IDEA Public Schools announced it would build a new school in Round Rock—IDEA Round Rock Tech Academy—in a Sept. 20 news release. IDEA has 14 schools and 6,000 students enrolled in Austin and plans to add 16 more schools during the next four years, per the release. view article arw

Longview ISD officials have scheduled a series of meetings to gather community input as they consider applying for district-wide charter status. Board President and Place 4 Trustee Ginia Northcutt said the district has wanted to turn all of its schools into charter campuses since Senate Bill 1882 was passed in 2017. view article arw

William J. Gumbert has prepared statistical analyses of charter performance in Texas, based on state data. Charters boast of their “success,” but the reality is far different from their claims. They don’t enroll similar demographics, their attrition rate is staggering, and their “wait lists” are unverified.Their claims are a marketing tool. view article arw

America has been fooled by the charter school industry for too long.  The popular myth that charter schools were invented by unions to empower teachers and communities so that students would have better options is as phony as a three dollar bill.   The concept always was about privatizing schools to make money. view article arw

The NYOS Charter School has opened an investigation with the Austin Police Department after a student allegedly made a threat against the Lamar campus over the weekend. The executive director of the school, Kathleen Zimmermann, told KVUE Sunday that students first alerted staff of the situation.  view article arw

Los Altos has a problem. Wealthy residents opened a charter school for their children, drawing money from the public schools to support their charter. The Bullis School is a private school that calls itself a “public” school and is funded by public dollars. Vladimir Ivanovic wrote the following update on the community’s efforts to compel the Bullis School to act like a public school, not a private academy. Vladimir is a member of the elected Los Altos school board. He is also earning his doctorate in education policy at San Jose State University and has been a member of the Network for Public Education since 2013. view article arw

The leading Democratic candidates for president took on some hot-button issues in education during Thursday night’s debate, and illustrated the divide in how they think and talk about charter schools. Held at Texas Southern University, a historically black university in Houston, the debate featured 10 candidates: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang. view article arw

Lawmakers sent Gov. Gavin Newsom legislation Tuesday that overhauls the way California approves charter schools. The measure approved by the Assembly on a 56-16 vote would no longer let the state authorize charter schools, leaving that responsibility to school districts and county governments. The legislation also would require that all charter school teachers be credentialed, while giving existing teachers five years to meet that requirement. view article arw

Route 522 in northern New Mexico stretches about 40 miles from the town of Taos up to the Colorado border, offering sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. Along the two-lane road, rundown buildings and tiny towns appear and disappear in a matter of seconds. It’s exactly what you’d imagine rural New Mexico to be, save for one anomaly: hidden among the pine trees about a half-mile off route 522 sits Roots and Wings Community School, one of a growing number of charter schools operating in rural communities across the country. As of the 2017-18 school year, 809 rural charter schools nationwide served approximately 256,000 students. Though that’s only about one-tenth of all charter schools and students nationwide, it represents substantial growth over the last decade. Between 2007 and 2017, the number of charter schools operating in rural communities increased 22 percent and the number of students attending rural charters increased 64 percent. view article arw

More parents are transferring their students from public school districts to local charter schools as the alternative public schools continue to open in suburban areas, such as northwest Harris County. Within Spring and Klein’s nine ZIP code area, there are 19 charter schools with at least one more planning to open next year. In the 2018-19 school year, 1,036 students within Klein ISD’s boundaries transferred out to charter schools, while 2,207 Spring ISD students and 3,477 Cy-Fair ISD students opted to attend charter schools, according to the Texas Education Agency’s student transfer report. view article arw

The world-renowned Texas Boys Choir, for 60 years one of the leading classical choirs, is without its top two officials after the recent resignations of artistic director Jason Bishop and chief executive Clint Riley. Bishop, the director for two years, announced his resignation with a fiery Facebook post in a private group, decrying what he called unethical behavior and attacks on his character. Associate artistic director Kerra Simmons will fill in while the choir searches for a new director, according to an announcement from Texas Center for Arts and Academics. view article arw

On a clear morning in late August, 9-year-old Alongkorn Lafargue hops in the back seat of his father's car. He's wearing his school uniform: neatly ironed khakis and a bright blue polo shirt embroidered with the logo of his new charter school, IDEA Oscar Dunn. Alongkorn has been going there only a few weeks, and his dad, Alex Lafargue, says he has struggled to get his son to talk about what it's like. view article arw

Sarah Lahm writes about education in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis. In this post, she says that Democratic candidates should speak out against nonprofit charters. Charter schools, once the darling of politicians on the right and left, have become a hot potato in the Democratic Party 2020 presidential primary with nearly every candidate voicing some level of disapproval of the industry. A common refrain among the candidates is to express opposition to “for-profit charter schools.” Charter school proponents counter these pronouncements by pointing to industry data indicating only 12 percent of charter schools are run by overtly profit-minded entities, and that most charter schools are overseen by outfits that have a nonprofit, tax-exempt status. view article arw

The problem with charter schools isn’t that they have been implemented badly.  Nor is it that some are for-profit and others are not.  The problem is the concept, itself.  Put simply: charter schools are a bad idea. They always were a bad idea. And it is high time we put an end to them. view article arw

It’s a treat to fly at the front of the plane, where seats are bigger and fares are roughly double the cost of a coach seat. But for the state’s most prolific charter school operator, first-class air travel is allowed. In addition, the company will pay for the travel of employee spouses, family members and “companions” of executives as well.  That’s just one of many illustrations of the different rules that apply to charter schools in Texas compared to public schools, where funding for even the most basic needs always seems in short supply. view article arw

Rhode Island has seen an 11% increase in the number of students applying to charter schools, with only enough spots for about 1,800 this school year. WPRI-TV reports that more than 10,300 students applied for the spring lottery, compared to more than 9,200 students who applied last year for just over 1,700 open slots. view article arw

Liberty Common School in Fort Collins is the first in the state to apply for a waiver to Colorado’s new sex ed law. view article arw

A major agreement aimed at setting stronger standards for charter schools stands to intensify power struggles for seats on the Board of Education in Los Angeles, setting the stage for more contentious and costly election battles between charter advocates and allies of the teachers union, a cross section of education leaders and experts said. Under a compromise announced last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom, local school boards will have more authority to reject new charter school petitions, making their decisions crucial to the growth of the charter sector. The proposed law, which still needs legislative approval, also requires charter school teachers to hold the same credentials as those in traditional schools and attempts to increase accountability for charters — moves touted as better serving students. view article arw

The doors of the newest Primrose School in The Woodlands area have been revolving the past few weeks with four to five families per day interested in visiting the facility for a tour. “Families have been waiting for us to open, and now they’re starting to come in and enroll their children,” School Director Grace Sarman said of the Hughes Landing accredited early childhood education center open to children from six weeks of age to four years old. view article arw

After months of debate and disagreements, the charter lobby and its critics have reached an agreement to reform the current charter law, the first time it has been reformed in 25 years. Both Governors Schwarzenegger and Brown protected the charter industry. Gavin Newsom took an active role in bringing the two sides together. view article arw

Old articel but current topic - js - Proclaiming May 6-12 National Charter Schools Week, President Trump led off a huge public relations campaign by the charter industry to ballyhoo the supposed success of these schools, although that success is a matter of bitter and ongoing dispute. But one outcome these mostly taxpayer-funded but privately-run schools certainly have is that they financially harm the public education system.  “The term ‘existential threat’ is way overused, but charters and vouchers really are a threat to the existence of public education,” Brad Miller tells me. Miller is a highly-rated practicing attorney and a former US House of Representative from North Carolina. While in office, he warned Congress of the risks of the subprime mortgage market in 2004, five years before that market melted and brought about the collapse of the housing loan and banking industry and the Great Recession. view article arw

KIPP New Orleans Schools will run John F. Kennedy High School next school year in the wake of a graduation scandal that left half the Gentilly charter high school’s senior class ineligible for diplomas and many frantically spending the summer trying to earn missing credits, the NOLA Public Schools district announced via email Thursday. “As a district team, we have engaged with students, families, alumni, and other stakeholders to hear their feedback on adopting a new operator for the historic Gentilly high school,” district Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. said in the announcement. “In light of recent events at John K. Kennedy High School, I made this decision expeditiously to ensure students knew their future with the school.” view article arw

At least two Waco Independent School District trustees have raised concerns about the school board’s pick for superintendent, including her ability to lead a district as diverse as Waco and her personal and professional ties to board president Angela Tekell. Board members Norman Manning and Stephanie Korteweg both told the Tribune-Herald they worry Susan Kincannon, the Belton ISD superintendent and lone finalist for the open Waco ISD superintendent position, does not have enough experience with a student population that looks like Waco ISD’s. view article arw

For years, traditional public school districts have come to Harrisburg concerned about the costs of charter and cybercharter education. Local property taxes continued to increase, but districts had little to show for it as they were sending that money directly to the charter schools. view article arw

MIDLAND, Texas – IDEA Public Schools has announced plans to expansion into the Permian Basin of Texas and that an educator who got her start in the Rio Grande Valley will head the project.  Bethany Solis has been named executive director of IDEA Permian Basin. A product of the Teach for America program, Solis first joined IDEA in 2005 as a second-grade teacher at IDEA Donna.  view article arw

Mike Feinberg, co-founder of KIPP in 1994, was swiftly fired in 2018 after two KIPP graduates accused him of sexual impropriety.  Now Feinberg is suing KIPP.  Valerie Strauss reports:  A founder of the KIPP charter school network who was fired in 2018 after being accused of sexual misconduct is suing the organization, saying the allegations were false and that his career and reputation have been destroyed by the actions of KIPP. view article arw

In a move to open more public charter schools in Alabama, lawmakers quadrupled the amount of money flowing to the state commission in charge of approving them.  Since 2017, the Alabama Public Charter School Commission has received $200,000 to fund the work of the commission, which functions as an independent state agency overseeing the approval and appeal process for charter schools view article arw

Repost!  The Texas Education Agency (“TEA”) has released its 2019 Academic Accountability Ratings for taxpayer funded schools. In this regard, ratings were assigned to both locally governed, community-based school districts and State approved, privately-operated charters that comprise the State’s “dual education” system (see “TXSchools.gov”). In total, 1,089 taxpayer funded entities received ratings from TEA: 1,020 community-based school districts and 169 State approved, privately-operated charters (“charters”). Charters are private organizations that the State unilaterally approves to operate schools in local communities with taxpayer funding. Originally authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1995, the State has provided privately-operated charters with over $20 billion of taxpayer funding to improve student learning in local communities. The “charter promise” was that in exchange for the State transferring the control of local schools to private organizations and allowing charters to be more autonomous with taxpayer funding, charters would produce better student outcomes. view article arw

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State investigators have raided a vendor for an online Oklahoma charter school whose enrollment, funding and some of its leaders are at the center of an investigation.  Agents from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation searched the home of a man who runs a nonprofit that works with Epic Charter Schools to provide coaching services for sports. The search warrant affidavit filed Wednesday raises new allegations of embezzlement, forgery and other violations against Epic co-founder and former superintendent David Chaney, chief financial officer Josh Brock, and two present and two former board members. view article arw

Texas: The IDEA Charter FlimFlam

August 2108:40 AM
 

Betsy DeVos has awarded more than $200 million to the IDEA charter chain to expand in Texas and beyond. IDEA plans to swamp San Antonio, El Paso, and other cities.  IDEA promises that all students will graduate and go to college, but it doesn’t promise that all students will make it to senior year, or that they will make it in college (earlier studies by Ed Fuller, then at the University of Texas, now at Penn State, found that IDEA graduates had high dropout rates from college).  Read this study of IDEA to learn more. view article arw

San Antonio charter schools received grades from the Texas Education Agency on Thursday that evaluate the previous year’s performance and show whether district and campus performance grew, declined, or remained flat.  In most cases, local charter school districts improved year-over-year. However, five charter districts – including KIPP Texas and Great Hearts Texas, which last year operated a total of 10 campuses in San Antonio – received lower grades than in the previous year. Great Hearts Texas fell from an A to a B, while KIPP Texas got a B for the second year in a row. view article arw

On June 10, Azeema Khan and Mir Ali took ownership of The Goddard School of Keller, 8801 Ray White Road, Fort Worth. The year-round school offers child care services for children ages 6 weeks-8 years. 817-428-1093. www.goddardschool.com view article arw

With 10,000 students and $90 million in state funding, the Georgia Cyber Academy should be running at full speed. Instead, it has been hit by legal problems, tech issues and communication problems, leaving parents fuming. view article arw