The Charter Blog

 

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Nora Kern, Senior Manager for Research and Analysis, tells us her favorites of the day: Link: NAPCS has been the leading voice in the effort to amend the Internal Revenue Service Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking titled “Determination of Government Plan Status.” This regulation would force states to prohibit charter school teachers from participating in state retirement plans. Check out our webpage devoted to this issue, which spotlights the latest developments, including: media coverage, public statements made by lawmakers, position statements issued by our supporters, white papers, and data. Like: Today’s spectacular spring weather in D.C. makes me think of this song.

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Kristin Yochum, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, tells us her favorites of the day: Link: The US Department of Education released new data on minority students. The data highlights a number of really important issues, including that “minority students across America face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous high school curricula, and are more often taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers.” This is really significant information, and the first step to correcting these problems is knowing where and how severely they exists. If you are a data nerd, like me, check out the full report. Like: We recently had an internal training on a database system called Salsa. Coupled with the recent AMAZING weather, I wanted to share my signature blueberry salsa recipe. Put it on grilled meat, or just scoop it up with a chip. A certain state commissioner of education might even be known to spread it on a bagel. 4 Cups of Blueberries 2 Jalapeño peppers, diced (keep seeds if you like the heat) 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped 1 large red onion, diced 1 lime, juiced 1 pinch of salt Pulse 2 cups of the blueberries in the food processor 4 or 5 times, until they are chopped, but not completely juiced.  Transfer the processed berries into a bowl and add the whole berries, jalapeños, diced onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt.  Stir and refrigerate before serving.

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Ivy Morgan, Research Intern, tells us her favorites of the day: Link: Connecticut governor and education commissioner to consider increasing the number of charter schools in statewide education strategic planning. Like: This is an interesting plan for education-focused, mixed-use community redevelopment in Newark, NJ.

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Taishya Adams, Director of State Services, tells us her favorites of the day: Link: The RAND Corporation released a report that examines the actions and perceived working conditions of first-year principals, relating information on those factors to subsequent school achievement and principal retention. Like: Last week, I attended the 11th Annual South Carolina Public Charter Schools Conference. Though I missed dancing in the soul train line at the ’70s dance party that I boogied down during last year’s South Carolina Public Charter Schools Conference, I did get to co-present this year at a session with Jane Taylor of the Alliance of Public Charter Schools of South Carolina and Jill Shahen of the New York Charter Schools Association/Elevate.

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Emily Persons, Administrative Intern, tells us her favorites of the day: Link: Arizona lawmakers want to give parents control of a school’s fate. Like: Next time you’re craving dumplings, learn how to fold your own.

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Kristin Yochum, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, tells us her favorites of the day: Link: The US Department of Education announced that they have received 27 more applications for ESEA Flexibility. They will announce which of these applicants will join the already approved 11 states later this spring. Like: Neil deGrasse Tyson could probably make paint drying sound fascinating!!  I agree with Jon, “Neil deGrasse Tyson 2012!”

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Nora Kern, Senior Manager for Research and Analysis, tells us her favorites of the day: Link: This Details from the Dashboard report presents statistics on the number of charter schools and students enrolled in charter schools by the four geographic regions: urban, suburban, towns and rural areas. Like: Our latest issue brief on rural charter schools has “10 FACTS ON RURAL EDUCATION IN THE U.S.” that might surprise you:
  1. 1. There are more than 11 million students enrolled in rural public schools, which is 25 percent of all public school enrollees.
  2. 2. One-third of the nation’s public schools and more than one-half of all school districts are classified by the U.S. Department of Education as rural.
  3. 3. Rural school enrollment in the U.S. is rising. Between 2006 and 2009, rural enrollment grew by eight percent, while enrollment trends in non-rural schools were stagnant.
  4. 4. More than half of all rural students in the U.S. are concentrated in just 11 states. North Carolina has the largest population of rural students, followed by Texas, Georgia, Ohio, and Virginia.
  5. 5. The five states with the highest percentage of rural students are Maine, Vermont, South Dakota, North Carolina and Mississippi.
  6. 6. Rural families typically have fewer public and private schooling options than their counterparts in urban and suburban communities; 82 percent of rural students attend assigned (non-charter) public schools, compared to 64 percent of city students and 75 percent of suburban students.
  7. 7. The demographic characteristics of rural students vary by region. Eighty percent of rural minority students reside in the Southeast and Southwest.
  8. 8. The average graduation rate of rural high schools hovers around 75 percent, which is on par with suburban high schools and significantly higher than city high schools.
  9. 9. The college enrollment rate in rural areas (27 percent) is lower than the rate in cities (37 percent), suburban areas (37 percent), or towns (32 percent).
  10. 10. Adults in rural areas are less likely to have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher than adults in cities and suburbs. In 2004, 21 percent of adults ages 25-34 attained a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 34 percent of adults in cities and suburbs.

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NAPCS Resource Roundup

Our new year has gotten off to a great start with many new resources on developments in the public charter school sector. Some focus areas from this month include: Charter Schools in Rural America Did you know that rural charters are the fastest growing segment of the public charter school sector? In response to this trend, we’ve created materials highlighting rural charter schools, including an issue briefDetails from the Dashboard report,blogDashboard data page, press release, and EdWeek article covering the issue brief. Federal Policy The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools works with every branch of the federal government to ensure that issues around public charter schools in the nation’s capital receive the attention and respect they deserve. Recent federal activity we’ve monitored for impact on the charter sector include the Race to the Top Year One State Summaries, efforts by the Ed & Workforce Committee Passes Final Two ESEA Reauthorization Bills, the Administration’s Budget Request for FY 2013, and Preserving Charter School Autonomy and Accountability in ESEA Flexibility (a guest blog by NACSA President and CEO, Greg Richmond). Protecting Pension Benefits for Charter School Employees The IRS recently issued Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would force states to prohibit charter school teachers from participating in state retirement plans. In total, NAPCS estimates more than 93% of our country’s charter school workforce could potentially be effected. Learn more and take action.

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Jenny Wanger, National Charter Schools Conference Coordinator, tells us her favorites of the day: Link: I’ve been reading a lot lately about data-driven decision making and how much schools can benefit from using some simple methodology to make sure that their students succeed. Like: For next time you have a whole lot of books, a very big ladder, and a lot of patience! This is one of those rare articles that makes very complex math seem simple.

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Taishya Adams, Director of State Services, tells us her favorites of the day: Link: Bill Gates provides valuable food for thought on teacher evaluations in this NYT op-ed. Like: I spent the last two days fulfilling my civic responsibilities by serving as a juror in petit court.