Click to view video: “Another Chance” – The Hummel Report profiles Nowell Leadership Academy (April 13, 2017)


“The National Alliance supports the Administration’s investment in opening, expanding, and replicating high-quality charter public schools. The $158 million increase for the Charter Schools Program (CSP) contained in the Administration’s FY 2018 budget would provide critical funding to seed new charter public schools and expand choice for families and students seeking alternatives to district schools.

“However, we are concerned that the proposed  budget doesn’t maintain final FY 2017 funding levels for IDEA and reduces Title I Part A formula funds.* Both IDEA and Title I are foundational programs for some of our most vulnerable students. We are  dismayed  by the deep cuts proposed to other programs within and beyond the Department of Education. The proposed $54 billion in overall cuts to non-defense discretionary spending—over $9 billion coming from the Department of Education alone—would have long-lasting, far-reaching negative consequences for children, families, communities, and our country as a whole.

“While we appreciate and welcome the Administration’s commitment to charter public schools and the public school students they serve, we urge the Administration and Members of Congress to consider all the ways the federal budget impacts public school students—both district and charter school students. We call on Congress to raise the budget caps on non-defense discretionary spending to avoid lasting negative impact to our children and the future of our nation.”

*Title I Part A is reduced by eliminating funding of the former School Improvement Grants (SIG) Program, which ESSA intended be added to Title I Part A to support school improvement efforts.  

About Charter Public Schools
Charter public schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.


http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20170504/state-approves-learning-community-to-train-second-language-teachers

 

By Linda Borg
Journal Staff Writer

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. _ The Learning Community is the first public school in Rhode Island to receive state approval to train elementary teachers in English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction.

The Learning Community, a K-8 public charter school, also has a teacher training program called the Teaching Studio, which has worked with over 4,000 students and 500 teachers in the traditional public schools. Co-director Meg O’Leary said the school has become known locally and nationally for sharing its best teaching practices with other public schools.

She said the Learning Community is well-prepared to train teachers in English as a Second Language because this is the work that the charter school does every day with its own students.

In the 2015-2016 school year, the Learning Community’s English language students performed significantly better in both English Language Arts and math than similar populations in other Rhode Island schools on the sate’s standardized tests. For example, 28 percent of their English language learners met or exceeded expectations on the 2016 English test compared to the state average of 7 percent.

The Learning Community’s math performance follows a similar trend.

“Our most recent work with the Woonsocket schools has shown actual gains in student reading performance,” said Christine Alves, director of the Teaching Studio. “Being housed in a high-performing urban school means we are able to bring only what works and has been tested in our classrooms to our colleagues around the state.”

Rhode Island has one of the 10 worst achievement gaps between Latino and White students in the nation, according to a recent report by the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University.

To find the application for the Learning Community’s certification program go to: http://teachingstudio.org/elementary-esl-certification-program/

lborg@providencejournal.com

(401)277-7823


2017 applications to RI charter public schools surpass last year’s record high

Schools receive 15,430 applications to fill 1,770 open seats for next school year

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - According to data compiled by the Rhode Island Department of Education (“RIDE”), charter public schools in Rhode Island received a record total of 15,430 applications for the 1,770 open seats that will be available for the 2017-18 school year. This number represents an increase of 5.5% over the previous record of 14,628 set just last year, and translates to approximately nine applications for every available seat.  This is the first time that applications to Rhode Island charter public schools have exceeded 15,000, and represents a 29% increase in applications since spring 2014.

Statewide, charter public schools currently educate approximately 8,000 students, or just over 5% of the state’s public school population. Charter schools are public schools, and when the applications to a charter public school exceed the number of open seats in that school, all of those applications go into a blind lottery held annually on March 1. Applicants who are randomly selected from the lottery pool are offered admission.

“These numbers demonstrate that Rhode Island families are demanding, more than ever before, quality public school choice options,” said Timothy Groves, executive director of the Rhode Island League of Charter Schools. “As a state, we must continue working to support great public schools, including traditional, charter, and career and technical public schools. Our students thrive in an education system that embraces and supports different learning needs.”
Rhode Island’s fifteen independent and three district charter schools range in size, but average about 300 students per school. Some charter public schools are open to all public school students from across the state, and others are open to public school students in more narrowly defined geographical regions. Some are K-12, while others are K-5 or high school only.

 

Rhode Island’s charter schools offer a wide range of options, including a dual-language elementary school (International Charter School), performing arts schools (Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts, Beacon Charter High School for the Arts), career and technical options (RI Nurses Institute Middle College, Academy for Career Exploration, New England Laborers/Cranston Public Schools Construction and Career Academy) and a high school designed for pregnant and parenting teens (Sheila “Skip” Nowell Leadership Academy), to name a few.

Families may apply to more than one charter school if they so choose. This year, the 15,430 applications to Rhode Island’s charter public schools were submitted by or on behalf of 8,651 unique students. According to RIDE, applications exceeded openings in every single charter public school in the state. This year’s record demand is consistent with statewide polling last year that revealed 59% of Rhode Islanders favor the expansion of charter public schools.


About the Rhode Island League of Charter Schools

The Rhode Island League of Charter Schools, founded in 2001, exists to expand the role of charter public schools in Rhode Island’s public education system. The League is guided by the directors of the state’s 18 independent and district charter schools, and provides a forum for advocacy, sharing of best practices, and collaboration. As public schools charged with pursuing innovation, charter public schools recognize their statutory responsibility to share best practices with other public schools, districts, and educators in the state. For more information, visit www.richarterschools.com.

 


ncsw_logo_2017 1200.png

 

Local, State, and Federal Elected Officials Recognized in Bipartisan Cohort of
2017 Charter Champions

19 Democratic and Republican Officials Honored in Washington, D.C. for Their Efforts to Provide Better Educational Options to the Families They Represent.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance) announced today that 19 local, state, and federal elected officials will be honored as 2017 Charter Champions at a reception taking place tonight in Washington, D.C. This year’s bipartisan cohort (comprised of seven Democrats and 12 Republicans) joins a prestigious body of Charter Champions dating back to the award’s inception in 2006.  2017 Honorees include:

  • State Representative Dan Burke, Illinois
  • Governor Matt Bevin, Kentucky
  • State Representative John Carney, Kentucky
  • State Senator David Givens, Kentucky
  • State Representative and Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover, Kentucky
  • State Representative Phil Moffett, Kentucky
  • State Representative Jonathan Shell, Kentucky
  • State Senator Stephen West, Kentucky
  • State Senator Mike Wilson, Kentucky
  • State Representative Jonathan Windy Boy, Montana
  • Assemblyman Troy Singleton, New Jersey
  • Senator Cory Booker, New Jersey
  • Representative Tom Cole, Oklahoma
  • State Senator Anthony H. Williams, Pennsylvania
  • Mayor James Diossa, Rhode Island
  • Senator Tim Scott, South Carolina
  • State Delegate R. Steven Landes, Virginia
  • State Senator Mark D. Obenshain, Virginia
  • State Senator J. Chapman Petersen, Virginia

“In the U.S. Congress, in statehouses, in mayors’ offices, on school boards – anywhere education policy is made, we need charter champions,” said National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees in prepared remarks. “The men and women we honor tonight have been leading the charge to give parents and students better public schools and the freedom to choose the school that works best for them. At a time of great political polarization, it’s important to recognize leaders who put aside party differences and just keep working to help students. These are the policy heroes our students need – and examples of leadership for elected officials everywhere.”

With the support of the 2017 Charter Champions and elected officials from all states, 2017 has been a record-breaking year for charter schools.  National charter school enrollment has surpassed three million students for the first time. In March, Kentucky became the 44th state – in addition to Washington, D.C. – to pass a charter school law. Charter schools in the Bluegrass State will soon join more than 6,900 charter schools across the country in delivering high-quality, public educational options to families.

“I wanted to convince folks that you could be a supporter of traditional public schools but also of school choice,” said Kentucky State Representative John “Bam” Carney in an interview with The 74 Million. “One-size instruction does not fit all students, and I felt it was important to bring competition to Kentucky … and give parents and students a choice for something that may fit their needs better.”

“Being a Charter Champion means to me that I am committed to ensuring the success and vibrancy of our entire public school system,” said Assemblyman for New Jersey’s 7thDistrict Troy Singleton. “I believe that students should be given the opportunity to academically succeed in whatever vehicle ensures that success. Simply relying on just one manner in which we deliver education in our country does a disservice to our future generations. An all-of-the-above strategy focused on student success, and less on the vehicle that delivers upon that success, will keep our children moving forward and achieving more.”

Tonight’s Charter Champions ceremony comes amidst a busy week in the capital for charter schools. The Senate issued S.Res.148, a bipartisan resolution honoring National Charter Schools Week and “the students, parents, teachers, and leaders of charter schools across the United States.” The White House also issued a proclamation declaring National Charter Schools Week. And Congress approved a bipartisan spending bill which includes a $9 million increase for the federal Charter Schools Program.

About Charter Public Schools
Charter public schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.