Spady continues his pursuit of charter-school success

Spady continues his pursuit of charter-school success

No name is more synonymous with charter school fights in Washington the past two decades than Spady. Ever since Jim and Fawn Spady moved their…

AP article on Washington State Charter Schools Association

With the opening of Washington’s first charter school likely 15 months away, more dollars from Seattle’s tech economy are flowing toward groups that want to…

Getting Washington’s charter schools right from the beginning

BY MARTA REYES-NEWBERRY Working with teachers, school districts, local leaders, parents, and state officials, we can build a public education system that works best for…

Collaborating to Create High Quality Public Charter Schools in Washington State

BY DAVID BLEY This post originally ran on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Impatient Optimists blog Collaboration. It is a concept we instill in…

Introducing the Washington State Charter Schools Association

Welcome to the Washington State Charter Schools Association website. The Association is a new statewide nonprofit that will support the start-up of high-quality public charter schools,…

New Washington organization created to support high-quality public charter schools

Contact: Mary Beth Lambert, League of Education Voters, Phone: (206) 335-0191, The Washington State Charter Schools Association is a new statewide nonprofit that will support the…

New study on how charter schools serve students with disabilities

A recent report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) sheds new light on the findings on a June 2012 Government Accountability Office study that found that nationally charter schools serve fewer students with disabilities than traditional public schools. CRPE’s study suggests that much more nuance is needed in looking at how charter schools serve students with disabilities.

CRPE’s study looked specifically at New York state’s special education enrollment.  As Robin Lake, Director of CRPE, and Alex Medler, Vice President of policy and advocacy for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, write in their recent article in Education Week, “The [study’s] results showed a much more complex picture, one that casts doubt on one-size-fits-all policy solutions like quotas or enrollment targets. Any state-level uniform enrollment target is too simple a solution for the complex problems associated with special education enrollments and equal access.”

The study found that rates of special education students served at the middle and high school levels do not vary between charter and traditional schools. It also shows that there is great variation in the number of special education students served on a school-by-school basis, regardless of whether or not it is a traditional or charter school. Schools, whether charter or traditional, may attract a certain population of students based on their reputation and track record with those students, say Lake and Medler.

Steps Toward Charter Schools

This blog originally appeared in Seattle’s Child

Last November, Washington voters approved an initiative that allows the creation of up to 40 public charter schools over five years. The first public charter schools in Washington will likely open for the 2014-15 school year.

This is great news for Washington’s students, especially those for whom traditional public schools are not working. Charter schools will provide an opportunity for kids who need a change of direction and a different learning environment, and will be a potential lifeline for parents looking for another public school option for their student’s education.

Charter schools are publicly funded based on student enrollment, free, and open to all students without restriction, and are authorized and overseen by local school boards or a state commission. Public charter schools are independently operated and have the flexibility to tailor curriculum, school hours, budgets, and staffing to the needs of the students and neighborhoods they serve. Washington is the 42nd state to implement charter schools. 

Washington State Charter School Commission elects leadership

The newly formed Washington State Charter School Commission charged with authorizing charter schools and holding them accountable met this week and elected their leadership. Steve Sundquist, former President of the Seattle School Board, was chosen as Chair and Larry Wright, managing director of the Bellevue Arts Museum, was chosen as vice chair.

The Commission discussed the timeline to begin accepting charter school applications. The Commissioners also heard two presentations. Robin Lake from the Center on Reinventing Public Education presented on the lessons from charter school research. William Haft from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers presented on charter school authorizing.

The next meeting of the Commission is May 28 at the Technology Access Foundation.

[caption id="attachment_1907" align="alignnone" width="632"] A slide from a presentation given by William Haft with the National Association of Charter School Authorizers[/caption]

Washington Charter School Commission elects leaders

Washington’s new Charter School Commission elected a former Seattle School Board president as its chairman. The group also has started to solidify its plans for…

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For thousands of children in Washington State, a high-quality education is out of reach. Washington is home to startling - and increasing - educational inequities for children from low-income communities, children with special needs, and children of color.

We can change this by providing our children with high-quality charter public school options that show what's possible when innovation meets accountability.

Challenge inequity and support innovation by giving to WA Charters this #GivingTuesday.
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