in Performance Management and help schools build a culture of achievement.
The California Charter Schools Association is proud to offer Charter Employee Services--a program designed to provide peace of mind that you have protections for your school and your employees in place.
As the charter movement has evolved and matured over the past 19 years, we have learned a thing or two! It is from these lessons that the Oakland Charter School Collaborative emerges.
This holiday season, CCSA's Los Angeles staff held their annual holiday book drive for a local charter school. PUC Milagro is the only elementary school among the Partnerships to Uplift Communities' network of 12 schools, and it has a unique founding story. "Milagro," which means "miracle" in Spanish, has gone on to educate hundreds of neighborhood children with great success--the school has posted an API above 800 for all six years of existence, achieving an average API of 897 last year. These strong results are not by chance. "We wanted to make sure this school was contrary to the normal course of things - which is what a miracle is," said Ref Rodriguez, who cofounded the school.
A first-person piece on the future of public education by Larry Rosenstock, a CCSA Board Member who is Chief Executive Officer of High Tech High.
"Scenes from Schools" is an occasional piece on the CCSA News Blog that offers a glimpse at the tremendous work taking place on charter school campuses across California. Today's "Scenes," actually takes place at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, not at a school, but reflects the successes of Fenton Avenue Charter School in Lake View Terrace in the words of school Director David Riddick.
To enable our member charter schools to offer employee benefits packages usually found in the traditional school system, CCSA has developed Charter Employee Services (CES). CES offers comprehensive, charter-specific benefits packages at low, negotiated rates.
Charter school news for the week ending December 17, 2010.
At the very top of non-profit charter school's governance structure is the governing board - a group of dedicated volunteers that are elected or appointed to keep the school on track. In order to help strengthen charter school governance, charter school board members and directors recently participated in a governance training sponsored by the Association and held at Blue Oak Charter School in Chico, California. In all, more than 40 board members from 7 charter schools attended the four-hour training to learn more about board duties.
Charter school budget and finance issues continue to be a top priority for CCSA, even during the legislative recess. In an effort to keep these issues front and center, CCSA convened charter school leaders, members of the banking community, representatives from philanthropic foundations, the California School Finance Authority, the California Department of Education and Association staff for a presentation and in-depth conversation about charter school funding equity and access to working capital financing.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education and local charter leaders have signed on to an compact to work together to share best practices and to ensure all students have access to a high-quality public education.
"Scenes from Schools" is an occasional piece on the CCSA News Blog that offers a glimpse at the tremendous work taking place on charter school campuses across California. In today's "Scenes," we visit SIATech Los Angeles through a piece written by Daniel Butler, an instructor at the school.
Charter school news for the week ending December 10, 2010.
Charter schools in Los Angeles scored a major victory this week as the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) must make Proposition 39 offers to each and every charter school that submits an application to the district for facilities. The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) filed a lawsuit against LAUSD in May 2010 for continued non-compliance with Prop. 39. This victory is a major step forward in charter schools receiving equitable facilities.
This week, applications for the second round of LAUSD's Public School Choice initiative were due to the district, and seven charter schools applied for a total of seven new schools and one focus school. The California Charter Schools Association organized a news conference on Wednesday to show support for the charter schools, and discuss new efforts in this round, including more direct parent organizing and involvement.
In Fresno, the California Charter Schools Association parented with the United Way of Fresno County and the Fresno Unified School District to organize a special screening of Waiting for "Superman."
Charter school news for the week ending November 26, 2010.
CCSA has staff in the Northeastern California, Bay Area, Central Valley, Los Angeles, Inland Empire, and San Diego regions, which allows the Association to respond to members across the state, but presents some challenges when attempting to facilitate the type of in-person work necessary to advance CCSA's work on behalf of the movement. Our geographically-dispersed staff meet twice a year for all-staff retreats, focusing on strategic planning and action, identifying opportunities for cross-team collaboration, and building a common understanding on important issues facing the movement. In short, the retreats help CCSA identify how to maximize successes, respond to challenges facing charters and to accomplish the Association's strategic goals. This year's fall retreat also helped staff get in touch with the reason we exist--our member schools--in a very personal way.
The historic volume of new charter schools in 2010-11 shows the California charter school movement's tireless efforts are paying off in a number of ways. None of this is possible without the pooling of minds and resources, so thank you for your continued membership with CCSA. Your feedback keeps us on pace with school needs, and one way we gather feedback is through an annual satisfaction survey.
A first-person piece on CCSA's accountability strategy by CCSA's Senior Vice President of Achievement and Performance Management Myrna Castrejon.
Charter school news for the week ending November 19, 2010.
The team behind Waiting for "Superman" has announced that theater owners are offering teachers who show their credentials at the box office the chance to buy tickets to the film at a reduced rate.
CCSA's Charter Employee Services and the Association of American Educators are proud to announce scholarships specifically designed to meet the needs of California's charter school educators. CES participants are eligible to receive up to $300 to attend the 18th Annual CA Charter Schools Conference at the San Diego Convention Center March 7-10th, 2011--the exclusive charter school professional event of the year. A total of $10,000 in scholarships will be awarded.
Charter school news for the week ending November 12, 2010.
The charter school community is invited to a screening of the new documentary, *Waiting for "Superman,"* and town hall event this Monday, Nov. 15, at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood.
The California Charter Schools Association will award five $1,500 scholarships to high school graduates of Association member schools. The scholarships are given in memory of Susan Steelman Bragato, a pioneer in the nation's charter school movement. Applications must be completed by Friday, December 10, 2010.
CCSA rebuilds the annual California Charter Schools Conference program each year through a "Call for Presentations" for breakout sessions. This year, we received more than 500 proposals in response to our Call for Presentations, a new record for the conference.
Join CCSA for a free four-part online webinar series called "Starting a High-Quality Charter School." The series provides participants with an understanding of the school development process and the building blocks necessary to develop a charter school.
Charter school news for the week ending October 29, 2010.
To coincide with the launch of the 2010-2015 PCSGP application, the CED's Charter Schools Division will host an informational webinar at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 4, 2010. This webinar will provide guidance on the 2010-2015 PCSGP grant cycle.
Charter school news for the week ending October 22, 2010.
The Bureau of State Audits (BSA) released a report this week on child nutrition programs at charter schools, and the level of participation in the federal meal programs, due to a request by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee earlier this year. CCSA is encouraged by the results of the audit, as it shows that most charter schools participate in the federal School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program, despite not being required to do so.
Identifying and securing adequate facilities for charter students is a challenging task for many of our state's charter schools. CCSA and the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.) are co-sponsoring workshops to assist charter organizations and charter schools in addressing critical facility issues.
The first charter school in California opened in 1993. That same year, the pioneers of the California charter school movement held the first California Charter Schools Conference in one small hotel conference room. Today the California Charter Schools Conference is a huge event attended by 2,500 charter leaders, teachers and supporters from throughout the state. In 2011, we will have more than 200 businesses on site as exhibitors. There will be more than 150 breakout sessions covering everything from governance training to online learning. We will also have engrossing sessions about fighting for your school at the local, state and federal level.
October 20 marks the first session in a free four-part online webinar series called "Starting a High-Quality Charter School." The series provides participants with an understanding of the school development process and the building blocks necessary to develop a charter school.
If you tuned in to Oprah earlier this month, you would have seen Bill Gates talking about the new documentary Waiting For "Superman" and what's wrong in public education. You would also see, in the front row, a group of charter school leaders, including James Willcox, CEO of Aspire Public Schools, whose programs were held up as an example of what a great school can be. We sat down with James to hear about his involvement with the movement, his brush with fame on "Oprah," and his thoughts on "Superman."
Proposition 39, a law passed by California voters in 2000, grants charter school students equal access to school district facilities, if charters are able to meet certain eligibility requirements. This story celebrates Sacramento's Higher Learning Academy's successful application for Prop. 39 facilities.
Charter school news for the week ending October 15, 2010.
the Governor has signed the state budget agreement for Fiscal Year 2010-2011. This is the latest that the Legislature has ever approved a spending plan, due annually on July 1, the start of California's fiscal year. If you haven't had time to read the full Budget Brief, here is some information on public charter school-related budget items.
The 2010 Legislative session officially ended on August 31, with the Governor having one month after the end of session to sign or veto legislation. Importantly to charter school supporters, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed two pieces of legislation that CCSA opposed, AB 572 and AB 2543. He also signed AB 184, which provides relief for cash-strapped school districts struggling to cope with ongoing budget shortfalls.
As we understand it, the state's current plan is to defer most or all payments of K-12 apportionments in October and to repay them all by November 15, 2010. Applications for exemption from the deferrals are due by statute on October 15, 2010.
You are Invited to a Virtual Town Hall on Public Education in America. Join Arianna Huffington, Joel Klein, Davis Guggenheim, and others in a conversation with online participants across the country as they discuss Waiting for "Superman" and the topic that has America talking. The Town Hall will take place Friday, October 8, at 4:00 p.m. PDT.
Cameron Curry is Executive Director of The Classical Academies organization, which is made up of three successful public charter schools in San Diego County. He also serves as the Independent Study Schools Representative on CCSA's. Here, he shares his review of Waiting for "Superman," a documentary that has everyone talking about education reform.
Waiting for "Superman" is a powerful and courageous film. It shows that great schools come from great teachers. And it exposes the forces that deny children more of both. The California Charter Schools Association is an official partner of the Done Waiting Advocacy Coalition and we want you to support it too.
This Friday, October 8, 2010, is the deadline to submit a proposal in response to our Call for Presentations for the 18th Annual California Charter Schools Conference. Presenting at the conference is a way to share your experience and knowledge with 2,500 attendees from charter schools across California.
ICEF Public Schools, which operates 15 schools in Los Angeles, was the subject of a Los Angeles Times article regarding a challenging situation the charter management organization has been facing.
Charter school news for the week ending September 24, 2010.
CCSA has partnered with the San Diego Film Festival to offer charter school supporters discounts on the festival's many offerings. The Festival is showing Waiting for "Superman" at 7:30 p.m. on October 1 at the Gaslamp Theatre (701 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101). After the film, Guggenheim will answer questions during a session moderated by Christa Coleman, the school leader from KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy.
During the same week that Waiting for "Superman" premieres across the nation, a petition by Redwood City's Summit Public Schools to open a new high-quality charter school in San Jose's East Side Union High School District has been denied. Summit Prep is one of the five schools featured in "Superman;* it also was recently ranked by Newsweek magazine as among the top 100 schools in the nation.
In a show devoted to the upcoming documentary "Waiting for Superman", Oprah recognized six charter school networks throughout the nation with a $1 million donation from her Angel Foundation. In California, the award will go to Aspire Public Schools, which operates some 30 charter schools in cities like East Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Sacramento. The schools serve more than 10,000 students, a majority of which come from low-income neighborhoods.
Have you registered your team for the 18th Annual California Charter Schools Conference? The conference will be held March 7-10, 2011, at the San Diego Convention Center. The theme will be `"The Future of California Public Education." Lock in savings by registering before our Super Early Bird Registration Deadline on Friday, October 22. Everyone who registers by Oct. 22 will be entered to win a free registration/hotel package.
Charter school news for the week ending September 17, 2010.
CCSAs Legal Advocacy Team and the law firm of Middleton, Young & Minney will provide charter schools and charter school developers with an overview of Proposition 39, the law that requires school districts to provide reasonably equivalent facilities to charter schools.
Now that summer has ended, thousands of students are going back to school this year as new charter school students. In order to highlight the growth of charter schools across the state, as well as our members' continued commitment to the movement, the Association's Communications Team embarked on a proactive media outreach effort centered on a "back to school" theme.
Do you know an incredible teacher or principal who is leading the way in fighting for great schools in Los Angeles? The new documentary, Waiting for "Superman, which hits theaters in L.A. on Sept. 24, is an opportunity to engage the public in education reform. The movie's promotions team has now launched an LA-focused website where they will be profiling local educators. We invite you to pitch someone to be featured or to suggest other content for their site.
When the price tag of Los Angeles Unified School District's RFK Community Schools was revealed this summer, charter schools were more than disappointed. That's because the same district had denied equitable facilities to dozens of charter schools, leaving many to pursue other options, including building or renting their own space. The "most expensive school in U.S. history" is the subject of a Wall Street Journal article that gives the example of Larchmont School, a charter which was forced to spend $174,000 on rent, utilities and maintenance instead of on school supplies or educational programs.
Twenty years since its inception, the charter school community is beginning to rely on the growing parent constituency to help take control of their students' education in a broader sense, as well. There are approximately 340,000 students in California public charter schools today. That translates to at least half a million charter school parents. CCSA has recently joined forces with Families That Can (FTC) to harness that power, helping parents understand their latent advocacy potential and converting that potential energy into kinetic, sustainable momentum for charter school advocacy goals on behalf of their children.
Aspire Public Schools is a non-profit charter management organization that operates small, high quality public charter schools across California. James Wilcox, Aspire's Chief Executive Officer, will be featured on a special education-related Oprah Winfrey Show airing on Monday, September 20, 2010.
The principle behind Proposition 39 is one of equity and fairness for all public school students, irrespective of whether they attend public district schools or public charter schools in their communities. Prop. 39 represents the tangible, pragmatic embodiment of that principle in the most publicly visible sign of a successful school - the building. Charter schools across California scrap and scrape for workable facilities solutions each year; that is why the Association has embarked on a multi-year, statewide campaign to seek full implementation of Prop. 39. CCSA advocacy on behalf of schools applying for facilities under Prop. 39 therefore benefits all charter school students in the state.
Charter school news for the week ending September 10, 2010.
This blog post by CCSA President and CEO Jed Wallace about Waiting for "Superman," a new education documentary in theaters this fall, originally appeared on TakePart.com.
Application deadlines for Proposition 39 facilities for the 2011-12 school year are right around the corner, so it is critical charter schools begin the process now. In order to assist member schools, CCSA will be providing free workshops and webinars, pro-bono legal reviews for member applications in selected regions, and technical support from CCSA's Help Desk. We will hold a webinar on September 21, as well as in-person workshops on September 23 (Northern California) and September 27 (Southern California).
The Robert F. Kennedy Learning Center's excesses illustrate binge-spending on behalf of the district, as well as the district's inequity toward other students, especially those served by charter schools. The Wall Street Journal's editorial on the issue details how charters are more nimble and efficient when it comes to building facilities and serving students, using the Green Dot charter management organization's successes to point out the stark contrasts.
The most expensive school ever to be built in California and the nation opened its doors in the Los Angeles Unified School District this week, amidst one of the worst budgetary times our state has seen. At the same time it has built what many are calling a "Taj Mahal school," the district has consistently refused to offer charter schools equitable facilities and use of space, despite the fact they are required to do so by law.
CCSA and Camino Nuevo welcomed students to their first day of school at Jose A. Castellanos, one of the first Public School Choice schools to open its doors. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education President Monica Garcia were on hand to commemorate the occasion. The school's opening--and the entire Public School Choice (PSC) program--is an important step in education reform.
As state and federal revenues continue to be in short supply, many localities are seeking to supplement their education funding with local measures. Most prominent among these local measures are local parcel taxes - a local property tax that allocates funds for a specified purpose. A local school district board of education has the authority to place a property tax on the ballot, requesting that local voters agree to levy the additional tax on behalf of local public schools.
More than 20 charter schools recently gathered together at Stanford University to participate in a Performance Management Institute (PMI), receiving valuable coaching around strategic planning. The institute introduced attendees to performance management, a framework for managing the execution of an organization's strategy.
As a result of collaborative work with the State Board of Education, California Department of Education, Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs) and districts, charters continue to see increased options that bring with them increased flexibility in funding, governance structure, management, and availability of high-quality programs in order to successfully serve students with special needs.
Across the state, CCSA has seen charter schools, even those with strong track records and seemingly good relationships with their authorizers, struggle through renewal. In many cases this struggle is caused by what CCSA has deemed authorizer "over regulation." Long Valley Charter School (LVCS) in Lassen County was poised to be another casualty of a difficult renewal process, until persistence, stakeholder support, and access to CCSA resources saved the day.
In a potentially groundbreaking financing deal that closed earlier this month, Birmingham Community Charter High School in Los Angeles received $3 million for working capital through a Revenue Anticipation Note (RAN) offering. This was the first-ever RAN financing using a state-intercept mechanism to close in California for charter school working capital, and this structure has the potential to assist more charter schools moving forward.
Univision will feature Caminio Nuevo Charter Academy Principal Ana Ponce, as well as Myrna Castrejón, Senior Vice President with the California Charter Schools Association, discussing the opening of Jose Castellanos, a school opening as part of the Public School Choice education reformation and transformation process in the Los Angeles Unified School District. In addition, charter school growth and the strength of the movement will be discussed.
"Whose Civil Rights" is a reflection on the challenge mounted by a group of civil rights leaders to the Obama administration's Race to the Top program.
"Waiting for Superman" offers an exhaustive review of public education, surveying drop out factories and academic sinkholes, methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems. The film also explores innovative approaches taken by education reformers and charter schools that have refused to leave their students behind.
The State Board of Education will consider new standards for identifying low performing charter schools in September, calling also for more accountability at their time of renewal. CCSA has long supported increased accountability for charters, but is aiming to make the process a balanced one.
The 18th Annual California Charter Schools Conference will be held March 7-10, 2011, at the San Diego Convention Center. Our theme for 2011 will be "The Future of California Public Education.''
When the San Bernadino City Unified School District decided to abandon a plan to turn six district campuses into charter schools, the San Bernadino Sun editorialized that the district missed a shot at innovation.
This fall, students at Fresno's University High Charter Schools will start the school year in a new, modern building inside the Fresno State campus.
L.A. Weekly's feature story "Educating Maria" shares the story of how one school's dedicated staff work with families and communities to nurture students' promise.
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines has confirmed that he will be stepping down from his position in the spring.
A charter school in Chico moves into 21st Century classroom teaching, giving students iPads and promoting innovation and technology.
Three recent articles outline the full spectrum of issues facing the charter school movement in California.
More than 4,000 teachers, advocates, policy makers, charter leaders, education reformers and donors gathered at the 10th annual National Charter Schools Conference, held June 28-July 1 in Chicago. Some of the brightest minds in education, philanthropy, business and public policy presented at the conference, including leaders from charter schools across California and CCSA's expert staff.
The Fresno Regional Foundation recently made a $10,000 grant to support the development of a new charter school in that city. This ground-breaking charter development grant is an example of the type of partnerships needed to help shoulder the responsibility...
CCSA is a proud supporter of the Education Pioneers summer fellowship program. Participation as a partner in the Education Pioneers program represents a commitment to developing exceptional talent, to driving change in the urban education reform movement, and to building efficiency across the education sector. This year, CCSA will host four Education Pioneers in the Los Angeles office.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates spoke to charter leaders on the success, innovation, and challenges in charter schools across the nation, including California....
The Association is pleased to offer online Developer Information Sessions on topics ranging from Incorporation to designing a realistic charter school budget. Each session provides expert instruction and a forum for questions and answers....
June is graduation season, a time when students and families celebrate many years of hard work that culminate to the soundtrack of "Pomp and Circumstance." In three Northern California charter schools, the celebrations are that much more exciting because all...
A Message to the Membership: Board Chair Rick Piercy announces Jed Wallace as CEO I am thrilled to announce that after an extensive national search, the Association's Board of Directors unanimously selected High Tech High's Chief Operating Officer, Jed Wallace,...