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School board considers amending charter policy

Submitted by on 1, September 22, 2009 – 5:50 amNo Comment

11-150x150In what I’m sure is going to be an ohsobrief meeting (ha!), the School Board is set to consider changes to their charter school policy that would, in the words of board President Mike McMahon, who kindly summarized:

The proposed language will make explicit that a charter is a contract requiring mutual accountability focused on student achievement and affirms AUSD staff will evaluate carefully the merits of charter petitions based on all applicable legal requirements and assure that AUSD monitors charter schools sufficiently.

If approved, the revised policy would require proponents of new charters to author their applications independently from the school district to prove their readiness to operate. And here’s the specific language on that accountability piece:

The charter between the District and the charter school is a contract that holds charter schools accountable for meeting measurable pupil outcomes and for other behaviors. Charter schools are obligated to comply with the provisions of federal law, specified state law, their charters, and administrative requirements that are components of Board oversight … The Board may revoke charters with schools that fail to meet any of these requirements by following provisions in the California Charter Schools Act.

The revised policy would also have a number of procedural changes, including specific timelines for submitting applications and renewal requests and procedures for making changes. It also includes language establishing the district’s ability to offer fee-based services to charters and asserting the board’s right to place representatives on charters’ governing bodies.

The district’s newest charter, the Nea Community Learning Center, opened in the fall. And Chipman Middle School may convert to a charter school because that is one of the options it has for dealing with its continued inability to meet all its testing proficiency requirements under the federal No Child Left Behind law.

District staff have also discussed the possibility of converting additional schools to charters as part of their efforts to create a district master plan.

In addition to the charter policy, the board is set to discuss Chipman’s test scores and the district’s just-released API scores. And if you plan to be at the meeting Tuesday or to watch it on TV, you can check out the father-son action with Trustee Ron Mooney and son William, who will be the student board representative for Encinal High. Aww!

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