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September 22, 1992 | CARL INGRAM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Gov. Pete Wilson has signed a potentially far-reaching bill that will empower parents, teachers and others to create new taxpayer-financed schools that operate free of most state and local controls, it was announced Monday. The author of the bill, Sen. Gary K. Hart (D-Santa Barbara), envisions the proposed "charter" schools as those where only the academic basics are taught; students and teachers do the work of custodians, and parents and children go to school together on Saturdays.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 | By Chris Megerian, Kate Mather and Adolfo Flores
Once word spread that a bus carrying L.A.-area high school students was involved in a fiery crash in Northern California on Thursday night, dozens of parents and classmates frantically called and texted the teenagers, hoping their loved ones weren't among those killed. On Friday afternoon, nearly 24 hours after the crash, parents and officials at some schools were still trying to track down missing children. As the hours passed, their fears worsened. When Adrian Castro didn't show up to El Monte High School on Thursday, his best friend assumed he had decided to go on the trip to Humboldt State University.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 16, 2009 | Mitchell Landsberg
California charter schools outperform traditional public schools in reading but significantly lag in math, according to a national study released Monday by researchers at Stanford University.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | By Stephen Ceasar
The Los Angeles Board of Education directed district staff Tuesday to enter negotiations with two charter school operators who are seeking to redevelop four campuses in the San Fernando Valley that have been closed for decades. The four schools - formerly known as Collins Street, Highlander, Oso and Platt Ranch elementaries - have been closed for 30 years and require extensive renovations, according to the L.A. Unified School District. Several efforts to rehabilitate the dilapidated campuses have started and stalled through the years.
OPINION
October 1, 2013 | By Diane Ravitch
Los Angeles has more charter schools than any other school district in the nation, and it's a very bad idea. Billionaires like privately managed schools. Parents are lured with glittering promises of getting their kids a sure ticket to college. Politicians want to appear to be champions of "school reform" with charters. But charters will not end the poverty at the root of low academic performance or transform our nation's schools into a high-performing system. The world's top-performing systems - Finland and Korea, for example - do not have charter schools.
OPINION
November 29, 2012
Re "Give charter schools their due," Editorial, Nov. 25 It is beyond me why The Times believes charter schools have been any kind of "spark" to education reform in Los Angeles. Your editorial claims that charter schools deserve credit for "changing the discussion about poor and minority students," but studies have shown that in an apples-to-apples comparison, the charters perform no better than their counterparts. So when you also consider charter schools' shameful avoidance of special-education students (which, as you point out, benefits the schools' test scores)
OPINION
December 16, 2009 | By Jed Wallace
In its Dec. 9 editorial, "Learning about ethics," The Times calls for state charter school laws to be "changed accordingly" in relation to publicly disclosing the expenditures of taxpayers' money. Readers may come away with the impression that charter operators are subject to little accountability compared to traditional public school districts. The truth is that charter schools are public schools, and as with any other public entity, they are already required to make information available to the public.
OPINION
December 23, 2013 | By Jed Wallace
Charter schools make a basic promise to students, parents, school districts and the state: They operate with greater autonomy and flexibility than regular public schools in exchange for increased accountability. In keeping with this covenant, the California Charter Schools Assn. has established an accountability framework and minimum criteria for charter renewal. As charters come up for renewal, this framework allows us to not only support high-performing schools but shine a light on schools that aren't doing their job. This month, the CCSA is calling for the closure of six schools across the state because of poor academic performance, including one in Los Angeles.
OPINION
March 11, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Amid allegations of overbilling, environmental hazards and spiraling costs at the Belmont Learning Center in downtown L.A. in the late 1990s, the state Legislature created a separate investigative office within the Los Angeles Unified School District. The new inspector general was authorized to issue subpoenas, and charged with examining operations in the district with a piercing and unimpeded eye. But the position was authorized for only 15 years, until the end of 2014. The first inspector general reported on serious shortfalls in accountability and oversight at Belmont.
OPINION
February 16, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
It was just like old times at the Los Angeles Unified school board meeting last week. The board voted to close two excellent charter schools for reasons that had nothing to do with the quality of education they are providing to students but rather over provincial concerns about turf. This was the kind of board behavior - common a decade ago - that drove so many frustrated parents and policymakers into the arms of the school reform movement. We had hoped those days were over. At issue were charter renewals for two Huntington Park schools run by Aspire Public Schools, one of the most highly regarded charter operators in California.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2014 | By Jeremiah Dobruck
A former board member with a Newport Beach-based charter school nonprofit is being accused of stealing $750,000 that he promised to invest on behalf of the organization, according to charges filed by the Orange County district attorney's office. The alleged theft would be the largest from a California charter school outfit, the district attorney's office announced Tuesday. Jeremy Landau, 43, joined the board of California Virtual Education Partners in May, and in June he allegedly asked to invest taxpayer money for the organization, which operates five online charter schools, the Daily Pilot reported . He allegedly convinced enough board members to support his idea by promising a speedy $3-million return.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 2014 | By Howard Blume
Los Angeles charter schools have been the largest recipients of funding from the foundation associated with the family that started Wal-Mart, according to figures released Wednesday. Since 1997, the Arkansas-based Walton Family Foundation has distributed $35.9 million in start-up grants to 159 L.A.-area charters. By comparison, Walton has supported the creation of 125 charters in New York City. Last year alone, the foundation made grants to 23 new L.A. schools, totaling more than $4.69 million, that were set to open in the near future.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2014 | By The Times Staff
El Camino Real Charter High School won the Los Angeles Unified School District's “Super Quiz” competition Saturday, beating 58 other high school teams in the Academic Decathlon's final event. The Marshall High School team took second place and the reigning national, state and LAUSD decathlon champion, Granada Hills Charter High School, placed third. The El Camino charter team scored 63 out of a possible 72 points in the game show-style contest, in which students have seven seconds to answer multiple-choice questions on a variety of subjects.
OPINION
December 23, 2013 | By Jed Wallace
Charter schools make a basic promise to students, parents, school districts and the state: They operate with greater autonomy and flexibility than regular public schools in exchange for increased accountability. In keeping with this covenant, the California Charter Schools Assn. has established an accountability framework and minimum criteria for charter renewal. As charters come up for renewal, this framework allows us to not only support high-performing schools but shine a light on schools that aren't doing their job. This month, the CCSA is calling for the closure of six schools across the state because of poor academic performance, including one in Los Angeles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 2013 | Steve Lopez
Liza Bercovici suspected something was up when a student at Gabriella Charter School approached her last week and said, "Happy birthday tomorrow, Miss Liza. " So it was not a surprise the next day when the school's 400-plus students sang "Happy Birthday" to her at morning assembly. Bercovici sighed in appreciation, and when urged to make a speech, she stood humbly before the small sea of students gathered on the playground of the Echo Park school she'd founded. "I think everybody here knows that this school was started out of my love for my daughter, whose name was Gabriella," Bercovici said.
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