The superintendents of the region's two largest school districts called Tuesday for a “community conversation” about the impact of charter schools’ growth on traditional public school systems. They said recent losses of students to charters had hurt their enrollments and budgets to a degree that prompted both to seek a local government response.  In a meeting with the San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board, Northside Independent School District’s Brian Woods and North East ISD’s Brian Gottardy suggested city and county governments can and should take action to slow or control charter school expansion. view article arw

Carl Cohn is one of the most respected educators in California. He has been a teacher, principal, and superintendent. He led Long Beach, where he earned a reputation as a calm problem solver. I got to know him when he was superintendent in San Diego, and I was researching the first district to embrace and impose top-down Corporate Reform. After voters booted out the Reformers, Carl was brought in to restore calm and trust. When Carl Cohn speaks, I listen. In this article, he tells the public what is at stake in the contest for Superintendent of Public Instruction in California. view article arw

The French School of San Antonio, originally set to open this fall, delayed its start date because of challenges securing a facility.Co-founder Katia Edrenkina told the Rivard Report that she and her business partner, Estelle De Oliveira, had to “make a tough call” to not open the school this year when Northeast Baptist Church backed out of a leasing agreement before it was signed. view article arw

VIDOR — Tropical Storm Harvey flooded two Vidor ISD schools, and the fate of those campuses was unknown.  We are now learning that FEMA has said yes to Vidor ISD to build a new school to replace the heavily-damaged Oak Forest Elementary School.  The federal government will fund the majority of the cost to replace the elementary school. view article arw

Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel writes here about a voucher school that is a sham, but the state doesn’t care. Does anyone in Florida care about accountability for taxpayers’ money, or about the quality of education? I urge you to subscribe to the Orlando Sentinel to follow its fearless coverage. I did. And remember, when you read this story, that this is what Betsy DeVos describes as the “best” state because she wants everyone to follow Florida’s example of charters, vouchers, and no accountability for public dollars. view article arw

It turns out that Bill Ackman is making good money in the most unexpected of places: financing charter schools for low-income kids. Since 2011, the billionaire hedge fund manager has invested $20 million of his own money in the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, which was started by former tennis star Andre Agassi and has built 79 new charter schools in poor neighborhoods around the country. The impact investment, which Ackman made via his charitable foundation, has netted annual returns north of 10%. view article arw

This past summer I had opportunity to visit the Hawkins community schools in Los Angeles. What I haven’t talked about publicly is that I also was also invited to visit Magnolia Science Academy 3 (MSA3)   which is co-located at Curtiss Middle School in Carson California during the same trip. The Magnolia charters are affiliated with the Gulen schools, the second largest network of charters in the United States. view article arw

Oklahoma Watch reports that charter schools are facing increased pressure to grow, and many have lists of students waiting for space. Charter-school leaders say they can’t afford to build new buildings because, unlike district schools, state law doesn’t allow them to issue bonds or receive property taxes. The schools do receive state aid and federal funds. But charter officials are pushing harder to get more public dollars. The state Senate recently held an interim study on the topic of charter school funding, and a lawsuit filed last year against the State Board of Education seeking equitable charter-school funding is still pending. Nothing has been filed in the case since December, however. There is also talk of pushing legislation next year to address the issue. You can read the full story here.  view article arw

When it comes to traditional public schools and charter schools, many take sides — but Todd Williams says both models have strengths. He's president and CEO of The Commit Partnership, a Dallas-based nonprofit working to boost student outcomes in North Texas. He also helped establish Uplift Williams Preparatory, a Dallas charter school. During the Texas Tribune Festival, which just wrapped up in Austin, Williams was part of an education panel moderated by KERA's Krys Boyd. Listen to or read highlights from the panel below. view article arw

Impact of Charter Schools on Local Districts - Below is student enrollment and financial data for three neighboring schools: two traditional public schools and one charter school. Redland Oaks Elementary, Driscoll Middle School, and Great Hearts Northern Oaks are all located in San Antonio, Texas view article arw

The turmoil continues at one of Dallas’ largest and oldest charter schools as two more of the school’s top officials are out. On Thursday night, the Board of Directors of the A.W. Brown Leadership Academy voted to terminate the school’s chief financial officer. In an email to the CBS 11 News I-Team, Interim Superintendent Anthony Jefferson confirmed the board voted to terminate CFO James Montfort for insubordination. view article arw

First it was KIPP, then it was YES Prep and now IDEA has become the point of the destroy public education (DPE) spear in Texas. KIPP flourished because GAP founders Don and Doris Fisher gave them big money. YES Prep so excited Oprah that she presented them with a million dollar check during a TV interview. Now, John Arnold has given IDEA $10 million to expand into Houston and the El Paso based Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development has pledged another $10 million for IDEA to expand into El Paso. view article arw

Over the summer, Families Empowered, a nonprofit group that helps Texas families navigate their school choice options, revealed an eye-popping number. For the 2017-18 school year, San Antonio families submitted nearly 40,000 applications to the city’s three largest charter school networks: Great Hearts Texas, KIPP San Antonio (now KIPP Texas), and IDEA Public Schools. Six years ago, those networks combined enrolled some 800 San Antonio students, according to Choose to Succeed, a group working to attract charter schools to the city. Today, the organization puts the number of students in schools it supports at 16,600. The goal is 60,000 by 2026. view article arw

The start of the 2018-19 school year brought a new charter school to the Cy-Fair area. Tuition-free public charter school system YES Prep opened its newest location this August at 14741 Yorktown Plaza Drive—near the Beltway 8 and Hwy. 290 intersection—with a founding class of 145 sixth-graders, Director Laura Washington Dugan said. This is the 18th campus for the Houston-based school system, which launched in 1998. view article arw

The IDEA charter chain has plans to open 20 new charter schools in a part of Texas that doesn’t need them. We have plenty of evidence that charters do not outperform traditional district schools. Instead, they suck out resources and the students they want, weakening the district schools like a parasite. David Knight and David deMatthews warn the people of El Paso that “choice” is not all that it is cracked up to be. You will not be surprised to learn that IDEA is funded by the usual billionaire “philanthropists,” who want to disrupt public education and privatize it. view article arw

Charters that take everyone’s tax dollars but are no longer subject to all stakeholder input = taxpayers are no longer stakeholders. In Texas, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has been re-drafting its charter application process and requirements and included only pro-charter organizations in “stakeholder” meetings.  This communication came from a source in Texas:   view article arw

IDEA Public Charter Schools plans to open 20 campuses across El Paso over the next five years. The expansion will provide students with additional educational choices and may stimulate competition with traditional public schools, but local residents need to be mindful of how such significant growth might impact public education across the city and for all of its students. First, it is important for local residents to understand that researchers consistently find that public charter schools and traditional public schools perform at similar levels, view article arw

Long, long ago, almost everyone went to the neighborhood public school. The school had a principal, who was overseen by the superintendent. The superintendent answered to a local school board. Those were not idyllic times, to be sure, but no one ever imagined that there was profit to be found in the public schools, or that the public schools would one day be part of “the education industry.” All that is changed now. There are still neighborhood public schools, but now there is an industry that relies on entrepreneurs and market forces. You don’t have to be an educator to manage or operate or start a charter school (think tennis star Andre Agassi or football hero Deion Sanders). There are tax breaks for investors in charter schools. Charter school properties are bought and sold, like franchises or just ordinary real estate. They have no organic connection to the local community. The profit for entrepreneurs is to be found in the real estate transactions. view article arw

Premier High School - San Angelo, a ResponsiveEd® charter school, opened earlier this year and celebrated on September 18 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4102 Sunset Drive. Chamber of Commerce President Bruce Partain along with the Concho Cadre volunteer host welcoming group congratulated Campus Director Bree Sherwood on a successful start to the school year. “We’re proud that we’ve introduced a school of choice to this community. Traditional high schools aren't for everyone and now some students that might have fallen through the cracks have an opportunity to graduate,” says Sherwood “We offer a small, relaxed environment with a flexible schedule that is convenient for kids looking to recover credits or graduate early.” view article arw

Doral Academy Texas, a tuition-free charter school that will focus on science, technology, engineering and math, is in the process of establishing a campus in the Kyle/Buda area that will open for the 2020-21 school year. The school will be part of Doral Academy Inc., a network of charter schools that was founded in Doral, Fla.—just outside of Miami—and now has six schools there, as well as five schools in Las Vegas and one in Colorado. view article arw

Great Hearts Academies, a nonprofit charter schools operator, will build its fourth campus in San Antonio on the city's Northwest side. The new school, called Great Hearts Forest Heights, will be on on 11 acres near Prue Road and Research Drive and will break ground later this month. It is expected to open by August 2019. The property was sold for an undisclosed amount by the Judith N. Morton Trust and the Clifford E. Morton Estate Trust. The deal was brokered by InSite EFS LLC on behalf of Great Hearts. view article arw

Eleven children and five adults were transported to local hospitals after reports of a gas leak near KIPP Nexus School and St. Ambrose Catholic School in northwest Houston. The Houston Fire Department says it happened near the KIPP campus located in the 4200 block of Watonga Boulevard. Gas was released from a safety valve near the bayou in the 4000 block of Watonga. view article arw

KIPP San Antonio, a local public charter school system, received a $1 million boost from local philanthropist and businessman Harvey Najim. On Wednesday, KIPP Esperanza Dual Language Academy honored Najim, revealing a portion of its academy that was named after him. view article arw

East Valley charter-school owner and state lawmaker Eddie Farnsworth is poised for a payday of up to $30 million after the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools approved the transfer of his for-profit charter-school chain to a newly formed non-profit company on Monday. In a 10-0 vote, the board OK'd Farnsworth's request to transfer the charter from the for-profit Benjamin Franklin Charter School, which operates four campuses, to a Queen Creek non-profit company with the same name. view article arw

Best news of the day! The charter-friendly State Board of Education turned down Rocketship expansion plan, after 25 speakers denounce it. Chair of board voted to support. “In a 9-1 vote, the board agreed with the California Department of Education’s recommendation to deny the charter organization’s petition to establish a new school in San Pablo near Richmond, which the West Contra Costa Unified school board and Contra Costa County board of education had also denied. Citing concerns about the charter school’s financial and educational plans, some board members said Rocketship – which operates 10 schools in San Jose, one in Antioch, one in Concord and one in Redwood City where the company is headquartered – may be trying to expand beyond its capacity. Board President Michael Kirst voted against denying the appeal. view article arw

Stop kidding yourself.  Charter schools are a bad deal. It doesn’t matter if they’re for-profit or nonprofit.  It doesn’t matter if they’re cyber or brick-and-mortar institutions.  It doesn’t matter if they have a history of scandal or success.  Every single charter school in the United States of America is either a disaster or a disaster waiting to happen.  The details get complicated, but the idea is really quite simple. view article arw

State education officials did not seem to be aware the two public schools were located in migrant shelters, despite approving their applications.  If you ask Trinity Charter School's superintendent, Bokenkamp and New Hope are not so different from the average public school.  Walk in and you'll see colorful artwork on the walls. Certified teachers lead small classrooms, paying extra attention to students who need more of an assist. Kids, many who don't speak English, arrive on their first day, nervous about their new environments. view article arw

Forget all you have heard about tens of thousands of students on waiting lists for charter schools. That’s a marketing ploy. When people think a product is rare and hard to get, they really want it. When Bernie Madoff said that his fund was closed, people literally begged to get into his fund. view article arw

Private schools around Central Austin offer a variety of specialized instruction, from different religious affiliations to various types of curriculum. This guide features primary and middle schools with grade levels through eighth grade and high schools with grade levels through 12th grade.  This list is not comprehensive. view article arw

The TEA shut down the campus on Friday. It's unclear how long the school will be closed.  HOUSTON – The Northshore campus of The Rhodes School closes their doors, after failing to meet fire safety standards. The Harris County Marshal’s office notified the Texas Education Agency on Wednesday of their findings, following an investigation into the school’s Northshore campus. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) --With just days until school starts, hundreds of outraged parents are now scrambling to find a place to put their kids after a charter school is being closed by HISD. The decision by the HISD board of trustees to close Kandy Stripe Academy blindsided parents and teachers at the school. The vote to close the school came on Thursday of last week, but some parents are only finding out about that now. view article arw

The principal suddenly resigned after the school's board accused him of fraud, but the controversy raises questions about the school's links to the Gülen movement.  Just before the end of the last school year, the principal of Oakland's Bay Area Technology School, Hayri Hatipoglu, suddenly resigned. At least four other senior staff and two of the charter school's five board members also abruptly quit. As a result, the organization was thrown into chaos. And then Hatipoglu disappeared. According to several sources, he left the country with his family for Australia, where he is a citizen. view article arw

“Why aren’t more school districts in Idaho working with charter schools,” I was asked by a friend recently. This seemed especially odd as 14 of the 44 schools (32 percent) on the state’s list of top performing high schools were public charter schools. The most common way for school districts and public charter schools to collaborate is through charter school authorizing. In Idaho, school districts can authorize public charter schools along with the Idaho Public Charter School Commission and the state’s public colleges and universities. Authorizers are the entities that approve a public charter school and determine, on the basis of performance, whether to extend or terminate its license to operate. view article arw

There are just days left until the start of the Houston ISD school year and hundreds of parents are left scrambling to find a new school for their kids because the district has abruptly cancelled its affiliation with a charter school. Suddenly, Kandy Stripe Academy Charter School will not open this upcoming school year. Many parents are just finding out and were told by automated voice message. Rosalinda Scallion, a parent at Kandy Stripe is furious. view article arw

Democracy Prep is leaving the District of Columbia. Its charter school is a failure. Interestingly, Democracy Prep was chosen to take over the Andre Agassi Charter School in Las Vegas after that well-funded school failed. Charters come, charters go. Kids, go find another school. Tough luck. Better luck next time. Walmart opens and closes stores all the time. What’s the big deal? You know, disruption. view article arw