Prominent charter networks eye fresh territory
A handful of prominent charter school networks that have won praise for their academic performance and unorthodox models are expanding to new parts of the country, in some cases after receiving recruiting pitches from state and local officials determined to bring proven operators into their communities. Until now, organizations such as Aspire Public Schools and Rocketship Education, both headquartered in California, and BASIS Schools, Inc., of Arizona, which have been held up as worthy of emulation, have focused their work within their states’ boundaries. But in recent months, those organizations and others have announced plans for incremental growth, the success of which could determine whether they venture into other cities and states in the years to follow.
Source: Education Week
Back to Top
D.C. wants experienced charter operators, in a hurry
The D.C. Charter School Board is proposing a streamlined approval process that would allow experienced charter operators with good track records in other cities to open their doors in the District a full year ahead of the current timetable. The new guidelines, unveiled at the board’s June 18 meeting, would allow seasoned operators to apply by October 1, gain approval by December and open in August 2013. Under current rules, prospective school operators are screened in the first quarter of the year and approved in the spring but take more than a year to actually begin classes. Eligible but inexperienced charter applicants would remain on roughly that timetable.
Source: Washington Post
Back to Top
Newark school boss overrules advisory board, will lease 5 buildings to charter schools
Newark’s top education official has overruled the wishes of the district’s advisory school board and will lease five district-owned facilities to charter schools, a district spokeswoman said. Because the district is state controlled, virtually any decision made by the district’s elected school board can be overturned by Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson or acting state Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf. Many parents and community leaders oppose the leases. Anderson said the rental agreements are essential and will generate "much needed revenue" that the district can invest in the roughly 40,000 traditional public school students it serves. "Our singular focus remains working towards the day when every single Newark student attends a school that puts them on the path to college readiness — regardless of the type of school," Anderson said in a statement.
Back to Top
Great Hearts takes fight to open charter schools to state
Great Hearts Academy, the controversial charter school operator seeking to bring a school to wealthy West Nashville, will ask the state for approval to open five K-12 schools in Davidson County after two rejections from the school board. In an email to supporters, Great Hearts Academy CEO Daniel Scoggin and President Peter Bezanson said they would like to open their first of five schools in 2014. Great Hearts will submit its appeal to the state this week, Scoggin and Bezanson said. The Great Hearts proposal has stirred controversy because the Arizona-based nonprofit is the first to request approval for a charter school in an affluent part of town. Great Hearts would like to open five schools across Davidson County, including one in the wealthier West Nashville.
Source: The Tennessean
Back to Top