NAPCS President & CEO Nina Rees on the 2012 Election
The Sacramento Bee printed a statement on the 2012 presidential election by Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “The 2012 election is an important moment in the public charter schools movement,” Rees wrote. “…Voters in Georgia rejected the status quo and created conditions that support the growth of high-quality public charter schools that are accountable for student achievement. Now, charter applicants who are rejected by school districts will have access to a fair appeals process. In Washington state, where votes are still being counted, voters are on the verge of making their state the 42nd with a public charter school law…In addition, the re-election of President Obama maintains leadership for charter schools at the national level…With the support of voters in Georgia, Washington and other states, and with the leadership from elected officials in state houses and Washington, D.C., the best days are ahead for the public charter school community.”
Source: Sacramento Bee
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Nina Rees on Georgia, Washington State Charter School Votes
After Georgia voters approved a constitutional amendment to restore the state’s charter schools commission, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools president and CEO Nina Rees told the Huffington Post: "The trend so far, which had been against using initiatives and referenda [to support charter school growth], has turned in Georgia.” With about half the votes counted, Washington state looked poised to pass a measure which would make it the 42nd state allowing the creation of public charter schools. "These votes trickle in via mail and it could be several days before the vote is finalized," Rees said. "But the people on the ground there are very optimistic.”
Source: Huffington Post
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Results Still Unclear For Washington State Charter Initiative
According to the Seattle Times, with about half of the expected ballots counted Wednesday night, Washington state’s Initiative 1240, which would allow up to 40 public charter schools to be established in the next five years, looked poised to pass with 51 percent of the vote. Mailed ballots, postmarked by Tuesday, are expected to continue to come in throughout the week. I-1240, based on a model law created by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, would make Washington the 42nd state to allow public charter schools. Three other times -- in 1995, 2000 and 2004 – Washington voters rejected charter schools. The measure would allow nonprofit operators to start charters approved by either a new statewide commission or a local school board authorized by the state school board to approve charters. Some of the nation’s most successful public charter school operators are looking to open schools in Washington if the measure passes.
Source: Seattle Times
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Georgia’s New Charter Schools Commission Could Crank Up In February
According to Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Athens Banner-Herald, Georgia’s revived Charter Schools Commission could start meeting again as soon as February, after the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and House Speaker submit their nominations for the seven-person board. Georgia’s General Assembly changed some of the commission’s rules earlier this year. Now, only statewide schools such as online charters can apply directly to the commission. In addition, commission-approved charters will get only state money, and not as much funding overall as traditional public schools, which receive a share of local property taxes. More than 58 percent of Georgia voters said “yes” to re-creating the commission. In some counties in metropolitan Atlanta, the percentages were much higher, such as heavily Democratic Clayton County, where 71 percent of voters approved the amendment, as well as Republican-leaning Gwinnett and Cobb counties, where 63 and 64 percent of voters approved the amendment.
Sources: GPB, Athens Banner-Herald
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D.C. Charter Board Releases School Ratings
According to the Washington Post, the D.C. Public Charter School Board released their second-annual ratings of the city’s public charter schools, sorting them into high, middle and low-performers. The scores are based on progress and achievement on standardized tests as well as other measures, such as graduation rates. Of the 64 campuses assigned ratings, 20 were “Tier 1” performers, making them eligible for surplus city school buildings and a streamlined process for expanding enrollment. Thirty-five campuses were rated Tier 2. The rating system is designed to get tougher each year so that schools continue to improve to earn the same score, said Naomi DeVeaux, the board’s deputy director. “You can’t tread water and stay a Tier 2 school,” she said. Nine campuses were in the bottom tier, making them subject to possible closure. The board plans to implement a rating system next year for schools that aren’t subject to standardized tests, such as early childhood and adult education schools.
Source: Washington Post