Posts by NAPCS Pressroom

 

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Media Round Up

The National Alliance in the News  News to Know
  • “D.C. Enrollment Plan Includes Common Form for Charters, Traditional Schools,” Education Week, Nov. 22
  • “A Texas Cheers to Charters,” Houston Chronicle, Nov. 21
  • “Comparing Union and Charter Teacher Contracts,” Wall Street Journal, Nov. 20
  • “Is New York’s Charter-School Era Waning?,” The New Yorker, Nov. 19
  • “Researcher Critiques Study on Special Needs Students in Charters,” Education Week, Nov. 18
Audience Favorites Facebook— Can ‘cultural field trips’ increase critical thinking, recall, tolerance, and empathy among students? Read what a recent study found in our latest blog entry: http://bit.ly/1cDTIKN Twitter— @charteralliance How does the president’s pre-K proposal fit in with #charterschools? Read more in our latest blogbit.ly/I3D26z You can stay up to date on all the developments in the public charter school sector by subscribing to our regular news updates…Sign up here.

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Media Round Up

NAPCS in the News 
  • “Some Good News in American Education,” op-ed by Nina Rees (President & CEO), U.S. News & World Report, Nov. 12
  • “Public Charter Schools in Chicago Part of Nationwide Trend,” Nina Rees quoted, Southtown Star, Nov. 12
  • “Harmony Charter vote set for next week; appplicant group replaces one member,” Renita Thukral mentioned,Washington Post, Nov. 13
  • “New N.Y.C., Boston Mayors Vow to Act Fast on Education,” Nina Rees mentioned, Education Week, Nov. 13
News to Know
  • “Andre Agassi on Public Charter School Facilities,” Wall Street Journal, Nov. 15
  • “More Charter Schools Now Eligible To Join Orleans Parish School Board, But Will Any Take The Leap?,” The Lens, Nov. 14
  • “Harmony, Democracy Prep Seek to Expand to D.C.,” Washington Post, Nov. 13
  • “De Blasio’s Plan to Charge Charters Rent Smacks of Double Standard,” New York Post, Nov. 12
Audience Favorites Facebook— With more than 100 new schools this year, the demand for charter schools in California continues to rise. President & CEO Jed Wallace of California Charter Schools Association dives deeper in today’s guest blog post: http://bit.ly/1anw0Ty Twitter— @charteralliance Innovation starts with the freedom of having a choice #SchoolChoiceWorks #charterschools You can stay up to date on all the developments in the public charter school sector by subscribing to our regular news updates…Sign up here.

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Growth in California Charter Schools Continues to Gain Momentum: Over 500,000 Students Enrolled, 50,000 Remain on Waiting Lists

The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) announced last week that 104 charter schools opened across the state for the 2013-14 school year, bringing the total number of charter schools in California to 1,130. Charter school enrollment grew by an estimated 49,179 students, a 10 percent increase from 2012-13. There are now more than 519,000 students enrolled in charters. And, California maintained its position as the state with the greatest number of charter schools and charter school students. Momentum continues to grow year after year as parents and communities across the state turn to charter schools in greater numbers. This growth comes in spite of the continuing challenges charters face to secure equitable facilities, obtain approval for state grants for start-up schools, and overcome inconsistent authorizing practices. It is heartening to see educators, parents, and community leaders coming together to open new schools in order to make school choice an option for more of California’s students. We anticipate even greater growth in the coming years with the passage of Governor Jerry Brown’s new Local Control Funding Formula. While not perfect, the formula levels the playing field by granting funding equity for new charter schools. This school year, the Los Angeles region (Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles county) had the largest charter school growth with 45 new charters opening. The second largest growth area was in the Southern California region (Inland Empire, Orange County, and San Diego) where 27 new charters opened. Despite this growth, an estimated 50,000 students remain on charter school waiting lists across the state. Such numbers clearly indicate that many more families would choose the charter public school option if there was sufficient space to serve them. Parental school choice is alive and well in California and I am very excited about the growth that we are seeing. Over the next several years, I think we will continue to see significant additional momentum to what has already been very robust growth for charter schools in California. Jed Wallace is the president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association.

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Media Round Up

NAPCS in the News 
  • “Keeping Sexual Predators Out of the Classroom,” op-ed by Nina Rees (President & CEO), U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 28
News to Know
  • “Public Charter Schools a Crucial Reform in Tennessee and D.C.,” USA Today, Nov. 8
  •  “Report Finds South Carolina Charter Schools Don’t Have Equitable Access to Buildings,” Charleston Post Courier, Nov. 7
  •  “With a Mayor De Blasio, Fate of Public Charter Schools in Limbo,” Newsweek, Nov. 6
  •  “Style, Emphasis Separate Boston Mayoral Candidates on Education,” WBUR, Nov. 5
  •  “New York Mayoral Election Will Be Crucial for Education,” National Review, Nov. 4
Audience Favorites Facebook— BREAKING: President and CEO Nina Rees responds to de Blasio’s NYC victory. Encourages mayor-elect to “ensure that public charter schools receive the same access to school buildings as all other public schools.” http://bit.ly/1gqeAdY Twitter— @charteralliance .@Ninacharters responds to de Blasio victory. Urges mayor-elect to work w/ NYC public charters on behalf of students. bit.ly/1gqeAdY  You can stay up to date on all the developments in the public charter school sector by subscribing to our regular news updates…Sign up here.

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Media Round Up

NAPCS in the News 
  • “Rewarding Teaching’s Highest Achievers,” op-ed by Nina Rees (President & CEO), U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 28
News to Know
  • “Maine’s First Two Charter Schools Receive High Marks,” Bangor Daily News, Nov. 1
  • “Charter School Benefits Extend Beyond Classroom,” The Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog, Oct. 31
  • “Mayor’s Race Signals Change for Boston Schools,” Education Week, Oct. 30
  • “NBER Study Finds Positive Effects from Harlem Children’s Zone,” Forbes, Oct. 29
  • “Baltimore School Board to No Longer Back Charter School Facility Loans,” Baltimore Sun’s Inside Ed blog, Oct. 28
Audience Favorites Facebook— Two charter school founders likely to square off in race for Oklahoma’s education chief. Read more from today’s blog:http://bit.ly/1dpVa5f Twitter— @charteralliance New report outlines laws and best practices for improving special education programs at #charterschools bit.ly/16qVWis You can stay up to date on all the developments in the public charter school sector by subscribing to our regular news updates…Sign up here.

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Media Round Up

NAPCS in the News
  • “New Group Formed to Focus on Spec. Ed. in Charter Schools,” NAPCS mentioned, Education Week, Oct. 22
  • “‘Grit’: The New Education Flavor of the Month?,” op-ed by Nina Rees (President & CEO),U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 21
News to Know
  • “The Boston Foundation Rolls Out MIT Charter School Study,” Boston Business Journal, Oct. 25
  • “Canyon-Agassi Fund, KIPP Partner to Build Dallas Charter School,” Dallas Business Journal, Oct. 24
  • “Charter Schools ‘3.0’ in Washington State,” Associated Press, Oct. 23
  • “D.C. Nonprofits Start Charter Schools to Ready Adults for the Workforce,” Elevation DC, Oct. 22
  • “Public Charter Schools on Cutting Edge of Teacher Education,” New York Times op-ed, Oct. 21
  Audience Favorites Facebook— California voters led the way for equitable facilities funding for charter schools with the passage of Proposition 39. Read why it is now being challenged in the California Supreme Courthttp://bit.ly/H8FUhP Twitter— @charteralliance New report outlines laws and best practices for improving special education programs at #charterschools bit.ly/16qVWis You can stay up to date on all the developments in the public charter school sector by subscribing to our regular news updates…Sign up here.

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Media Round Up

NAPCS in the News
  • “Thinking About Starting a Charter School? Here’s How,” NAPCS statistics cited, Fox Business News, Oct. 16
  • “Is Pitbull ‘Mr. Education’? Rapper Opens Charter School In Miami,” Nina quotes, NPR, Oct. 15
News to Know Audience Favorites Facebook— Did you hear about last week’s march across the Brooklyn Bridge? Nearly 20,000 students, parents, teachers, and school leaders came together in support of NYC charter schools. The National Alliance joined the march to help demonstrate support for NYC charters to mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. Watch this video (http://bit.ly/16w6jQt) and read this (http://on.wsj.com/15FTeTS) to learn more. Twitter— @charteralliance .@MayorsTour begins today – exploring innovation in education, including the role of charters. Learn more: bit.ly/19Utm8f You can stay up to date on all the developments in the public charter school sector by subscribing to our regular news updates…Sign up here.

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Blog Series: It Takes…

What does it take to prepare students for college, get them accepted, and make sure they are successful once there? It takes great teachers. For the past four years, 100 percent of Aspire Public Schools’ graduating seniors have been accepted to college. Now in its 15th year, with schools in California and Tennessee, Aspire has become one of the highest-performing school networks nationally serving predominantly low-income students. “We believe high-quality teachers are the number one lever for preparing students for college,” said James Willcox, Aspire Public Schools CEO. “We are committed to developing and supporting highly effectiveteachers in every classroom.” Since 2009, to deliver on its College for Certain mission, Aspire has collaborated with teachers to develop a nationally- recognized teacher assessment and professional development model. Based on individualized observations, educators are able to access customized tools and resources – which are constantly being updated – as well as work with mentors and peers to drive student learning and college readiness. What does it take to prepare students for college, get them accepted, and make sure they are successful once there? It takes a belief that all students can achieve. “We believe,” says Tim King, founder and CEO of Chicago’s Urban Prep Academies, describing simply and poignantly how for four years in a row, 100 percent of graduating seniors in these charter schools have been admitted into four-year colleges or universities. But they haven’t just been admitted, Urban Prep students have raked in more than six million in scholarships and grants this past year. Urban Prep points to its positive, mutually accountable school culture as core to its success. Every morning students recite the creed “We believe in ourselves. We believe in each other. We are college bound.” And they are. All of them. Powerful, considering the national high school drop-out rate for African-American males remains just above 50 percent. Urban Prep Academies is a network of all-boys public schools, including the country’s first charter high school for boys. Urban Prep’s mission is to provide a high-quality and comprehensive college-preparatory educational experience to young men that results in its graduates succeeding in college. The schools are a direct response to the urgent need to reverse abysmal graduation and college completion rates among boys in urban centers. While most of Urban Prep students come to the schools from economically disadvantaged households and behind in many subject areas, Urban Prep remains committed to preparing all of its students for college and life. What does it take to prepare students for college, get them accepted, and make sure they are successful once there? It takes preparing students emotionally. This fall, every single one of Prescott, Arizona’s Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy’s graduating seniors walked onto a college campus. “[We] work with all students beginning in ninth grade to maintain the expectation of college acceptance,” said the charter school’s director, Geneva Saint Amour. The school model focuses on rigorous academics combined with citizenship and character. “You would think that school is a place where students sit for seven hours a day in their own bubble and occasionally interact with others on a surface level,” said Hans, a former student. “That is what I expected, but Northpoint changed that. From being drenched from rain in the middle of the woods in a failing tent, to all coming to the realization that this would be our last year together in the deep canyons of the Colorado river, [this] has changed me as a person. It has changed me socially, morally and emotionally.” What does it take to prepare students for college, get them accepted, and make sure they are successful once there? It takes a challenging curriculum. One hundred percent of Indianapolis’ Charles A. Tindley students have been accepted to four-year colleges and universities. More importantly, though, says Chancellor Marcus Robinson, they arrive on campus having fully experienced college rigor. “At Tindley we don’t just believe in college preparation, we practice college immersion,” said Robinson. Each Tindley student must complete an array of college courses – English, History, Philosophy, and Calculus – before they can obtain their high school diplomas. “We articulate our entire curriculum,” says Robinson, “all of our instructional supports, and our creative energies to this single outcome for all of our students.” Over 80 percent of Tindley alums have graduated college or are pursuing a bachelor’s degree. What does it take to prepare students for college, get them accepted, and make sure they are successful once there? It takes a strong work ethic. Nationally, only 12 percent of low-income high school graduates go on to earn a four-year college degree. Boston-based Match Education, which serves primarily low-income and minority students, has a college completion rate that is 4.5 times higher. Fifty-four percent of Match charter graduates graduate from a four-year college. “We have always organized our work around the twin goals of academic readiness and work ethic in our students,” said Match CEO Stig Leschly. Ninety percent of Match students take at least one AP course, as well as a college course at Boston University, before graduating from high school. It’s an academic challenge that also teaches students to keep trying when faced with difficult problems, and then see how that hard work pays off. “Getting students to pass AP exams and produce college-level work has prepared our students for the rigor and expectations of college,” said Leschly. To have this kind of success, students first need to believe in themselves. One way Match builds that confidence is by developing relationships through two hours of daily tutoring. Is two hours significant? It adds up to 15 days of individual support and learning for every Match student each school year. The practice has been so successful in raising math and English proficiency that traditional school districts, like Chicago Public Schools, are now partnering with Match to borrow its tutoring program. What does it take to prepare students for college, get them accepted, and make sure they are successful once there? It takes a vision. A gong sounds in the hallways of YES Prep Public Schools every time a senior gets a college acceptance letter. For 15 years in a row, it has sounded as many times as there are seniors. That’s because 100 percent of YES Prep seniors have graduated from high school and been accepted to four-year colleges and universities. The vast majority of students in these charter schools, now in Houston and Memphis, Tenn., are from low-income families. Almost all are the first in their families to go to college. That’s why YES offers a college readiness course every year of high school that covers everything from SAT prep to understanding the financial aid process to writing college application essays. Students take annual college tours beginning in sixth grade. All seniors are required to apply to at least eight four-year colleges by mid-November. YES leaders even convinced 24 colleges to commit to giving special consideration to qualified YES students and meet 100 percent of their documented financial needs. YES maintains a scholarship fund for alumni, sends care packages to freshmen and many college campuses with a large number of YES graduates also have alumni designated to support their peers. More than 30 alumni have even returned to teach for their alma mater. No wonder the waiting list to get into these outstanding charter schools is more than 7,000 names long. What does it take to prepare students for college, get them accepted, and make sure they are successful once there? It takes a team! For the last three years, every single one of Dallas’ Uplift Education charter school graduates has felt the relief and excitement that comes from opening an envelope from a college and learning they had been accepted. “When everyone is working together to help scholars prepare for college, the scholars will rise to their potential,” says Yasmin Bhatia, Uplfit Education’s CEO. “Our teachers believe all children can learn and all children can go to college. They work every day to help scholars grow academically and prepare.” It also takes a focused group of college counselors. Uplift’s “Road to College” team takes its scholars on college field trips, helps them with college applications, makes sure parents understand all their financial options, and even provides graduates with support while they are in college.

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Media Round Up

NAPCS in the News
  • “City’s Charter Schools Fear Having de Blasio for Landlord,” NAPCS study cited, The New York Times, Oct. 8
  • “Charter School Leaders Rally for Support in New York City,” Nina quoted, Education Week, Oct. 8
  • “Senators to take up debate over allowing charter schools in territory,” NAPCS cited, Virgin Islands Daily News, Oct. 7
  • “Proposal would let charter schools rise independent of districts,” Todd Ziebarth quoted, Journal Sentinel, Oct. 7
  • “Getting More Out of Education Nation,” op-ed by Nina Rees (president & CEO), U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 7
News to Know
  • “D.C. Public Charter School Advocates Make Plea in Face of Shutdown,” DCist, Oct. 11
  • “Shutdown Threatens D.C. Charter Schools,” Washington Times, Oct. 10
  • “Thousands March for New York City’s Public Charter Schools,” Education Week, Oct. 9
  • “New York City Teachers, Parents and Students March for Public Charter Schools,” New York Daily News, Oct. 8
  • “The ASD Catapults Schools to the Top in Tennessee,” Education Week blog, Oct. 7
Audience Favorites Facebook— Today we’re marching with thousands of New York City parents in support of the city’s charter schools, which are being threatened by proposed policies to take away their school buildings. Join us and show your support for New York City’s charter schools and #forNYCkids by signing this petition! Twitter— @charteralliance If a picture is worth a thousand words, this says it all. #forNYCkids pic.twitter.com/Qd6tV9MrbE You can stay up to date on all the developments in the public charter school sector by subscribing to our regular news updates…Sign up here.

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It Takes a Team!

What does it take to prepare students for college, get them accepted, and make sure they are successful once there? It takes a team! Uplift             For the last three years, every single one of Dallas’ Uplift Education charter school graduates has felt the relief and excitement that comes from opening an envelope from a college and learning they had been accepted. “When everyone is working together to help scholars prepare for college, the scholars will rise to their potential,” says Yasmin Bhatia, Uplfit Education’s CEO. “Our teachers believe all children can learn and all children can go to college. They work every day to help scholars grow academically and prepare.” It also takes a focused group of college counselors. Uplift’s “Road to College” team takes its scholars on college field trips, helps them with college applications, makes sure parents understand all their financial options, and even provides graduates with support while they are in college.