California-Based Charter School Wins White House Initiative Award

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Washington, D.C. Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles, Calif., has been selected for the Bright Spot Award, a national recognition given by The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics to a program, institution or organization that addresses or invests in key educational priorities for Hispanics.

"Camino Nuevo is a shining example of a public charter school with excellent results that is helping close the achievement gap for Hispanic students," said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, who nominated Camino Nuevo for the award. "We are thankful to the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics for accepting our nomination and recognizing Camino Nuevo, which tells a great story of a school that is preparing students from some of the most underserved areas of Los Angeles for college and life."

This year, the White House Initiative celebrates its 25th anniversary, and September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. The Initiative takes this opportunity to celebrate the success of education excellence in the Hispanic community, such as an increased high school graduation rate, lower high school dropout rates, and increased enrollment in higher education.At the same time, it also draws attention to fixing problems with achievement and opportunity gap numbers.

Serving one of the most populated and underserved regions in Los Angeles, Camino Nuevo's commitment to education is exemplary. Its first school served 346 students, 95 percent of whom were Hispanic. Over the past 15 years, the school has achieved excellent academic outcomes for its students, as measured by the State of California's Academic Performance Index (API). Since opening, the Burlington campus has nearly doubled its API, growing from 453 in 2002 to 821 in 2013, far surpassing neighborhood schools that serve similar students from similar backgrounds.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Camino Nuevo Charter Academy's high school among the top 500 high schools in the country. In the graduating class of 2015, 100 percent completed the coursework required for admission to the California public university system and 82 percent were accepted to a four-year university.

Camino is one of more than 230 Bright Spots featured on the Initiative's website highlighting key efforts in early learning, college access, STEM education, postsecondary education completion, Hispanic teacher recruitment, and support areas including Hispanic boys and young men, family engagement, Hispanic girls and women in STEM, English Language Learners, and student support wrap-around services.

About Public Charter Schools
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, manyresearch studieshavefound that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.