Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Charter Schools - Are they the wave of the future? Obama may like to think so.

Charter schools are on the rise and the Race To The Top may ensure their proliferation. Read the article we recently posted about the "RTTT Winners". Recently, representatives from the U.S. Department of Education made a visit to DeKalb and held a discussion about identifying turnaround schools, closing them and then reopening them possibly as charters. Go to Community Radar to download the Powerpoint used at the meeting to learn about Tier 1, 2 and 3 schools and how they are identified. For further explanation, and videos describing turnaround examples, visit this link at the U.S. DOE.

This is a new era - if you think No Child Left Behind was intense, stand-by for this initiative by Obama and Duncan - part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. They have no tolerance for severely under-performing schools and fully intend to shutter them and start them anew in one way or another. One way ensure your school system meets with Obama's approval is to allow flexibility in charter school creation. (Another is to tie teacher pay to student performance.)

If you're interested in charters, you will want to attend the Emory Lavista Parent Council meeting next Wednesday.

Emory Lavista Parent Council

Join us at 9:15 am

(refreshments begin at 8:45 am)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fernbank Elementary School

157 Heaton Park Drive, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30307

Charter Schools

Everything you Want and Need to Know

Guest Speakers

Phil Andrews, former executive director of the Georgia Charter School Association, moderator

Gigi Connor, co-founder of Neighborhood Charter School and Atlanta Charter Middle School

Nina Gilbert, founder of Ivy Prep Academy, a GA Commission Charter School

Nicole Knighten, DeKalb County Schools legislative affairs

Final Meeting: April 21st at Coralwood Elementary: State of the System Revisited


The Big Apple said...

Charter Schools are certainly having an impact in New York City

Anonymous said...

In DeKalb, the charter schools that are conversions seem to be DeKalb business as usual, just with a charter school name.

In order for charter schools to work, they need to be separate from the school system and be able to make decisions locally that impact the education of the children attending.

Anonymous said...

IMO, Charter Schools are just this generations latest cool "fad".

Anonymous said...

With march of its ever rising mandates toward academic perfection in 2014, all school will suffer fatal AYP collapse.

Does becoming a "charter" school or a "reconstituted" school reset the clock?

Mark Twain, if alive today, might have said " one thing is certain, soon we will run out of dilatories"

Anonymous said...

It is my belief that becoming a charter school does not reset the clock.

Anonymous said...

Charter schools aren't necessarily better than public schools - research bears that out. But they can be, and people implementing a charter school need to look at what has worked and what hasn't worked. Its not about a label, its about the attitude coming from the principal, teachers and parents. Charter schools are just one of four options proposed by RTTT.

Paula Caldarella said...

I am not completely through Diane Ravitch's book, but here is an interesting tidbit:

"In July 2006, the U.S. DOE, QUIETLY (my emphasis) released a study comparing students in public and private schools...public school students performed as well or better than comparable children in private schools. Private school students scored higher on average, but that advantage disappeared when they were compared to public school students with similar characteristics. In Mathematics, 4th grade students in public schools were nearly half a year ahead of their peers in private schools. Only in 8th grade reading did private school students surpass their public school counterparts.

In 2003, a NAEP mathmatics assessment, after controlling for demographics...the study found that the advantages of private and charter schools disappeared and, in some instances, demonstrated the superiority of regular public schools. When the 2007 NAEP test results were released, they showed that students in charter schools had lower scores than students in public schools in fourth-grade reading, fourth-grade math and 8th grade math. Only in 8th grade reading did charter school students score the same as public school students. When students were compared by race and ethnicity, there was little difference in the test scores of charter and regular public schools, except that 8th grade Hispanic students in charter schools did better in math.

Anonymous said...

Parents call in national firms to launch new schools

Kim Gokce said...

Very interesting article - thanks for the share! I'm syndicating that one via Community Radar.

Very disturbing one, too. I do not have the knowledge to be a fair judge but intuitively I feel very cautious about the charter "mania" sweeping the country.

With so much money at stake and with the Obama administration raising the stakes with more Federal dollars, I become more skeptical. Seems like a 50/50 proposition but I guess if a community become desperate enough ...

Paula Caldarella said...

Maureen Downey linked to this in the Get Schooled blog yesterday. It is one of Gwinnett County's latest responses with regards to the Charter School lawsuit. Makes for interesting reading about GCSS alleges Charter Schools are receiving more monies than regular schools.

Dekalbparent said...

Interesting presentation at ELPC meeting yesterday. Don McChesney and Paul Womack were there, as well as Terry Segovis.

The two Board members participated and answered some audience questions, and I had the impression that they were uncomfortable with the clear interest the audience showed about charter schools. I conclude that neither one of them is a charter school fan.

They wanted to be sure, however, that people realized that creating a charter would in no way allow the school to avoid the budget cuts, since charter schools are public schools and subject to every DCSS budget cut.

Anonymous said...

This is what a Fantastic Charter School is capable of doing that many regular schools are failing to accomplish:

This is happening in Pennsylvania, but it could easily happen here in DeKalb.