The Charter Blog

Espiritu Charter Schools Exemplify Student Leadership in their Instruction

Over the next four weeks, the National Alliance will feature a compilation of blogs and stories to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the 30 percent of students attending public charter schools of Hispanic descent. Check back between Friday, September 15 and Friday, October 13 to see new features in our #HispanicHeritageMonth. Or follow us at @charteralliance to keep up with the latest in the series!

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Posted in Hispanic Heritage Month

Leap In, Get Stuck, Push Through

The first few weeks of school are an exciting time at Odyssey School of Denver, a K-8 public charter school with an Expeditionary Learning curriculum, as teachers focus their beginning-of-year efforts on building “crew,” or homeroom, culture. Students agree on new crew courtesies to support each other, participate in overnight adventure trips to build peer and teacher connections, and begin to understand what’s to come in their learning expedition. This curricular structure of long-term, in-depth study offers real-world connections, inspiring students to produce high-quality, complex work.

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Posted in Back to School

2017 Charter School Grants Implement ESSA Flexibility—Finally!

Almost two years after the reauthorization of ESEA, improvements made to the Charter Schools Program (CSP) in response to our advocacy are finally going into effect. On September 28, the U.S. Department of Education awarded the first round of CSP Grants to State Entities, as well as Replication and Expansion Grants (CMO), and Credit Enhancement facilities funding.

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Posted in Federal Government, ESSA, charter schools program

September Monthly Update

It’s back to school season! Some of you have been back in class for more than a month. Others got started more recently. And for many schools affected by the recent hurricanes, the start of the new school year has been difficult and chaotic. But as we approach the end of September, I hope you all are energized and engaged for the year ahead!

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Posted in monthly newsletter

Charter School Program (CSP) Funding Update from Washington

President Trump and Congress agreed to extend current government funding through December 8th, but where does that leave education priorities for this year and next? The House and Senate have both made progress in moving legislation that includes FY18 funding for the Charter Schools Program (CSP)—the House passed legislation that includes $370 million and the Senate bill includes $367.2 million. Both figures are higher than the FY17 level of $342.2 million and represent a large increase in a year where many other domestic programs experienced severe cuts. While the final funding level will not be known until at least early December, the early increase proposals bode well for the CSP which continues to see bi-partisan supported increases in funding in both Democratic and Republican administrations.

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Posted in Federal Government

Key Findings from CREDO’s CMO Study

This summer, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) released their latest report on charter school networks and management organizations. CREDO’s study utilizes student-level data from 25 states and Washington D.C. to determine the average rate of math and reading growth for 240 Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) and 54 Vendor Operated School Networks (VOS Networks) between 2012-13 and 2014-15. CREDO classifies CMOs as organizations that directly operate and hold the charter contracts of at least three charter schools. In contrast, VOS Networks oversee at least three charter schools but they do not directly hold the charter contract for the schools. Instead, VOS Networks provide services to the charter schools that range from administrative support to full operation of the school. CREDO then looked at the performance of CMOs, VOS Networks, and independent charter schools (standalone schools that are not affiliated with a management organization or network). Across these three groups CREDO found that:

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Posted in Research, CMO, CREDO

Teacher Absenteeism in Charter and Traditional Public Schools

David Griffith, Senior Research and Policy Associate at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, has released a new study that analyzes teacher absenteeism in public schools amidst renewed interest in this public policy issue as states formulate and submit their new ESSA accountability plans. Many states plan on using chronic student absenteeism as a measure of school quality—but what (this study asks) about chronic teacher absenteeism? Previous studies by R. Miller et al. (2007), C. Clotfelter et al. (2007), and M. Herrmann and J. Rockoff (2010) examined the relationship between teacher absenteeism and student achievement and found a strong connection between the two. In fact, there appears to be a one-to-one relationship: a ten-day increase in teacher absence results in at least a ten-day learning loss for students. Griffith’s research adds to this body of work by answering three primary questions:

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Posted in Research, Teachers, ESSA, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, unions

AP for all: IDEA Public Schools in San Antonio Gives all Students Access to Advanced Placement Courses

Over the next four weeks, the National Alliance will feature a compilation of blogs and stories to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the 30 percent of students attending public charter schools of Hispanic descent. Check back between Friday, September 15 and Friday, October 13 to see new features in our #HispanicHeritageMonth. Or follow us at @charteralliance to keep up with the latest in the series!

Read more here

Posted in Hispanic Heritage Month, Texas, AP Exams, Broad Prize

Where Would I Be Without DACA?

Over the next four weeks, the National Alliance will feature a compilation of blogs and stories to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the 30 percent of students attending public charter schools of Hispanic descent. Check back between Friday, September 15 and Friday, October 13 to see new features in our #HispanicHeritageMonth. Or follow us at @charteralliance to keep up with the latest in the series!

Read more here

Posted in DACA, KIPP, Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Over the next four weeks, the National Alliance will feature a compilation of blogs and stories to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the 30 percent of students attending public charter schools of Hispanic descent. Check back between Friday, September 15 and Friday, October 13 to see new features in our #HispanicHeritageMonth. Or follow us at @charteralliance to keep up with the latest in the series!

The charter school movement is one of diversity and inclusion. As Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) begins, the National Alliance is proud to recognize the dedicated Hispanic educators, families, and students who strengthen public charter schools and the communities they serve. Charter schools’ autonomy allow many schools to provide unique services that meet the needs of their diverse student population—from offering second language support and elevated levels of cultural responsiveness and family engagement, to hiring teachers who reflect the diversity of the community.

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