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					Charter School Exercise Background
2009 Summer Fellows
History of Charter School Movement

   The charter school movement has roots in a number of other reform ideas, from alternative
    schools, to site-based management, magnet schools, public school choice, privatization, and
    community-parental empowerment

   The term "charter" may have originated in the 1970s when New England educator Ray Budde
    suggested that small groups of teachers be given contracts or "charters" by their local school
    boards to explore new approaches

   Albert Shanker, former president of the American Federation of Teachers, then publicized the
    idea, suggesting that local boards could charter an entire school with union and teacher

   In the late 1980s Philadelphia started a number of schools-within-schools and called them

   The idea was further refined in Minnesota where charter schools were developed according to
    three basic values: opportunity, choice, and responsibility for results

   In 1991 Minnesota passed the first charter school law, with California following suit in 1992

   By 1995, 19 states had signed laws allowing for the creation of charter schools, and by 2003
    that number increased to 40 states, Puerto Rico, and DC

                                          Source: US Charter Schools                                 2
Charter Laws

   Charter schools vary from state to state, not only because the individual charters set out
    unique mission and goal statements, but also because state charter laws, which significantly
    influence the development of charter schools, also vary. The laws cover seven basic policy
    and legal areas:
     +   Charter development: who may propose a charter, how charters are granted, the number of charter
         schools allowed, and related issues
     +   School status: how the school is legally defined and related governance, operations, and liability issues
     +   Fiscal: the level and types of funding provided and the amount of fiscal independence and autonomy
     +   Students: how schools are to address admissions, non-discrimination, racial/ethnic balance, discipline,
         and special education
     +   Staffing and Labor Relations: whether the school may act as an employer, which labor relations laws
         apply, and other staff rights and privileges
     +   Instruction: the degree of control a charter school has over the development of its instructional goals
         and practices
     +   Accountability: whether the charter serves as a performance-based contract, how assessment methods
         are selected, and charter revocation and renewal issues

                                                Source: US Charter Schools                                           3
Myths & Realities

MYTH: Charter public schools are private schools.
REALITY: Charter schools are public schools open to any child, free of charge; they offer school
choice to poor and working class families who cannot afford private school.

MYTH: Charter public schools accept only the "cream of the crop" and reject under performing
REALITY: Unlike exclusive private schools, charter public schools do not recruit and select "the best"
students. When enrollment requests exceed the number of seats, charter schools hold a public lottery
to determine who will attend.

MYTH: Charter public schools "drain money" from district public schools.
REALITY: When charter public schools are funded, there is no loss of public school money because
charter schools are public schools. The total amount of spending on public education in communities
with charter public schools is unchanged.

MYTH: Charter public schools receive more state money than district public schools.
REALITY: Charter public schools receive exactly what the districts spend to educate their students. A
new funding formula ensures that the amount of money that charter public schools receive reflects the
demographics, grade levels, and special education needs of the students who enroll.

                                Source: Massachusetts Charter Public School Association                  4
2008-09 Charter Schools Dashboard

                       Students                                                                          Growth
 # of students enrolled                          >1,407,700                    # of charter schools                              >4,600

 % of which are minority students                61.5%                         # of new charter schools in 2008-09               >400

 % low income                                    47.9%                         Charter school market share in US                 3%
 % of which require special education            11%                           Highest market share in single state              9% (Arizona)
 % of which are ESL students                     12%
                                                                                Highest market share in single city               55% (New

                    Performance                                                                Policy Environment
 % of charter schools making AYP*                62% (71% in                   # of states with charter laws 40 + DC
                                                                                # of states with caps on charters                 26 + DC
 % of charter students > proficient
  on 2007 NAEP                                                                  Average per pupil funding as %
        +       4R – 27% (32% in Non-Charters)                                   of average district school funding                78%

        +       4M – 32% (39% in Non-Charters)                                  % of registered voters who accurately
        +       8R – 28% (29% in Non-Charters)                                   describe charters as public schools               38%
        +       8M – 25% (31% in Non-Charters)
                                                                                % of registered voters who
                                                                                      + Oppose charters                            14%
                                                                                      + Are unsure about charters                  47%
                                                                                      + Favor charters                             39%

                 * Adequately Yearly Progress: A statewide accountability system mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 which
                               requires each state to ensure that all schools and districts make Adequate Yearly Progress.
                                                  Source: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
Examples of Boston-Area Charter Schools

          The Academy of the Pacific Rim’s mission is to empower urban students of all racial and ethnic
          backgrounds to achieve their full intellectual and social potential by combining the best of the East (high
          standards, discipline and character education) with the best of the West (a commitment to individualism,
          creativity and diversity).

          City on a Hill Charter Public School emphasizes academic achievement, citizenship, teacher
          leadership, and public accountability. The school seeks to graduate responsible, resourceful, and
          respectful democratic citizens prepared to advance community, culture and commerce, and to compete
          in the 21st century.

          KIPP Academy Lynn Charter School provides an environment where the students of Lynn may
          develop the academic skills, intellectual habits, and character traits necessary to maximize their potential
          in high school, college, and the world beyond. KIPP Lynn is modeled after the nationally-recognized
          Knowledge is Power Program.

          The Media and Technology Charter High (MATCH) School prepares inner-city Boston students to
          succeed in college and beyond. Courage, discipline, and perseverance are our core values, and we
          reverse underachievement through a combination of innovation, relentless personal academic attention,
          and an old-fashioned “no-shortcuts” ethic.

          The Neighborhood House Charter School’s educational philosophy is “succeed anywhere” – the
          notion that every student at the school will have the necessary knowledge and skills to attend a high
          quality high school, whether that school be public or private, focused on college preparation, the
          technical trades, or the creative arts.

                             Source: Massachusetts Charter Public School Association                                6
Pros and Cons of Charter Schools
                      Pros                                                               Cons
   Charter schools present students and parents                      Because charter schools operate as a
    with an increasingly diverse array of education                    business, as well as a learning institution, they
    options                                                            are subject to market forces that may
                                                                       eventually force them to close, depriving
   The competition provided by charter schools
                                                                       students of a continuous education
    forces school districts to improve the
    performance of their schools in order to attract                  Accountability for student performance is
    and retain students and dollars                                    difficult to measure and enforce in the
                                                                       burgeoning charter school movement
   If managed properly, charter schools serve as
    laboratories for education experimentation                        The usual complications of accurate student
    and innovation                                                     measurement are compounded by the often-
                                                                       conflicting demands of the state
     +    The easing of certain regulations can
                                                                       government’s need for accountability and
          free teachers & administrators to develop
                                                                       the marketplace’s desire for opportunity
          and implement new learning strategies
                                                                      The emergence of education management
     +    Additionally, charter schools are often
                                                                       organizations as proprietors of charter schools
          freed from hiring and compensation
                                                                       creates “pseudo-school districts” in which
          guidelines mandated by teacher’s
                                                                       decisions are made far removed from the
   Increased accountability for charter schools
    means that schools have to perform or risk
    closure. This extra incentive demands results

                                                Source: ECS Education Policy                                               7
Your Assignment:

   Your team assignment will be to create a proposal and presentation for a new charter school

   This exercise does not imply that New Sector approves or opposes the Charter School
    movement, or that we are endorsing it to you

   We have chosen this concept to provide a platform for your teams to put all the trainings over
    the past several days to use, including
     +   Definition of mission and need
     +   Theory of change and performance measurement
     +   Projection of expenses
     +   Constructing and delivering an effective presentation

   Please read through the assignment

   You will have time to work on the assignment this afternoon

   Feel free to ask us questions as you progress


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