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Getting Mad About Schools - I have spent a lot of time in the
worst schools. What strikes me is how little anger is ever expressed
about the mediocre lessons, low standards and decrepit conditions that
characterize such places. When I ask good teachers why more is not
being done, it can't be helped, they say. Getting mad won't do any
good. But when Mike Feinberg became angry and did something
outrageous, it did make a difference and after several other such
episodes him -- he and his young and energetic staff had produced the
greatest gains for low-income students anywhere in Houston, or the
country for that matter.
Alliance for Charter School Reform (MACSR) - MACSR is an
alliance of individuals and organizations working to improve public
oversight of Michigan charter schools (public school academies),
charter school management companies, and authorizing institutions.
Assessing the KIPP Schools: A New Perspective - Richard
Rothstein has just published with three co-authors a short piece on
the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), the nation's most interesting
and most successful response so far to the problem of low achievement
in inner city and rural public schools. What is most important about
Rothstein's article is that it leaves intact, and I think in some ways
strengthens, KIPP's reputation for significantly raising the reading
and math abilities of low-income children. It also makes a good case
-- without actually trying to do so -- for introducing into all
low-performing schools KIPP's longer school days and year, stronger
motivational techniques and better principal and teacher recruitment
Successful Charter Schools
USDOE, October 15, 2004
Twelve years after the first charter school was launched, nearly
3,000 charter schools nationwide serve as beacons of public school
innovation and reform due to an unprecedented combination of freedom
and accountability: freedom to lengthen the school day, require dress
codes, put teachers on school boards, and adopt any instructional
practice that will help achieve the mission of building the skills
students need to succeed in today's world. How these schools have
boosted student achievement is the focus of a new guide from the U.S.
Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement.
Successful Charter Schools offers practical advice and concrete
examples from eight charter schools, all of which are meeting state
standards of accountability for all students under the No Child Left
Behind Act. The charter schools range from those educating urban
students in largely underserved public schools to those serving
parents in more affluent communities who want an alternative to the
local public school program. The first of two sections provides an
overview of common elements, including organizational structure,
leadership and mission, novel curricula and programs, efforts to
promote a community of continuous learning, partnerships and
accountability for results. It also includes such illustrative samples
as one school's list of parent involvement activities for which
parents commit to serve 20 hours annually. The second section provides
rich descriptions about each of the schools featured, which include
The Arts and Technology Academy Public Charter School, Washington,
D.C.; BASIS School, Inc., Tuscon, Ariz.; Community of Peace Academy,
St. Paul, Minn.; KIPP Academy Houston, Houston, Texas; Oglethorpe
Charter School, Savannah, Ga.; Ralph A. Gates Elementary School, Lake
Forest, Calif.; Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, Boston, Mass.; and
The School of Arts and Sciences, Tallahassee, Fla. For a free copy of
Successful Charter Schools, while supplies last, contact the
Department's publications center at 1-877-4ED-PUBS with identification
number EU 0109P.
Related to Charter, Alternative, and Private Schools
Seven Schools for Troubled Teens - Say your teenager has
skidded off the college-bound track, and you’re worried about
everything from substance-abuse issues and inappropriate sexual
activity to behavior problems and emotional struggles. If you’ve
reached the stressed-out point of considering a boarding school
designed to help turn your child’s life around, Dave Marcus has
assembled this short list of boarding schools he thinks do a
particularly good job of helping kids get back on track.
School of Shock - Eight states are
sending autistic, mentally retarded, and emotionally troubled kids
to a facility that punishes them with painful electric shocks. How
many times do you have to zap a child before it's torture? The
Rotenberg Center is the only facility in the country that
disciplines students by shocking them. Over its 36-year history, six
children have died in its care, prompting numerous lawsuits and
government investigations. Last year, New York state investigators
filed a blistering report that made the place sound like a high
school version of Abu Ghraib. Yet the program continues to thrive --
in large part because no one except desperate parents, and a few
state legislators, seems to care about what happens to the hundreds
of kids who pass through its gates.
Vision For A New Way
- "A critical paradigm shift, which includes a change in
mindset and behavior, is needed for any school to be in the
forefront of providing effective options for children with
disabilities." The Vision For A New Way website is designed to
present a model for special education proposed by the Michigan
Association of Public School Academies. It includes Tool Kits on
Instructional Strategies, Technical Assistance Resources, Parent
Resource Center, Building a Terrific Relationship with Your ISD, and
Administration. It also includes current educational grant
opportunities, special education resources and opportunities for
Charter High Schools:
Closing the Gap in Charter High Schools -
The U.S. Department of Education recently published a new guide
that focuses on eight charter high schools that are raising the
achievement levels of traditionally underserved student populations.
The guide, Charter High Schools: Closing the Achievement Gap,
reveals how these schools are using innovative instructional
approaches to close the gap between the highest-performing students
and those lagging behind. As independent public schools operating with
more freedom than their traditional counterparts, charter schools
promise greater academic results by developing creative solutions to
the problems faced by many public high schools. The schools profiled
in the guide are distinctively diverse but share six characteristics.
They: are mission-driven; focus on college preparation; teach for
mastery; provide support to students; value professional learning; and
hold themselves accountable. The schools
were chosen from over 400 charter high schools that are meeting
academic targets under the No Child Left Behind Act and are closing
achievement gaps by holding students to high academic standards. They
are: Gateway High School (Calif.); Media and Technology Charter High
School (Mass.); Minnesota New Country School; North Star Academy
Charter School of Newark (N.J.); The Preuss School (Calif.); The SEED
Public Charter School (District of Columbia); Toledo School for the
Arts (Ohio); and YES College Preparatory School (Texas).
For a free copy of the guide, call 1-877-4ED-PUBS with
identification number ED002720P, while supplies last, or visit
Detroit Parents See Charters as Best Hope for Kids - The area is so
downtrodden, it's a surprise to anyone approaching University Preparatory High
School, a stunning collection of glass and metal soaring above its dingy
neighbors. University Prep, a charter school, is seeking the answer to one of
this nation's biggest mysteries: how to get more urban kids to finish high
school and go on to college.
Implementing the Secret of Success - Experiment aims to motivate urban
youths to achieve. Across I-94 from Wayne State University is a neighborhood of
rundown houses cut up into rundown apartments. The area is so downtrodden, it's
a surprise to anyone approaching University Preparatory High School, a stunning
collection of glass and metal soaring above its dingy neighbors.
LOOKING FOR A BETTER EDUCATION:
Unhappy Parents Go Back To DPS - Charter schools promise, don't deliver,
they say. While thousands have left the Detroit Public Schools, some have
returned with horror stories about their charter school experiences. Parents
complain about uncertified teachers, high teacher turnover and unkept promises.
Moneymaking Charters Have Few Checks - A fringe benefit of attending a
charter school run by a company called Charter School Administrative Services
has been that selected students get to visit a chic mansion outside of Atlanta.
At-risk Kids Get Education Boost - Commerce Twp. middle-schoolers
who struggle get help in alternative program. When Kandiss Keller tried to
understand her homework last year, she would often get frustrated and give
up. This school year, she has the help of Skills for Success, an alternative
middle school program that meets twice a day, at the beginning and end of
the school day.
Alternative Schooling Not
Required, U.S. Court Rules - Although Michigan's constitution
guarantees the right to a free public elementary and secondary education,
neither it nor state law provides a right to alternative education for those
older than the drop-out age of 16, a panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of
Appeals ruled Monday in a case arising from the notorious 2000 murder of a
New Baltimore teen pizza worker.
Charter Schools: 10
Years of Success and Failure - A
decade after the first charter schools opened in Michigan, the
alternative public schools still inspire the same kind of debate they
did in 1994. Charter schools celebrated their 10-year anniversary this
week, but even after a decade of operation, there's no consensus on
their effectiveness. "We are basically right where we started," said
Michigan State University Professor David Plank, co-director of the
Education Policy Center.
Pioneering Charter School Remains Model for Success
- Ten years ago, a group of San Carlos parents and community
members took advantage of a new opportunity in public education: They
ripped apart California's 7,800-page education rule book and designed
a school as they saw fit.
Report Evaluates University-sponsored Schools;
Many CMU Charters Miss Progress Goals -
Central Michigan University, which sponsors about a third of Michigan's
charter schools, has the state's third-worst record at making "adequate
yearly progress" in its elementary charter programs.
No Child Puts Strain on Charters -
A Michigan Department of Education analysis shows charter schools
are more likely to face sanctions for failing to meet federal
standards than traditional schools and are less likely to have
Charter School Oversight Concerns State Legislators
- Legislators say they are paying attention to Walter
French Academy, whose closure this summer could affect whether
Michigan allows more university-run charter schools.
Academy's Tactics Worry Some Parents - Live Oak Academy is
by many accounts a model program housing 60 girls whose crimes deem
them to be a moderate threat to the community.
Authorizes Two New Charters -
Today, the Bay Mills Community College (BMCC) Board of Regents
authorized the establishment of two new charter schools in Michigan.
The Board also voted to authorize two existing schools.
Attorney General Rules On
Charter School Board Action - In response to a question
posed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Watkins,
Michigan Attorney General Mike COX today held the board of directors
of a Public School Academy may only conduct business so long as a
majority of its members are present.
Cox Rules Schools
Must Enroll Ex-charter School Students - Traditional public
school districts must enroll students within their boundaries who
leave public school academies and may not treat them as nonresidents,
Attorney General Michael Cox ruled Wednesday. He said the districts
must accept the students regardless of when in the academic year they
elect to transfer, importantly even after the official count day when
state aid is calculated.
How the Unions Killed a Dream - A
Philanthropist withdraws his offer to donate $200 million to Detroit's
inner city public schools. In 1999, an
unassuming Michigan road builder named Bob Thompson sold his
construction company for $442 million, an amount he and his wife Ellen
believed was far more than they needed for retirement.
AYP for Charter School Management Companies? - Schools managed by six companies fail to
perform as well as low-scoring traditional public schools.
LOCAL COMMENT: No logic in
adding charter schools - The other day, I was helping my
fifth-grade son do his math homework. For the math problem 2 5/6 times
3 2/3, he initially got an answer of 4 and a fraction. But he realized
it had to be wrong. He knew that just 2 times 3 equals 6. He applied
logic. Logic, unfortunately, does not seem to be incorporated into the
arguments of those seeking to dramatically increase the number of
charter schools. A current Senate bill provides for lifting the cap on
the number of schools universities can charter by 300 over the next 10
Opting out of Public Education
Private School Alternatives -
There comes a point for many families where public education is no
longer a viable option for their children. Perhaps services are too
limited, staff too oblivious to the child's needs, or a family just
feels that the constant negative environment is having a detrimental
effect of the child's self-esteem and love of learning. So what are
the choices beyond the neighborhood public school and how does a
family decide which is the best choice for a specific child?
Turns Fatal -
tough law on prone restraint that's banned in three states.
Troubled Kids, Far From Home -
Probing care, oversight at treatment centers.
Academy Loses Its Charter - A state board upheld findings by
Morrisville's school district. The online school will appeal.
At the Top of
the Class - KIPP programs could revolutionize
charter schools in poor districts—if they can just keep their grades up.
Public Boarding School Preps Inner-City Kids -
The students are all neatly dressed in
uniforms. The average classroom has 14 kids,
and each of them is prepared, engaged, and eager to learn.
Outside of class, students get regular exposure to
professionals in a variety of fields. In
other words, this place boasts many of the
advantages that you would find at any good private school.
That's what makes the SEED Public
Charter School of Washington, DC such a bold step in
Charters Planning to Open
Despite Watkins' Concerns - At least
one of the seven public school academies chartered by Bay Mills
Community College to open in the fall is moving ahead despite refusal
by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Watkins to recognize the
schools without proof the college can properly oversee them.
Top of the Class - KIPP programs
could revolutionize charter schools in poor districts—if they can just
keep their grades up.
Education's virtual transformation
- Welcome to the new face
of public education. Called virtual or cyber charter schools, the
programs combine public education, home schooling, virtual education
and big business.
Cox Allows Charter Schools With Multiple Locations (Gongwer, March
State Is Foolish to
Turn Down $500 Million Gifts to Education - Inflexible policy
blocks new Detroit schools and a college in Washtenaw County.
Fight for charter schools
continues in Michigan - Few issues in
education are as controversial as charter schools.
Involving Unilateral Placement:
Florence County Sch. Dist. IV v. Shannon Carter (510 U. S. 7)
- Shannon’s parents filed this suit in
July 1986, claiming that the school district had breached its duty
under IDEA to provide Shannon with a “free appropriate public
education,” § 1401(a)(18), and seeking reimbursement for tuition and
other costs incurred at Trident. After a bench trial, the District
Court ruled in the parents’ favor. The court held that the school
district’s proposed educational program and the achievement goals of
the IEP “were wholly inadequate” and failed to satisfy the
requirements of the Act. App. to Pet. for Cert 27a. The court further
held that “[a]lthough [Trident Academy] did not comply with all the
procedures outlined in [IDEA],” the school “provided Shannon an
excellent education in substantial compliance with all the substantive
requirements” of the statute. Id. at 37a.
Charter Bill Felled by
Impatient Senate, Plodding House
Charter school study finds support is
solid - MSU report may play role in effort to
lift current cap.
Regulations Could Push Up Charter Schools
Read the article from
MIRS 7/31/02 - Cyber'
Schools — Only A Matter Of Time?
Schools and Information (A - Z)
Questions and Answers
and Answers on Obligations of Public Agencies in Serving Children
with Disabilities Placed by Their Parents at Private Schools
Looking for a school with a certain disability in mind?
You can now search for schools by disability
The National Association of Private
Special Education Centers (NAPSEC)
A non-profit association
whose mission is to represent private special education programs and
affiliated state associations and to ensure access for individuals
to appropriate private special education programs and services as
vital components of the special education continuum. The association
consists of private early intervention services, schools,
residential therapeutic centers, and adult living programs that
serve both privately and publicly placed individuals with
American Private Education
The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) is a coalition of
national organizations and state affiliates serving private
elementary and secondary schools. Founded in 1971 to provide a
coherent voice for private education, CAPE is dedicated to fostering
communication and cooperation within the private school community
and with the public sector to improve the quality of education for
all of the nation’s children.
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Questions and Answers on
Obligations of Public Agencies in Serving Children with Disabilities
Placed by Their Parents at Private Schools
Author: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special
Education Programs (OSEP), Year of
Publication: 2000, Length: 23 pages,
NO LONGER AVAILABLE FROM NICHCY
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of Vouchers Go Shopping for Schools - More than 500 families in
the District's school voucher program packed a Monday night school
fair staffed by representatives of 44 D.C. private schools.