Home » Island News, Schools

Ed Board to chat about charters

Submitted by on 1, March 22, 2010 – 4:50 am2 Comments

Alameda’s Board of Education is set to consider extending the Alameda Community Learning Center’s charter by five years with changes that would completely separate the school from the district. District staff is recommending approval of the extension.

At its regular meeting Tuesday – which will be held at the Alameda High School Little Theater at the corner of Oak and Walnut streets – the board will also contemplate officially closing Chipman Middle School and extending the attendance zone for Wood Middle School to include any former or potential Chipman students who don’t wish to attend the new Academy of Alameda Middle School that is set to open its doors next year.

In a presentation to be offered at the meeting, district staff wrote that ACLC’s renewal request meets all of the state mandates it must satisfy for an extension to be granted. The board may not deny the charter’s request if the mandates are met.

In addition to showing that they offer a sound educational program and that they have the ability to carry it out, charters seeking renewal must show that they can meet one of four criteria related to their students’ performance on state academic performance tests. The school met all four of those criteria, staff wrote, with students attaining academic performance index scores averaging over 800 for seven of the last eight years and the school ranking highly when compared to similar schools.

The school also has worked to achieve a racial and ethnic balance that more closely mirrors that of Alameda’s public schools, and it also received a favorable review from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a nonprofit, third-party evaluator.

Under the renewal, which would extend through June 30, 2015, the school’s leaders would seek their special education services from an outside agency, instead of Alameda Unified, which is where they come from now. Starting next school year, ACLC’s special education services would be supplied by the El Dorado County Charter School SELPA, which already provides those services to ACLC’s sister school, the Nea Community Learning Center.

ACLC serves students in grades 6-12. It was founded in 1992 as an in-district charter, the Arthur Andersen Community Learning Center.

Separately, the board is being asked to formally make a decision to close Chipman Middle School. The school did not meet all of its federal testing mandates for four years running, so the district is required to consider a set of options for it that included closure. Parents and teachers at the school are working to set up a charter school that they hope to open at Chipman in the fall.

The board will also get a draft list of books that could be taught to the district’s elementary school students in an effort to curb bullying. The current version of the list, which was vetted by a group of teachers over two days, contains more than 140 books, though Interim Assistant Superintendent Ruben Zepeda said in an e-mail that it will have to be “scaled back significantly.”

Anyone interested in reading and commenting on the books can view them in room 202E of the district offices, which are at 2200 Central Avenue. Meanwhile, the list is below.


  • Mark Irons says:

    Michele, I thought the Obama administration changed NCLB mandates last week, including the test mandates Chipman failed to meet. I understand the momentum here wonder if this is still a legal requirement.

    • Hey Mark,

      Finally got around to checking this out (thanks for the push). Looks like the Obama Administration went to Congress on March 15 with its “blueprint” for revamping No Child Left Behind. So it has not been changed as of yet. From what I read, the mandates would change if Obama’s plan went through Congress untouched, but they wouldn’t disappear entirely. Essentially, it sounds like the whole accountability process would gain some carrots along with the big fat stick that has been the hallmark of NCLB, but some of the options for chronically underperforming schools – like firing teachers and principals and charter conversions – would remain in place.

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.