The fate of the American Indian Model Schools won’t be on Wednesday’s regular Oakland school board meeting agenda, but we can expect a large group of parents and students from the three schools at the meeting.
Bernadette Coleman, president of the schools’ new Family Advisory Committee, told me today she believes the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team’s scathing report about the AIMS governance, operations and suspected financial fraud — which came out this summer, prompting OUSD to issue a “notice of violation” in September — was full of errors.
If and when the OUSD board holds a hearing on the subject, Coleman said, “it’ll be public knowledge what is true and what is not.”
Families and staff members worked around the clock to respond to each of the school district’s concerns, Coleman said, and will tell the Oakland school board so on Wednesday night after they march to the school district headquarters from the campus in Chinatown.
The charter school organization recently submitted a 13-binder response to Oakland Unified’s “notice of violation.” Staff are reviewing the response and are expected to come forth with a recommendation in January, according to OUSD.
I did notice vastly new and improved AIM Schools website, complete with the names of the governing board members and copies of the agendas and minutes. (It does, however, seem to lack some of the in-your-face attitude I enjoyed on the previous site.)
Here’s a letter the parents from American Indian’s advisory council sent out today (originally titled in red font):
Why does OUSD want to close one of the HIGHEST PERFORMING K- 12 Schools in California?
Since 2000, American Indian Public Charter School went from a failing school on the brink of closing to one of the Nation’s top performing schools in the country.
In 2006, American Indian Public Charter School became the first public school in Oakland to win the National Blue Ribbon Award!
Today, AIM Schools are among the highest performing K-12 public school system in the State of California.
American Indian Public High School (AIPHS) pushes an academically rigorous program to prepare all students for college. One hundred percent of the high AIPHS students are enrolled in Advance Placement courses including World History, U.S. History, Physics, Calculus, Statistics, English Language Arts, English Literature, Government, Economics, and Mandarin. In 2011 AP test passing rates were as high as 86% for Calculus and 76% for Stats. A recent US News and World Report article named AIPHS the number 1 public high school in Oakland, number 14 in California, and number 71 in United States. Out of the 15,000 high schools across America, Newsweek named AIPHS the 4th ranked public high school in California and 32nd in the nation.
During the summer, AIM Schools’ students participate in a variety of summer programs including U.C. Berkeley’s Academic Talent Development Program (ATDP), Google’s CAPE Program, and UCSF’s Biomedical Internship. Most popular among AIM Schools’ students, however, is the competitive John’s Hopkins CTY summer program where students get to attend a 3 week program designed specifically for advanced learners. The brightest students across America compete to qualify for this program through scores on tests like the SATs. Last year alone, 80% of 6th grade AIM Schools’ students who were tested obtained qualifying scores.
You can’t argue the facts; the American Indian Model Schools are helping students succeed. When families choose to send their kids to an American Indian Model Schools, they are not just choosing a school; parents are choosing a promising future for their kids. We Are A School At Work!
So why does OUSD and Tony Smith want to close AIM Schools?
American Indian Model Schools has scheduled a march on the Oakland Unified School District on December 12, 2012 leaving from American Indian Public Charter School II campus located at 171 12th Street. Oakland, CA 94607 promptly at 4:45 P.M. and will end in front of the OUSD Administration Office on 1025 2nd Avenue Oakland, CA 94606-2212.
We hope to see you there!
Family Advisory Executive Committee