Topic: Charter Schools

Hearing on Charter Schools: Something’s Broken, Needs Fixing

A Texas House Public Education Committee hearing Friday on charter schools provided ample indication that something’s broken and needs fixing in state law on the approval, expansion, and regulation of charter schools—the publicly funded but privately operated entities that have proliferated into the hundreds in Texas and now draw state funding for more than 100,000 pupils. The next Hotline (coming...

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Upcoming: Texas House Hearing on Charter Schools

The Texas House Public Education Committee will meet on Friday, February 17, at 11 a.m. in the state capitol for a hearing on one of its important interim study assignments from House Speaker Joe Straus. His interim charge to the committee on the topic of charter schools reads as follows: “Evaluate the charter school system in Texas. Examine success and...

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Charter-Takeover Bid in Austin ISD Unsupported by Evidence, New Study Finds

Charter-school boosters know that the accumulating evidence is unhelpful to their cause. Study after study, both nationally and at the state level, has matched the results of a comprehensive Stanford University report in 2009 showing that the vast majority of charter schools perform either no better or worse than traditional public schools. Hence the focus of charter boosterism in recent...

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SBOE Members Weigh Charter Applications, Other Issues

Today the State Board of Education tentatively approved eight new applicants for state contracts to operate charter schools. Three were approved to set up operations in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, three in Houston, and one apiece in Mission and Austin. The eight were the survivors of a competition that started with 32 applications screened by review committees; 15 applicants qualified...

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Update on Federal Charter-School Bill

The U.S. House soundly defeated a bad amendment to a bill on charter schools Tuesday afternoon.  The amendment by Rep. Steve King, Republican of Iowa, would have removed a requirement that the performance of low-income and minority students and students with disabilities be used to measure the success of charter schools. In other words, King wanted to let charter schools...

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Federal Bill to Expand “High-Quality” Charter Schools—By What Definition?

On Thursday afternoon the U.S. House debated a new charter-school expansion bill, H.R. 2218, but postponed until next week a vote on a key amendment that would water down the bill’s quality standards for charter recipients of federal grants. The amendment by Rep. Steve King, Republican of Iowa, would weaken the definition of “high-quality charter schools” eligible for federal aid,...

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U.S. House Set to Consider New Bill to Expand Charter Schools

The U.S. House is scheduled to vote Thursday, September 8, on a bill to encourage the expansion of charter schools. The bill is said to have considerable bipartisan support. However, when the bill came up in committee a few months ago, AFT President Randi Weingarten raised serious concerns about the committee version. In a letter to committee members, she wrote:...

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SBOE Meeting With New Charter-School Applicants: Questions Worth Asking

On Tuesday, August 30, a committee of the State Board of Education will hold interviews with eight applicants for state charters to open new charter-school operations. Questions have been raised by education activists and freedom-of-information experts regarding the legal sufficiency of the published notice of the subject matter of this meeting. The notice published by the Texas Education Agency does...

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Official Report: New Texas Charter Schools Found Wanting

The charter-school lobby can’t be happy about the latest official analysis and evaluation of charter schools’ performance prepared by the independent Texas Center for Educational Research for the Texas Education Agency. The new TCER study of new charter schools reaches sobering conclusions about the performance of Texas charter campuses. The study, entitled “Evaluation of New Texas Charter Schools (2007-10): Final...

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AG Says No to SBOE Policy Favoring Investments to Support Charter Schools

Some members of the State Board of Education have been eager to use the state’s endowment for public schools—the Permanent School Fund—as a tool to support charter schools. But the state attorney general on August 9 issued an advisory opinion stating that the State Board may not consider any factors other than financial benefit for the PSF in its stewardship...

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More Gleanings from State Accountability Ratings: Online Charter Schools Fare Poorly

Many of the key players on education issues in the Texas legislature appear to be sold on the merits of online education for elementary and secondary students. Barely a month ago they pushed through changes in state law that put funding for so-called “virtual schools” on a firmer footing, entitling them to share in the formula funding distributed to school...

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