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Media Round Up

NAPCS in the News 
  • “Early Childhood Education Is a Winner for Policymakers,” op-ed by Nina Rees (president & CEO), U.S. News & World Report, Sept. 16
News to Know
  • “Mississippi Charter Board Confronts Lack of Funding,” Clarion Ledger, Sept. 20
  • “High-Performing D.C. Charters to Lease Shuttered District Schools,” Washington Post, Sept. 19
  • “Group to Set Standards for Charter Schools Wanting Columbus Levy Funds,” Columbus Dispatch, Sept. 18
  • “Maine Charters Find Success with Special Needs Students,” MPBN, Sept. 17
  • “Gov. Bobby Jindal: New Orleans is Leading the Way in Education Reform,” Times-Picayune op-ed, Sept. 16
Audience Favorites Facebook— Parents care about early childhood education and policymakers across the country are listening. Read Nina’s take on how could we make child care and preschool even more effective for our children. Twitter— @charteralliance Worth repeating: no evidence that charter schools push out low-performers bit.ly/18t5ioj 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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Links and Likes

Kristin Yochum, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, tells us her favorites of the day: Link: The U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture have teamed up to enhance agricultural education and related programs that promote postsecondary and career pathways, according to an interagency agreement to advance agricultural education. “Agricultural educators face unique challenges—but they also can tap into unique strengths within their tight-knit communities,” Secretary Duncan said. “Agricultural education is very much about the jobs of the future—and not a backwards-looking curriculum to preserve the past.” Like: Parental demand for public charter schools is by no means limited to urban centers. In fact, nearly half of all charter schools are found outside city limits. Notably, rural charter schools are the fastest growing segment of the sector, with nearly 20 percent of all charter schools housed in rural areas.

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Media Round Up

NAPCS in the News
  • “Obama’s Last Chance on School Reform,” op-ed by Nina Rees (president & CEO), U.S. News & World Report,  Sept. 9
  • “Charting a New Path,” National Alliance for Public Charter Schools collaboration cited, Delta Business Journal, Sept. 10
News to Know
  • “Boston Mayoral Candidates Face Off in Education Debate,” Boston Globe, Sept. 13
  • “Spokane District Approved as Public Charter School Authorizer,” Spokesman-Review, Sept. 12
  • “North Carolina Could Get 170 New Charter Schools in 2015,” News & Observer, Sept. 11
  • “Op-ed: In Tennessee, Charters Play a Key Role,” Tennessean, Sept. 10
  • “Kentucky Legislative Education Committee to Hold Hearing on Charter School Reform,” WFPL, Sept. 9
Audience Favorites Facebook— When state law and federal guidelines clash, what is a school to do? http://publiccharters.org/Blog/Default.aspx?id=509 Twitter— MT @QualityCharters: Charter schools play key role by @UNCF president Dr. Lomax #1millionlives bit.ly/14CUjNN via@Tennessean 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

News to Know
  • “Massachusetts Flunks Charter School Test,” Boston Herald op-ed, Sept. 6
  • “Ohio State Sen. Schiavoni wants to tighten charter school rules,” Tribune-Chronicle, Sept. 5
  • “Maine Charter Schools Break New Ground,” Kennebec Journal, Sept. 4
  • “Bill Puts Public Charter Schools Back in Spotlight in Kentucky,” NKY, Sept. 3
Audience Favorites  Facebook— New on The Charter Blog, a Thomas B. Fordham Institute study reveals surprising finds about parent’s expectation for their child’s education. Are you a Jeffersonian, a Striver, a Pragmatist, or something else altogether? Twitter— @charteralliance In an effort to support workforce preparedness, D.C. grants $2.8 mil for career academies at local schools wapo.st/17HCuKh 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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NAPCS Resource Roundup

The upcoming months hold two of the most significant opportunities for the public charter school sector to collectively work to strengthen the quality of our sector and share its accomplishments – National Charter Schools Week and the National Charter Schools Conference. As we continue to gear up for these events, here are some of our focus areas over the past month: Federal Advocacy NAPCS continues to work with every branch of the federal government to increase public charter school support and statutory recognition. We produced an Annual Performance Report that provides year one Race to the Top state summaries, are working with Congress to secure favorable treatment of public charter schools within Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization, and are advocating for increased funding for the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP). We also regularly post advocacy updates on our efforts to work with the IRS to amend their recently issued Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would force states to prohibit charter school teachers from participating in state retirement plans. We’ve had tremendous response from the charter field as well as federal decision makers. For the most updated information on this issue and templates for state outreach, please visit our website. State Policy Efforts NAPCS continues to actively work with on-the-ground partners to advance public charter school policy environments in several states. We gained ground in Virginia and Kentucky during their legislative sessions, and partnerships with policy stakeholders inAlabamaMaineMississippiMissouri, and New Jersey remain active. Data Dashboard Resources We’ve posted a new interactive data tool that lets you explore changes in the number of charter schools and students enrolled in charter schools operated by management organizations. Our new data table is an update to our Details from the Dashboardreport on CMOs and EMOs with data from the 2010-2011 academic year. thecharterblog

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Links and Likes

Taishya Adams, Director of State Services, tells us her favorites of the day: Link: For more ideas on how you can be an active participant during this year’s National Charter Schools Week (NCSW), please download the 2012 NCSW Advocacy Toolkit. Likes: I went to see Marley, a new documentary that chronicles the life, music and legacy of Bob Marley. My earliest memories include Bob Marley songs, and his music gets high rotation in my iPod even today.

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Media Round Up

NAPCS in the News  News to Know
  • “Public Charter School Results Set High Bar for Los Angeles’ Public Schools,”Huffington Post, Aug. 30
  • “Appeals Could Impact Pennsylvania Public Charter School Funding,” Pittsburgh Business Times, Aug. 29
  • “Achievement First Builds Collaboration with Hartford District,” Connecticut Plus, Aug. 28
  • “Public Charter Schools Redefine Arc of Teaching Career,” New York Times, Aug. 27
  • “Charter Schools a Growing Trend in Florida,” Herald Tribune, Aug. 26
Audience Favorites Facebook— Thank you to the outstanding charter schools around this country who are helping hundreds of thousands of minority children fulfill Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s dream these 50 years later. Twitter— @charteralliance #OH report card shows state’s best #charterschools are in disadvantaged Cleveland neighborhoods#provingtheimpossible bit.ly/16Oh66W 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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How Public Charter Schools Are Designed to Meet the Diverse Demands of Our Communities

Today, NAPCS is proud to release our newest issue briefA Mission to Serve: How Public Charter Schools Are Designed to Meet the Diverse Demands of Our Communities. By looking at high performing public charter schools that are consciously designed to serve their students–whether in homogenous or diverse environments–this issue brief underscores that public charter schools can accommodate both models and, in the process, provide more high quality public school options to our nation’s students. One of the most exceptional developments within the first two decades of the movement has been the rise of high performing public charter schools with missions intently focused on educating students from traditionally underserved communities. While much media attention rightly has been given to these schools, the past decade or so also has seen a noteworthy rise in high-performing public charter schools with missions intentionally designed to serve economically integrated student populations.  These schools are utilizing their autonomy to achieve a diverse student population through location-based strategies, recruitment efforts and enrollment processes. Perhaps most notably, a growing number of cities – and the parents and educators in them – are welcoming both types of public charter school models for their respective (and in some cases unprecedented) contributions to raising student achievement, particularly for students who have previously struggled in school.  Our issue brief showcases this development in three such cities:  Denver, Washington, D.C., and San Diego. Diverse Models IB Cover Photo 1

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Media Round Up

NAPCS in the News
  • “Op-Ed: Passing Charter School Law Will Widen Opportunities,” op-ed co-authored by Nina Rees (NAPCS President & CEO) and Joe Williams (President of Democrats for Education Reform), Courier-Journal, Aug. 21
  • “Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell Join Push for Kentucky Charter Schools,” Nina Rees quoted, WFPL, Aug. 22
  • “Another attempt to promote charter schools in Kentucky,” Nina Rees quoted, WDRB, Aug. 22
  • “Charter school summit looks toward passing legislation,” Nina Rees quoted, WDRB, Aug. 22
  • “Ky. leaders discuss charter school adoption,” Nina Rees quoted, WHAS, Aug. 22
  • “Rand Paul Teaming Up With Dems? For This Cause, He Thinks It’s Worth It,” Nina Rees quoted, Huffington Post, Aug. 22
  • “Kentucky education summit focuses on charter schools,” Starlee Rhoades (VP of Communications) and NAPCS data cited,Bowling Green Daily News, Aug. 22
  • “Push For Charters Underway in Kentucky,” Nina Rees op-ed cited, Education Week Charters & Choice blog, Aug. 22
  • “Hal Heiner Launches Second Charter School Organization Ahead of Louisville Panel,” NAPCS partnership cited, WFPL, Aug. 21
  • “Michael Bloomberg’s Legacy,’” op-ed by Nina Rees, U.S. News & World Report, Aug. 20
  • “Number of Charters on Native American Reservations Grows,” NAPCS issue brief cited, Education Week’s Charters & Choice blog, Aug. 20
  • “States Continue Increasing or Eliminating Caps on Charter Schools,” Todd Ziebarth (Sr. Vice President of State Advocacy) and Nina Rees quoted, redefinED, Aug. 19
News to Know
  • “South Carolina Governor Calls for More Public Charter Schools,” FOX Carolina, Aug. 23
  • “California Supreme Court to Decide Charter School Access to LAUSD Campuses,” Los Angeles Daily News, Aug. 22
  • “Some D.C. Charters’ Salary Ranges Include Teachers-In-Training,” Washington Post, Aug. 21
  • “National Education Reform Groups Weigh in on Boston Mayoral Race,” Boston Globe, Aug. 20
  • “Arizona School Funding Overhaul Proposed,” Arizona Daily Star, Aug. 19
Audience Favorites Facebook— ‘Every parent has dreams for the children,’ say NAPCS president Nina Rees and Democrats for Education Reform executive director Joe Williams in a column in the The Courier-Journal calling on Kentucky lawmakers to pass a charter school law. Please like and share this column with your friends and family and help us make Kentucky state #43 to allow charter schools! Twitter— @EducateKY: It’s about time we work to pass Charter laws in KY. Parents deserve choice. @DFER_News @ntlBAEO@charteralliance 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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The Race-Ethnicity Demographics of Public Charter Schools

Over the last several years, public charter schools have faced steady criticism that there are a larger percentage of charter schools with majority race/ethnicity groups than traditional public schools. The critics will point to national, state, or peculiar comparisons at metropolitan statistical areas to show that charter schools enroll more students of color. Regrettably, racial isolation has been growing in our public school systems, largely as a result of the lifting of court order busing mandates, limitations on the use of race/ethnicity as an assignment mechanism, residential segregation, school district boundaries, attendance zones, and limited transportation. The fact is that, more often than not, charter schools mirror the demographic trends of the surrounding school district (read more here). Today NAPCS is releasing a Details from the Dashboard report that presents race/ethnicity breakouts for public charter schools and traditional public schools at the state and school district levels. We present the data at these two levels to show that when comparisons are made solely at the state level, the differences between charter schools and traditional public schools in the demographics of students enrolled are exaggerated. District level comparisons provide a much better assessment of student demographics. The table below shows a couple of examples of states where charter schools appear to enroll a much different student population than the state average, but in reality the charter schools are on par with traditional public schools in the surrounding district. The Details from the Dashboard report serves as a complement to our recently released issue brief on the different ways in which public charter schools serve the diverse needs of communities. The state and district statistics provide context to the case studies presented in the report. Race/Ethnicity Percentages by Public Charter Schools and Traditional Public Schools, 2010-2011  
State (School District) White % Black % Hispanic % Asian % Other %
Indiana CPS 32.6 51.2 8.1 0.7 7.3
TPS 74.0 11.2 8.4 1.6 4.8
  Indianapolis Public Schools CPS 28.2 53.1 8.9 0.3 9.5
  TPS 24.2 53.9 15.6 0.4 5.9
  Gary Community School Corporation CPS 1.0 90.6 6.9 0.0 1.5
  TPS 0.7 88.4 2.7 0.1 8.1
Maryland CPS 11.7 80.0 4.8 1.2 2.2
TPS 43.5 35.1 11.7 5.8 4.0
  Baltimore City Public Schools CPS 8.2 83.9 5.1 1.0 1.8
  TPS 7.8 86.6 3.9 1.0 0.7
  Prince George’s County Public Schools CPS 1.3 91.7 3.5 1.3 2.1
  TPS 4.5 68.9 21.0 2.9 2.7
Michigan CPS 33.1 54.4 6.7 2.1 3.2
TPS 72.5 16.3 5.8 2.7 2.7
  Detroit Public Schools CPS 4.1 85.9 8.6 0.9 0.3
  TPS 3.0 86.7 8.9 1.0 0.3
  Southfield Public Schools CPS 7.1 91.6 0.4 0.0 0.8
  TPS 4.9 93.9 0.4 0.3 0.5
Missouri CPS 10.0 78.2 9.7 1.3 0.2
TPS 76.1 15.7 4.4 1.9 1.9
  Saint Louis Public Schools CPS 11.2 82.8 4.0 0.8 0.2
  TPS 12.8 81.1 3.4 2.2 0.2
  Kansas  City, Missouri School District CPS 8.6 73.1 16.0 1.8 0.1
  TPS 8.9 66.5 21.8 2.5 0.2
Pennsylvania CPS 40.4 42.4 11.9 2.3 2.8
TPS 72.8 14.2 8.1 3.2 1.7
  The School District of Philadelphia CPS 15.6 64.4 15.9 2.7 1.3
  TPS 13.8 59.5 17.7 6.1 2.9
  Source: Compiled by NAPCS using the Public Charter Schools Dashboard.