The Charter Blog

The Charter Blog

Bridging Differences, Fudging Facts

October 12, 2010 | by Nelson Smith |

Diane Ravitch has finally hit bottom in her bout with OCD (Obsessive Charter Disorder). In her current Education Week blog she grumps at “Waiting for Superman” for failing to feature successful public (sic) schools and schoolteachers, and then responds by listing six bad things she’s learned recently about charter schools. Her argument is basically that of Pee-Wee Herman: "I know you are, but...

Vote for a Hero

October 04, 2010 | by Debbie Veney Robinson |

People magazine is in the midst of its Readers' Choice Hero Campaign. The campaign identifies nine inspirational stories that were featured in People this year, and gives the public a chance to vote for their favorite. If you've got a minute, check it out; the campaign ends Friday, Oct. 8. These are some awe-inspiring stories about some pretty amazing folks. Many of their stories involve helping...

Reward Me for Being Excellent?

September 26, 2010 | by Brooks Garber |

While there has been a lot of discussion about the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) since its first appropriations in 2006, there hasn’t been any new funding to make new awards. Late last week, the U.S. Department of Education announced 62 new TIF grantees! KUDOS to all the winners, but an ESPECIALLY BIG PAT ON THE BACK to the 13 awardees who use charters in their application: Achievement First,...

Teachers Are Giving 'Em Something to Talk About

September 21, 2010 | by Debbie Veney Robinson |

Education reform is on everybody's lips, and just about everybody has an idea for making schools better. The discourse is dominated by elected officials (or hopefuls), policy folks, academicians and researchers. And although we've heard plenty from the teachers unions, teachers themselves haven't really much of a platform. So, I was fascinated to learn about this new project called VIVA (Vision...

Oprah Gives Millions for Charter Children

September 20, 2010 | by Peter C. Groff |

Charter schools just got the gift of a lifetime. Yesterday, Oprah Winfrey gave out the last Oprah’s Angel Network grants – and the recipients were all charter schools. How’s that for going out with a bang?

Finally, the “ Waiting for Superman” Is Over

September 19, 2010 | by Peter C. Groff |

This has been whirlwind week for education reform. "Superman" is finally here. It will be the topic of the Oprah show today, and I'm told there are some big surprises coming for a group of great charter schools. Time magazine devoted a cover to this issue last week, and last Wednesday night I went to the Washington, D.C. premier of “Waiting for Superman,” a new documentary about some of the major...

Guest Blog: Study Shows Indianapolis Charter Success at Key Moment in Movement’s History

September 16, 2010 | by Russ Simnick |

Indianapolis charter school performance will be carefully scrutinized in the upcoming battle for scarce dollars for education funding when Indiana begins to draft its two-year budget in January. The National Center on School Choice’s report by Anna Nicotera, "Charter School Effects in an Urban School District: An Analysis of Student Achievement Gains in Indianapolis", comes at a perfect time to...

Turning Over the Teacher Turnover Question

September 13, 2010 | by Nelson Smith |

More teachers leave charters than leave district-run schools – a familiar phenomenon that’s currently drawing a flurry of research scrutiny. The sector usually contends that turnover is to be expected in start-ups, and that the numbers are really driven by terminations of ineffective teachers. Not so fast, said a recent DOE study, blogged by colleague Anna Nicotera: salary and working conditions...

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