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Chavis on CNN.com: Money won’t fix bad schools

Ben Chavis, former director of Oakland’s high-performing American Indian Public Charter School, surfaces again to promote his educational philosophy (and new book) — this time on CNN.com. “I believe all the money in the world would not be enough to improve schools run by incompetent public school administrators,” he wrote in a commentary published this [...]

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Posted on Friday, September 11th, 2009
Under: charter schools, finances, school reform | 30 Comments »

So, how did Oakland’s charter schools do?

Tribune file photo by Laura A. Oda You wanted to know how the city’s independently run, publicly funded schools performed on the 2009 state tests. Here’s your answer, courtesy of the OUSD Charter Schools Office. Of the 27 charters that were around in 2008, 15 made significant gains in both English and math. The charters with the biggest up-swings [...]

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Posted on Friday, August 28th, 2009
Under: Algebra/Math, charter schools, elementary schools, students, test scores | 26 Comments »

Ben Chavis’s new book: “Crazy like a fox”

It’s not yet for sale, but I recently received a book written by the (officially) former director of American Indian Public Charter School, Ben Chavis. It’s titled, “Crazy like a fox: One principal’s triumph in the inner city.” The book begins like this: Before I became principal, people called American Indian Public Charter School the [...]

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Posted on Thursday, July 23rd, 2009
Under: achievement gap, charter schools, test scores | 59 Comments »

A charter debate to watch, at your own risk

UPDATE: I’ve just learned that the debate has been postponed — not sure why. Tribune file photos of Ben Chavis and Yvette Felarca Let’s just say that when I chose my furlough dates last month, I had no idea that the below event would be happening in the middle of my time away. Ben Chavis, the infamously temperamental, [...]

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Posted on Monday, February 23rd, 2009
Under: achievement gap, charter schools, people, school reform, students, teachers, test scores | 10 Comments »

Black “History” Month

I know that this blog may get a bit of comments but I’ve been thinking about this lately and feel that it is necessary to discuss this. Before I start saying anything, I want to apologize for being MIA. So, Hello everyone. I hope everyone is enjoying the 2009 so far. February is known as [...]

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Posted on Tuesday, February 10th, 2009
Under: Bryant Phan | 29 Comments »

Four Oakland schools win Title I awards

Around this time each year, the state education department gives props to schools whose low-income students cleaned up on high stakes tests.  These are high-performing schools with ”socioeconomically disadvantaged” populations of at least 40 percent.    This year’s Oakland winners are:

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Posted on Monday, December 15th, 2008
Under: achievement gap, charter schools, curriculum, elementary schools, high schools, middle schools, NCLB, students, teachers, test scores | No Comments »

Charter schools and children in poverty

The high test scores of the Oakland Charter Academy and American Indian Public Charter schools have surfaced again, this time in a brief released today by the California Charter Schools Association. The charter schools advocacy group performed a simple analysis that compared the composite test scores – the API — of high-poverty public schools in California (those in which 70 [...]

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Posted on Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
Under: achievement gap, charter schools, NCLB, students, test scores | 17 Comments »

Lessons from a “small school from the ‘hood”

photo of Oakland Charter Academy student by D. Ross Cameron/Oakland Tribune The racial and economic achievement gap comes up, in some form or another, at almost every Oakland school board meeting. Yet there are a handful of schools here in this city that have made that gap invisible, at least on their campuses, and I [...]

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Posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2008
Under: achievement gap, Algebra/Math, charter schools, curriculum, middle schools, NCLB, school reform, students, test scores | 73 Comments »

Denied: new American Indian charter school

The five local schools that use the American Indian Public Charter model might be among the highest-scoring public middle and high schools in Oakland (not to mention the state), but tonight, the state administrator stopped a new one from opening. David Montes de Oca, Oakland’s charter schools director, was careful to say that his recommendation [...]

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Posted on Thursday, October 30th, 2008
Under: achievement gap, Algebra/Math, charter schools, curriculum, middle schools, OUSD central office, people, School board news, special education, test scores, the arts | 34 Comments »

Another American Indian charter school?

The American Indian Public Charter School, a once-struggling institution that rose to national prominence — and local infamy — under former director Ben Chavis, already has two sister schools (four, if you count the charters started by Chavis’s protege, Jorge Lopez). Now they’re asking for another one: American Indian Public Charter School – AIM. At [...]

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Posted on Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
Under: charter schools, School board news, test scores | 45 Comments »