Tuesday, June 29, 2010

National Charter School Conference

At the opening of the National Charter School Conference today in Chicago, Nelson Smith had the following to say:

  • · It’s because of charter schools that districts are now trying to create “faux charter schools.”
    · We’re showing that you can now run a system of charter schools without a central office breathing down your neck.
    · We now serve 1.65 million kids; 40 chartering states plus DC (Mississippi signed on this year).
    · Average charter school is now open 6.7 years.
    · 26% operated by CMO or EMO; 65% are free standing (grassroots)
    · Less than 3% of total national student population.
    · In 14 cities more than 20% of the student population are in charters.
    · RttT: 15 states lifted caps since RttT was announced
    · Serious discussion about charter school law in Alabama, W Virginia, Kentucky, etc.
    · Critics say charter schools are causing re-segregation; many are opened in inner cities where parents are desperate for a better education for their children. He's proud of the fact that children of color are flocking to charter schools.
    · Authorizers are getting more aggressive in chartering only schools that are of of quality academically.
    · We should support authorizers when they have to hold a standard for supporting quality.
    · Increased funding for startups this year through replicating funds. President Obama plans to double charter school funding by the end of his term.
    · The Ball State report said that the funding gap, between charters and noncharters, has increased in the past 5 yrs. The Alliance will attack the facility funding disparity.
    * There have been t oo many negative headlines this year. Every person needs to support the highest standards of ethical behavior and draw a bright line between unethical behavior and that high standard.

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