One Dallas area charter school network’s gradual expansion is having a direct impact on Texas’ 2nd largest school system: Dallas ISD. “Yes, we are aware of the impact,” Pamela Lear, Dallas ISD Chief of Staff said Wednesday. According to DISD data, 13 percent of its K-12 enrollment pool attends charter schools. That’s 20,000 students. Half of that figure is enrolled in one of 19 Uplift Education campuses within Dallas ISD boundaries. With names like Pinnacle and Peak, the 20-year-old charter system has pinpointed operations in South and East Dallas, offering families an option to their traditional neighborhood public school. view article arw

Mary Courtney was one of KIPP Houston's biggest advocates, even as she had to borrow money from relatives to keep up with payments to the charter school. She drove to Austin during School Choice Week, talking to lawmakers about why they should better fund charter schools. She volunteered on campus. She paid thousands in fees so her boys and other students could have access to books and science materials. view article arw

From almost the moment Michigan began allowing charter schools more than 20 years ago, the Detroit school district has been active in authorizing them. But that could soon change. Members of the board of education for the district have indicated in recent meetings they want to have a deep discussion about the district's role as an authorizer—a role that has contributed to the growth of charter schools in the city. view article arw

AUSTIN – Five Generation Twenty-Two charter school applicants today successfully completed the final step of the state’s application process allowing them to begin operation in Texas for the 2018-2019 school year once any contingencies are met. The five are: view article arw

There isn’t much Turkey wouldn’t do to go after Fethullah Gulen, the controversial cleric Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for a failed coup in 2016.  Last fall, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Turkish officials reportedly considered going beyond trying to convince the U.S. to extradite Gulen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania: They discussed “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away,” James Woolsey, a Flynn Intel Group board member and former CIA director, told the Wall Street Journal. view article arw

You may have read in a recent article in the Rivard Report, that five IDEA Public Schools high schools were recently named among the top 10 most challenging high schools in America by The Washington Post. Additionally, IDEA schools were ranked among the best high schools in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report. view article arw

Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza this week withdrew a plan to deeply cut funding for the district’s magnet programs over the next three years, shelving a proposal that had angered parents and some school board members who consider the specialized academic programs to be jewels in an oft-troubled school system. The proposed cuts, outlined in a presentation to the HISD board last week, would have eliminated all extra funding per student to many of the district’s 121 magnet programs by the 2019-2020 school year while cutting funding to many of the other programs by hundreds of dollars per student. Only funding for secondary-language and early-college programs were spared. view article arw

 Five-year-old Nico Rosenblatt cannot speak and struggles to learn because of a rare genetic condition, yet thrives when surrounded by other children in a regular classroom, according to his parents. However, they say neither the public school system nor a charter school in the nation's capital could provide an inclusive environment for him. "It's a fundamental question of civil rights and access to education for us," said Karen Hoerst, Nico's 35-year-old mother. "It's really about: Does our kid who happens to have a developmental disability deserve to be educated alongside his peers or not?" view article arw

AUSTIN — Texas' move to greatly expand virtual charter schools despite their lackluster performance was significantly scaled back Tuesday.   Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, had sought to offer the digital school option to students in kindergarten through second grade to give families options that work for them.  But various education advocates have warned against expanding the charters because they have shown poor student achievement across the state and the nation. One major 2015 study found that kids in virtual charter schools lost up to a year's worth of math education and almost a semester of reading. view article arw

San Antonio Independent School District trustees Monday night approved a partnership that allows the John H. Wood Jr. charter school district to manage SAISD’s alternative school for students with emotional or behavioral disorders. “I think we have the potential to develop a model that really could grow and be used in other districts,” said Bruce Rockstroh, superintendent of the charter school district. “I hope this becomes the future of charter-ISD partnerships.” The charter district has eight schools in Texas, from the Fort Worth area to Karnes City to Crockett, north of Houston. Aside from the Anne Frank Inspire Academy, a high-performing school in Northwest San Antonio, the charter district runs alternative schools located in residential treatment or juvenile justice facilities. One such school is located at the Afton Oaks facility in San Antonio. view article arw

Texas Connections Academy, a virtual school is seeking to expand its reach in Wichita Falls. The academy is a tuition-free, virtual public school for students in 3rd – 12th grade. Wednesday night they hosted an informational session for parents and their children in the Wichita Falls area. Virtual schooling is a lot like home schooling, but instead students enrolled in virtual schooling work with certified teachers who are trained in online learning. view article arw

Sam Houston State University will launch a charter school program this fall by opening eight elementary schools in the Greater Houston area. The first of its kind in the state of Texas, the primary purpose of the charter school program is to allow SHSU student teachers to complete their practicums under the supervision of certified educators, charter school Superintendent Ronny Knox said. “This program has been in development for several years and we are very excited to enroll students and see the schools in action,” said Stacey Edmonson, SHSU College of Education dean. “What is most exciting is the opportunity to positively impact students while increasing our capacity to develop future-ready teachers.”  view article arw

For the seventh year in a row, 100 percent of Uplift Education seniors proudly announced their college choices in front of thousands of family members, peers and school and community leaders. And when you consider that 64 percent of these students will be the first in their families to go to college, this is no small feat. Down the road in Austin, San Antonio, Houston and the Valley, you'll find similar celebrations from other charter school networks producing the same results: 100 percent college acceptance rates for populations of children who are largely first-generation, economically disadvantaged, and come from traditionally underserved areas. view article arw

Sam Houston State University will launch a charter school program this fall by opening eight elementary schools in the Greater Houston area. The first of its kind in the state of Texas, the primary purpose of the charter school program is to allow SHSU student teachers to complete their practicums under the supervision of certified educators, charter school Superintendent Ronny Knox said. “This program has been in development for several years and we are very excited to enroll students and see the schools in action,” said Stacey Edmonson, SHSU College of Education dean. “What is most exciting is the opportunity to positively impact students while increasing our capacity to develop future-ready teachers.”  view article arw

AUSTIN — Hundreds of charter school students, parents and educators rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday to urge lawmakers for one thing: more money.   Charter advocates have long lobbied the state for facilities funding, and a few bills under consideration this session would help them address those needs.   Some legislation would create a per-pupil allowance for facilities, which only 13 other states do. Another bill would give traditional districts incentives to share their under-utilized buildings with a charter school.  view article arw

The sign planted on a sprawling lot in North Austin is hopeful: “Future Home of NYOS Charter School,” it says in big, black block letters. NYOS, which stands for Not Your Ordinary School, bought the vacant 10-acre lot adjacent to its main campus on North Lamar Boulevard nearly a year ago. While the grass is cut and the property well-maintained, there is no sign of construction — even though the school has outgrown two campuses.  That could change quickly if the Legislature passes either of two measures — one by Houston Democrat Harold Dutton or another by New Braunfels Republican Donna Campbell — that would provide more money for facilities to NYOS and other Texas charter schools. view article arw