The Charter Blog

The Charter Blog

Perfection First, Change Last

January 04, 2011 | by Nelson Smith |

Over the holidays the NY Times ran a piece about NYC’s use of student data in teacher rankings, and the tug of war that’s emerging over so-called “value-added” evaluations. Among a slew of letters it generated was one from Deputy Chancellor John White, concluding with this biting comment: “Shame on unions and school districts charged with improving antiquated evaluation systems if they hide...

Let's Hear it for the LA All Stars!

December 14, 2010 | by Debbie Veney Robinson |

We think charter schools are among the best public schools in Los Angeles. Of course, we might be a little biased. But, guess what? The California Department of Education (CDE) thinks so, too. The CharterBlog just learned that five of the seven middle and high schools in Los Angeles invited by the CDE to apply for the 2011 California Distinguished Schools Award are charter schools.

Debunker Debunked

December 13, 2010 | by Nelson Smith |

You may have caught a recent column on the Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money site, “10 Things Charter Schools Won’t Tell You.” It’s a recurring feature and they’ve applied the same approach to landlords, gas stations and school districts. I get that it’s supposed to be snarky and provocative – but really, this one was pretty egregious. Fortunately, Chalkboard’s Peter Murphy is on the case,...

Charter School Graduates Ready to Serve in Uniform Face Obstacles Even Before Boot Camp

December 07, 2010 | by Chad Miller |

Did you know all high-school diplomas awarded to public school students are not equal in the eyes of the military? Unfortunately, students attending many of our nation’s public charter schools are learning this the hard way.

Did Michelle Rhee Plant this Story?

December 06, 2010 | by Nelson Smith |

Rhee just launched Students First, her new outfit that will aim at getting school systems to put kids’ best interests ahead of politics and bureaucracy. I can’t imagine a better illustration of “Students Last” than this Catalyst article. The Illinois State Board of Education has raised the bar for college students hoping to get into teacher-ed programs. They used to get in with a score of 35...

Charter School Bond Deals Are Big News!

November 25, 2010 | by Maria Sazon |

Generally speaking, bonds are not the most interesting topic. So, it's understandable that charter school bond issues -- which are only a small part of the municipal bond market -- might go under the radar. But, that changed this month when editors of The Bond Buyer (a very respected and influential media outlet for those of us working in the bond sector) announced the finalists for the...

Don't Forget the Motor City!!

November 17, 2010 | by Nelson Smith |

At a DC symposium on Wednesday, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan once again called Detroit "arguably the worst" school system in the country, and "Ground Zero" for education reform. The good news is city leaders are finally putting money and muscle into turning the situation around. Here's a specific date to watch: February 1, 2011. That's when proposals to open new high schools in the fall...

California Charter School Growth Ushers in New Public Education Era

November 11, 2010 | by Jed Wallace |

This is a historic time for charter schools in California. Despite tough economic times, charter supporters continue to turn their commitment into opportunities for thousands of students and families seeking more options in public education.

Klein Moves On

November 09, 2010 | by Nelson Smith |

Joel Klein is resigning as chancellor of the New York City school system. In eight years as leader of that mammoth organization, Joel Klein showed what decisiveness looks like. He closed chronically failing schools despite clamorous opposition; he invited top-performing charter operators to open up shop in the city’s toughest neighborhoods, and made them an example for their district...

Another Mid-Term Victory

November 03, 2010 | by Peter C. Groff |

Whatever your thoughts about the mid-term elections, it’s clear we will have many new faces in state capitols, governors’ mansions and at the U.S. Capitol. The vast majority of these newly-elected people were not voted in purely on an education platform. However, many of them ran in part as education reformers, and on a night where seemingly everyone was concerned about red and blue, it was the...

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