The San Diego Unified School board recently shot down a proposed charter school, opening the door to questions about how many charter schools are too many, and whether the district is on the road to creating a parallel school system.
At the Jan. 7 school board meeting, trustees raised concerns that neighborhoods like City Heights have become charter school saturated, and used a recent rash of failed schools to argue that it’s time the district raise the standards on charters.
In the past, the school board has been quick to approve petitions that met criteria laid out by the Charter Schools Act of 1992. That’s part of the reason trustee John Lee Evans called San Diego Unified “one of the most charter-friendly districts in the nation.”
The claim holds up in other ways, too. In 2012, San Diego passed Proposition Z, a $2.8 billion construction bond measure that will allocate $350 million for charter schools.
And according to researchers and policy advocates at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the number of students who attended San Diego Unified charters jumped by about 40 percent between 2005 and 2012.
But it’s this backdrop that makes the board’s recent decision to deny the charter petition even more interesting.
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There are so many things in this article that get my fingers itching, but I'll start with one. The 1000+ waiting list? The number's from the charter school association. That aside, there are many people who are happy with a district school who apply to charter schools to maximize their options. I was one. I ended up requesting to be taken off the list because I (my son) got my first choice in SDUSD. If there were another Explorer Elementary, they would be able to fill it. If there were 5 more experimental charters without proven track records they might have more trouble getting students.
It seems like most of the sources in the article have a dog in the race. It may be that there are no impartial experts on the subject, but it's frustrating that it seems so polarized.
This is interesting. The charter schools that have closed: Nubia and Promise have all been "unionized." This tells me that when union gets involved, then the school closes?
So, having dumped much of its good teaching staff and recently its only effective VP (admin. assignment), Lincoln must be next? Isn't that how it works - level it and start over?