Charter school association cites ten failing schools for shutdown

The California Charter Schools Association identified ten charter schools Thursday that failed to meet the organization's minimum accountability requirements and called for each not to be renewed.

The call came as part of the association's efforts to ensure the charter movement in California is held accountable to its mandate for providing high quality learning options to those available in traditional public schools.

Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the Charter School Association, noted that there are now 412,000 California students enrolled in charter schools with a large percentage of the schools performing well ahead of statewide averages on standard testing.

But we have known for several years that inarguably there are too many under-performing charter schools," Wallace said. "We feel as stewards of the movement, it is our job to make sure that proper accountability is in place."

Toward that end, the association has developed an accountability tool for measuring charter school performance that uses a regressive-based predictive model to filter out non-school effects on the students.

This year's report found 31 charters that fell below the association's minimum criteria for renewal - but 11 of those schools are subject to charter reauthorization this spring.

The schools, listed below, are a mix of type and governance - according to the association - but also are located in different parts of the state including Los Angeles County, San Francisco and the Sacramento area.

The charter association's intent is to get the local boards of each of the targeted schools - which originally approved the charter - not to renew again this spring.

One group of charter schools - online and independent study programs - complained Thursday of being unfairly singled out by the association's revocation call.

Alternative charter schools have complained that the association's accountability system relies too heavily on the Academic Performance Index - which does not always account for the kinds of students and their varied problems that end up in the alternative programs.

Barbara Lynch, board member of California Parents for Public Virtual Education, said in a statement that the association's release undermines parent choice.

"If a charter school is having difficulty demonstrating student achievement, it is the responsibility of parents, teachers, school administrators and the local school district to find a solution and to get the school back on track," she said. "Unfortunately, it seems the Association would rather remove local control, close down the charter school, and eliminate educational choice."

Myrna Castrejon, senior vice president of Achievement and Performance Management at the charter association - who in the past has defended the analysis as being both fair and valid - noted Thursday that just two online programs are among those targeted for shutdown.

To read more visit:

http://www.calcharters.org/

The schools considered failing and their authorizing district:

- Antelope View Charter, Center Joint Unified

- California Aerospace Academy, Twin Rivers

- California Virtual Academy, Maricopa Unified

- Leadership High, San Francisco Unified

- Los Angeles County Online High, Antelope Valley Union High

- Nubia Leadership Academy, San Diego Unified

- Uncharted Shores Academy, Del Norte County Office of Education

- West County Community High, West Contra Costa Unified

- West Sacramento Early College Prep Charter, Washington Unified

- Yuba County Career Preparatory Charter, Yuba County Office of Education