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Charter Schools

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Charter Schools

  1. 1. Charter Schools by Suzanne Urban Ryan
  2. 2. Definition <ul><li>Charter Schools are publicly funded elementary and secondary schools. </li></ul><ul><li>They are not bound by the same rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools. In exchange for these freedoms, the Charter School is accountable for certain results, which are stated in the school’s charter. </li></ul><ul><li>Authorization for charter schools varies from state to state. Generally, there are four types of authorization: local school board, state universities, community colleges, and the State Board of Education. Often, it is the State Board of Education which authorizes the charter. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Intent <ul><li>Increase learning opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide access to quality education for all children . </li></ul><ul><li>Create choice for children and their families. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage creative and innovative teaching practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Involve families in the education process of their children. </li></ul><ul><li>Improve public education everywhere. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Benefits <ul><li>An educational vision can be realized. </li></ul><ul><li>A special population can be served. </li></ul><ul><li>New career opportunities can be raised for teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>Higher, academic standards for students. </li></ul><ul><li>More rigorous curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller school size. </li></ul><ul><li>Open to all students. </li></ul><ul><li>Can play a large part in educational reform. </li></ul>
  5. 5. History <ul><li>In 1988, Albert Shanker, President of the American Federation of Teachers, began the charter school movement by calling for the reform of the public schools. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1992, the first U.S. charter school was opened in Minnesota. Today, there are more than 3,000 schools that serve more than 700,000 students. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Charter Laws <ul><li>Federal Support for charter schools began in 1995 with the Public Charter Schools Program (PCSP) administered by the U.S. Department of Education. </li></ul><ul><li>Charter schools can be started by parents, community leaders, businesses, teachers, school districts or municipalities. </li></ul><ul><li>Most charter schools are granted a 3 -5 year charter, or contract. </li></ul><ul><li>Charter schools must have a fair and open admissions process. </li></ul><ul><li>Charter schools must conduct outreach programs and recruit from all segments of the community in which they plan to serve. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Public Relations Questions <ul><li>Most charter schools are newly created, while some are converted from existing schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Most charter schools are small schools. Median enrollment is 242 students compared to 539 for traditional public schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Charter schools serve a variety of communities. </li></ul><ul><li>Charter schools vary from state to state and school to school. </li></ul><ul><li>Charter schools have non-typical grade configurations: K-2 or K-8. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Public Relations Questions, cont. <ul><li>Charter Schools create competition in public school system. </li></ul><ul><li>Charter schools respond to public and political pressure. </li></ul><ul><li>Charter schools create an alternative school choice for families who might otherwise have no choice. </li></ul>
  9. 9. New Jersey Charter Schools <ul><li>“ A charter school is a public school operated under a charter granted by the Commissioner of Education, that is independent of the district board of education and that is managed by a board of trustees.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The intent is to improve student learning and achievement; increase choice to parents and students;encourage innovative learning methods; establish a new system of accountability; make the school the unit for educational improvement; establish new professional opportunities for teachers.” NJ Dept of Education </li></ul>
  10. 10. Who are the founders of New Jersey Charter Schools? <ul><li>Teaching staff members </li></ul><ul><li>Parents with children attending schools in the district </li></ul><ul><li>A combination of teachers and parents </li></ul><ul><li>Higher Education Institutions </li></ul><ul><li>A private entity located in the state in conjunction with teaching staff members </li></ul>
  11. 11. More info on New Jersey Charter Schools <ul><li>May not charge tuition </li></ul><ul><li>A private or parochial school may not convert into a charter </li></ul><ul><li>Is open to all students on a space-available basis with preference given to students residing within the district of the charter school. </li></ul><ul><li>All classroom teachers and support staff must hold appropriate state certification. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Funding for a New Jersey Charter School <ul><li>Funding comes through state and local taxpayers through the district board of education. </li></ul><ul><li>Charter schools receive 90% of the total cost per student that a district spends. For example, if a district’s cost for educating a student is $11,000, then the charter would receive $9,900 per child from the district. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Accountability <ul><li>Accountability in education refers to “how well schools actually teach students and whether they successfully raise the bar for student achievement.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Accountability <ul><li>Charter schools must meet statewide standards, and students must demonstrate satisfactory academic achievement on all state assessments: </li></ul><ul><li>NJ ASK, GEPA,and HSPA. </li></ul><ul><li>Charter schools must meet additional academic and civic goals as stated in their charter. </li></ul><ul><li>Charter schools must demonstrate fiscal responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Charter schools must comply with all laws and regulations regarding public health and civil rights. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Federal Law <ul><li>Federal law puts measures in place to make changes in public schools that are not showing student achievement at assessed levels. </li></ul><ul><li>If test scores are not where they should be, the school must take steps to improve student learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Tutoring, transferring to a new school, or school restructuring can be used to improve student performance. </li></ul><ul><li>As public schools, charters are subject to the same provisions of State and Federal law. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Resources <ul><li>www.njcharters.org </li></ul><ul><li>www.nj.gov/educational/chartsch/allcharters.shtml </li></ul><ul><li>www.edreform.com </li></ul>