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Three women and a charter schools movement

My column this week features three longtime Washington educators preparing to launch three separate public charter schools. Brenda McDonald, Kristina Bellamy-McClain and Maggie O’Sullivan are working with the Washington State Charter Schools Association. These women are bright, experienced and have strong ties in the communities they’re choosing to locate their schools. McDonald’s entry into the … Read More

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Spokane Public Schools taking proposals as cutoff nears

Seven years of foreign language. Extra math and science. Nine-hour school days and an extended school year. These are the makings of a charter school planned for Spokane next year. Brenda McDonald plans to submit an application to Spokane Public Schools to start Pride Prep, a free college preparatory school for sixth- through 12th-graders considered … Read More

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First Washington District Chosen to Authorize Charters

The 29,000-student Spokane Public Schools in Eastern Washington has been tapped to be the first school district in the state to authorize charter schools, following voters’ approval of charters in the 2012 election. The district was approved as a charter authorizer by the Washington State Board of Education yesterday and could see approved charters opening … Read More

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Spokane to have first charter school

Spokane could have the first charter school in Washington by next fall. It will be a historic and controversial development closely watched by school administrators, teachers, politicians and education reformists throughout the state. Voters approved charter schools last year, and Spokane Public Schools has dashed to be among the first districts to allow the independent … Read More

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Rules for charter schools approved

An independent panel Thursday approved the rules it will follow in authorizing Washington’s first charter schools early next year. Meeting at Everett Community College, the Washington Charter School Commission spelled out what potential operators must put in their application and what criteria will be used to evaluate the performance of their publicly funded, independently run … Read More

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Ahead of the Curve

There are 295 school districts across the state of Washington. And so far only one, Spokane Public Schools, has opted to become a charter school authorizer. One reason, Superintendent Shelley Redinger says, is because local district leadership has experience in the charter school world. “When I was in Oregon as a superintendent, we jumped on … Read More

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Spokane Public Schools step closer to charter schools

Spokane Public Schools is on its way to establishing the first charter school in Washington. That should come as no surprise: Superintendent Shelley Redinger announced the district’s desire for a charter school before final votes were tallied on the initiative in November. Spokane Public Schools, the state’s second-largest district, was the only district to apply by … Read More

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Coalition’s suit challenges state’s charter-schools law

The drama over whether to allow charter schools in Washington state is getting another act. A coalition led by the state teachers union filed a long-awaited lawsuit Wednesday, turning to the courts after state voters narrowly approved the schools on supporters’ fourth attempt last November. The claim that charters violate the state constitution is the … Read More

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Districts split over charter schools

Washington voters have decided they want to add charter schools to the education mix in the state, and the three largest districts are taking different approaches to the question: What should charter schools mean to our community? Seattle has decided to basically ignore the question for now; Tacoma is still learning and exploring; and Spokane … Read More

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Gig Harbor mom determined to open one of Washington’s first charter schools

Privately run, publicly funded schools will begin opening in our state in the fall of 2014, after Washington voters gave their approval to a charter school initiative last year. Only eight will be authorized in the first year, but Calyn Holdaway is confident she’ll be one of the lucky few. The mother from Gig Harbor … Read More