National Alliance for Public Charter Schools 6/16/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now (50CAN) and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) today released a report providing specific policy recommendations to help states better hold full-time virtual charter schools accountable for student results. While the report notes that some students do well in a full-time virtual charter school environment, too many of these schools are not providing a quality educational program to the vast majority of their students, while enrolling too many who are simply not a good fit for attending a fully online school. The report, titled A Call to Action to Improve the Quality of Full-Time Virtual Charter Public Schools, builds on previous studies by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), and Mathematica, that found that when compared to their classroom-based traditional public school counterparts, full-time virtual charter schools fail across nearly every metric. For example, in math and reading in a given year, full-time virtual charter school students learn essentially no math and less than half the amount of reading as compared to their peers in classroom-based traditional public schools. When comparing racial makeup, economic background, native language, and taking into account students with special needs, all subgroups performed worse than their classroom-based peers. “Though some full-time virtual charter schools can effectively serve the unique needs of the students they enroll, overall, these schools are not producing great outcomes,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “A few states have opted to simply ban full-time virtual charter schools, but this solution risks limiting parental choice without giving otherwise high-performing virtual charter schools a chance to operate. This is why we need a better regulatory framework to govern full-time virtual charter schools.” Currently, more than 180,000 students attend 135 full-time virtual charter schools in 23 states and the District of Columbia. By outlining the problems and offering a roadmap for legislators and authorizers for how best to combat them, the National Alliance, 50CAN and NACSA are calling for an overhaul to policies governing full-time virtual charter schools. Recommendations include:
Digital Notebook Blog by Evan Brandt Sunday, August 28, 2016
Invisible though they may be to the naked eye, school district borders increasingly trap low-income students in cash-strapped districts struggling to provide the resources available to their wealthier neighbors. I sometimes wonder how the inherent unfairness that exists in education funding continues without some kind of revolution taking place. And then I wake up and remember I live in Pennsylvania. Perhaps because its a bit complicated and takes more than 15 minutes to understand. Perhaps because not enough people feel any kind of connection with those most adversely affected. Or maybe its just the pall of overall apathy. Usually, people tend to wake up a bit when faced with examples of kids getting the shaft. After all, we all want the best for our children right. Maybe we need to broaden the definition of "our children" a bit. Not that we needed any more evidence of the way cleaving to the property tax as the primary funding source for public education undermines students not fortunate enough to live in a wealthy zip code, but there's more anyway. It comes in the form of a new report by an organization called EdBuild, a non-profit national organization dedicating to bringing "common sense and fairness to the way states fund public schools."
Incoming Emmaus High freshman Sigourney Coyle had already been offered an accommodation to avoid changing in the school locker room when her speech to the school board about transgender inclusive policies went viral. "I'm here to discuss the letter that [President] Obama sent," she began. "I'm a woman, I identify as a woman, and you can't make me change in front of someone I don't identify with and who is physically male." In the letter she refers to, often casually referred to as the "transgender bathroom law," the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Education assert transgender students are protected by Title IX and provide a framework for how to comply with that new classification. "A school may provide separate facilities on the basis of sex, but must allow transgender students access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity," according to the most hotly debated portion of that guidance, kicking off lawsuits around the country. As those lawsuits work their way through the courts, school districts hoping for a clear answer on how to interpret the mandate are in a bind.
By Jim Deegan | For lehighvalleylive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on August 26, 2016 at 2:52 PM, updated August 26, 2016 at 3:05 PM
Innovative Arts Academy Charter School in Catasauqua released loan documents Friday that identify the lender as Charter Solutions LLC, a limited liability corporation at 1177 Sixth St. in Whitehall Township — the same address as Atiyeh's Whitehall Manor. Atiyeh also is the fledgling school's landlord at 330 Howertown Road in Catasauqua. The loan documents provide the latest link yet between Atiyeh and the charter school amid a swirling controversy about who's responsible for a mystery mailer that promoted the charter school and denigrated Liberty High School.
Dirty tactics smear efforts of charter schools | Editorial
By Express-Times opinion staff on August 28, 2016 at 6:00 AM
Is this any way to promote a charter school?
The pending debut of the Innovative Arts Academy Charter School in Catasauqua in September might have been uneventful, considering school officials said they had met their goal of enrolling 300 students for the sixth-to-12th-grade school. Then a newspaper ad in the Morning Call and an anonymous mailer raised the school's profile dramatically. They touted the drug bust of a Liberty High School student last year, asking parents" "Why worry about this type of student at school?" and advising them to "Come visit Arts Academy Charter School." Reaction to the unsigned mailer, which listed the school's address, was immediate. Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent Joseph Roy called it a low blow and an impetus for the Legislature to reform the state's charter school act. Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, a critic of the state's approach to charter schools, said he wants to know who drew up and authorized the promotions. He asked the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General to look into it.
Diane Ravitch’s Blog By dianeravitch August 28, 2016 //
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association conducted a study of costs, comparing charter schools and public schools, and concluded that the charter schools have higher salaries for those at the top and spend twice as much on administration as public schools.
“WHEN SCHOOLS get it right, whether they’re traditional public schools or public charter schools, let’s figure out what’s working and share it with schools across America.” Hillary Clinton was booed at the National Education Association’s summer convention for that self-evidently sensible proposition. The reaction speaks volumes about labor’s uniformed and self-interested opposition to charter schools and contempt for what’s best for children. Now the union has been joined by a couple of organizations that purport to be champions of opportunity.
In separate conventions over recent weeks, the NAACP, the nation’s oldest black civil rights organization, and the Movement for Black Lives, a network of Black Lives Matter organizers, passed resolutions criticizing charter schools and calling for a moratorium on their growth. Charters were faulted by the groups for supposedly draining money from traditional public schools and allegedly fueling segregation. The NAACP measure, which still must be ratified by the board before becoming official, went so far as to liken the expansion of charters to “predatory lending practices” that put low-income communities at risk. No doubt that will come as a surprise to the millions of parents who have seen their children well-served by charters and to the additional million more who are on charter schoolwaiting lists for their sons and daughters. “You’ve got thousands and thousands of poor black parents whose children are so much better off because these schools exist,” Howard Fuller of the Black Alliance for Educational Options told the New York Times.
John Oliver, on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight” did a funny, biting segment on the charter schools, which educate a fraction of American school children — somewhere around 5 percent — but get a great deal more attention from policymakers then the numbers would predict.
2016 National Anthem Sing-A-Long - September 9th
American Public Education Foundation Website
The Star-Spangled Banner will be sung by school children nationwide on Friday, September 9, 2016 at 10:00am PST and 1:00pm EST. Students will learn about the words and meaning of the flag and sing the first stanza. This will be the third annual simultaneous sing-a-long event created by the APEF-9/12 Generation Project. The project aims to bring students together – as the world came together – on September 12, 2001.
The Early Bird Discount Deadline has been Extended to Wednesday, August 31, 2016!
PA Principals Association website Tuesday, August 2, 2016 10:43 AM
To receive the Early Bird Discount, you must be registered by August 31, 2016:
Members: $300 Non-Members: $400
Featuring Three National Keynote Speakers: Eric Sheninger, Jill Jackson & Salome Thomas-EL