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I-1240 Draws Support from Former Charter School Opponent

Sixteen years ago, in another chilly October, parent and school-levy volunteer Lisa Macfarlane managed a phone bank for the anti-charter-school campaign. Back then, Macfarlane believed charters — the privately run, publicly funded schools that were cropping up in many states — would weaken the public school system she was working hard to strengthen. … Charters, … Read More

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Education Researchers Find Ample Evidence Public Charter Schools Can Help Our Students Do Better

SEATTLE – Washington’s voters will in November again decide whether to allow charter schools in Washington… The writers of the ballot measure that would allow the independent public schools to get a foothold in Washington say they designed their proposal to create the best charter school system in the nation. The proposal would open as … Read More

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How a Charter School Saved a Rural Farming Community

The town of Walton, Kan., cuts a modest swath through a rich carpet of winter wheat that stretches in green and amber patches toward the Flint Hills. … Along with U.S. 50, another vital artery, the railroad is a reminder that no matter how quiet its main street or stark the horizon, tiny Walton, population … Read More

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Independent Policy Expert Dispels Myth About a ‘Trigger’ in I-1240

… Some of the opponents of a Washington state ballot item that would for the first time allow charters schools are pointing to that language and arguing that it would establish a trigger policy in the state, similar to controversial laws on the books in seven states. But backers of initiative 1240—and at least one … Read More

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Charter Success Story: Bronx Charter School Awarded Blue Ribbon by US Department of Education

The Bronx Charter School for Excellence won the distinction of being one of three charter schools in the state to win a National Blue Ribbon Schools Award from the U.S. Department of Education. BCSE won in the category, “Exemplary High Performing Schools” as opposed to “Exemplary Improving Schools,” though 40% of its students are “disadvantaged,” … Read More

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Seattle Business Chamber Endorses YES on 1240 to Improve K-12 Education

The Chamber’s Board of Trustees also adopted a resolution supporting Initiative 1240, which would allow a limited number of charter schools in the state. The Chamber has historically supported efforts to improve K-12 education in Washington state, and specific to [I-1240], members believe there is compelling evidence that it will provide parents and students with a proven alternative for education that already exists in many states throughout the country.

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State Attorney General Says I-1240 ‘Clearly Constitutional’

OLYMPIA — Charter schools would be constitutional in Washington state under the system proposed by this year’s ballot initiative, Attorney general and would-be governor Rob McKenna said Tuesday.

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I-1240 Would Put Washington in Top Spot Among Nation’s Charter School States, Says Leading Charter School Group

If voters pass an initiative allowing charter schools, Washington will become one of the nation’s leaders in its embrace of the nontraditional mode of educating students with public funds.

Under Initiative 1240, charter schools would operate with as much or more flexibility, access to funding and accountability than allowed under laws now on the books in 41 states and the District of Columbia.

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State Schools Chief Randy Dorn: Graduation Rates Among Minority and At-Risk Students ‘Too Low’

Washington students are making steady progress on state tests, but too many – especially minority kids – are still failing to reach the big goal of graduating from high school on time, state education officials said Wednesday. … [State Superintendent of Public Education Randy Dorn] said on-time graduation numbers are still too low, particularly for … Read More

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Q&A with Teachers United’s Chris Eide: Washington Needs a Public Charter School Option

…Washington state is one of only nine states that don’t have charter schools. But voters can change that in November if they approve Initiative 1240, which will allow up to 40 charters statewide over five years. Chris Eide, who heads a Seattle-based ed reform group called Teachers United, tells redefinED in this emailed Q&A that it’s the students who struggle the most who will benefit if voters say yes.