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On the agenda: Wednesday, April 16

By Katy Murphy
Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 at 9:15 pm in charter schools, School board news.

The school board holds a special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday night to vote (my fingers still need to get used to typing that word) on the controversial Life Academy relocation and (as Peter has noted) a charter school facilities policy that could have implications for non-charter schools.

Here’s what’s on the agenda:

  • A proposal for Life Academy. The state administrator has recommended that the Fruitvale/San Antonio-area school move temporarily — at least for the 2008-09 year — to the old Carter Middle School campus in North Oakland, where International High School is now located.
  • A denial. Peacemaker Leadership Academy, a would-be charter school whose operators aimed to enroll low-performing youth, might get shut down before it opens. The state administration’s reasoning? Well, for starters: “The petition presents an unsound educational program…”

The documents are posted online. You can access them by clicking on the above hyperlink to the agenda.

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  • peter

    Also on the agenda:
    A prop 39 piece that offers 6 classrooms at Westlake and 7 at McClymonds to BayTech Charter school. It’s not a very well understood proposition, but basically any charter has a right to district owned land if not in use… including classrooms that are (theoretically) not in use at active schools. No matter what you think of charter schools (or the two schools potentially impacted), I cannot see the benefit to students of multiple bell schedules and conflicting educational philosophies at a single site.
    Hopefully, some people will be at the meeting to share their opinions on these issues!

  • Caroline

    An important correction, Peter! Prop. 39 requires schools to meet charter schools’ demand for space EVEN IF IT DISPLACES EXISTING PROGRAMS. All of us with kids in schools should be very afraid when predatory charters are prowling around hungry for our kids’ school facilities.

  • John

    Yes Caroline! Those prowling charters have to be watched. They’re like vultures! In my last school a very competent principal (who happened not to be Afro American) was raising test scores and had a firm reign on school discipline in this largely (almost exclusive) Afro American neighborhood. However the community wanted an administrator who reflected the demographic of the community. They got what they wanted. Unfortunately, as it just so happened, they also got lower test scores, lower levels of discipline and the school became vulture bait for prowling charter schools ready to consume schools that get left behind.

    Hmmmmmm Maybe this public school wouldn’t have been eaten by a prowling charter had some who profess a belief in “Strength in Diversity” practice what’s been preached?

  • Nextset

    John, I thought I saw a post from you vanish before my eyes???

    Anyway, on topic here, Charter Schools are in the business of creative distruction. They come along as John mentioned and take students away from traditional schools, which once undermined may collapse completely. Like what Capital One et.al. did to Household & Beneficial Finance Companies.

    I’d never thought of a “prowling charter” running around looking for a failure factory to displace but I suppose that is the whole point of the Charters.

    “Strength in Diversity”…hmmm Diversity implies just that to me. I am far better than some my associates at certain problems and areas of law and am disinterested in areas that some of my collegues like to play in. As a team we are able to put forth great energy across the board. The practice of law and medicine is turning into boutique practice anyway. But everybody observes the same foundational standards (handwashing a certain way before surgery, etc).

    Diversity now seems to be perverted into everybody having to think the same, do the same and be the same. Not the way life works.

    NCLB clearly was intended to destroy the public school system as we know it. And that NCLB data collection will one day supplant the US Military Draft Dataset that proved so illuminating. I can’t see exactly what will result. Are we going to have a horde of Charter Schools in the Urban areas handling secondary education? Maybe. Once the Internet is used by the Charters to poach students far away from their geographical bases you will see serious creative distruction. And when it comes it may come swiftly. We may save gas…

  • Caroline

    Here’s some detail on charter schools:

    http://www.pasasf.org/charters/charters.html

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