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Chartered Schools

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.
September 16, 2013 | By Stephen Ceasar
Charter school operator Da Vinci Schools apologized Monday after learning that one of its teachers wrote disparaging remarks about nearby Hawthorne High School and its students on a history exam. The exam, given to an 11th-grade history class at Da Vinci Science, included the passage: “Little known fact: The early years at Jamestown were characterized by violence, a lack of knowledge and the presence of many women of questionable moral character. A little like modern-day Hawthorne High School.” Above the passage was an image of the Hawthorne High School campus, which is less than two miles from the Da Vinci Science campus.
July 15, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
What can the education world conclude about charter schools after their first couple of decades in existence? Something so simple that it's almost earth-shattering: The best ones benefit students enormously, especially those students who are low income, African American or still learning English. And the bad ones are far worse than if the students had stayed in their public schools. It's not hard to ensure that charter schools are good; it just takes a modicum of oversight and the political will that too many school boards have been unwilling to exercise.
April 26, 2013 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
Over the years, it wasn't unusual to see a Southern California school dominate the Academic Decathlon national competition. After California teams took 19 national titles since 1982 - including the last 10 in a row - it was almost expected. But this year comes with a twist: The closest competition for Granada Hills Charter High School - California's first-place team - is another school from Los Angeles Unified. A change in the rules in the rigorous 10-subject event has allowed more than one team from each state to compete at the nationals, creating a freeway series between two of the strongest teams vying to bring the title back to Los Angeles once again.
April 17, 2013 | By Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times
For the first time since California's controversial parent-trigger law went into effect, a school district has elected not to challenge a petition submitted by parents. The Los Angeles Board of Education this week ratified a partnership between the district and a charter school to take control of the struggling 24th Street Elementary. The 2010 law gives parents increased authority over low-performing campuses, including the option to convert them to independently operated charter schools.
April 16, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
The CHIME Institute charter school of Woodland Hills would be hard pressed to make ends meet without the help of a program sponsored by the Local Initiatives Support Corp., a New York nonprofit active in underprivileged communities across the nation. So why would everybody be happy if this LISC program went away? The answer has much to do with the insane way California has been financing all its public schools, and charter schools in particular, for more than a decade. Since the financial crisis of 2001, the state has balanced its books in part by deferring money due to public schools by months at a time.
April 10, 2013 | By Howard Blume
Parents at 24th Street Elementary School have overwhelmingly chosen a partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District and a charter school to run the persistently low-performing Jefferson Park campus. Among those eligible to cast ballots, 80% chose a proposal that combines the efforts of the school district with those of Crown Preparatory Academy, which already runs an unaffiliated middle school out of surplus space on the campus. The results were announced Wednesday morning.
April 5, 2013 | By Howard Blume
Two local charter school operators were found guilty Friday of most charges after being accused of taking or misappropriating more than $200,000 in public funds. Yevgeny “Eugene” Selivanov, 40, and Tatyana Berkovich 36, together faced 26 counts related to their management of public education funds in their running of Ivy Academia charter school in the west San Fernando Valley. The charges included misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement, false accounting, money laundering and filing false tax returns.
April 3, 2013 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Rather than do battle over a controversial parent-empowerment law, Los Angeles school officials earlier this year opted for collaboration. This week, that move started to pay dividends. A plan devised by the L.A. Unified School District and a charter school to improve 24th Street Elementary - a persistently low-performing school south of downtown - has been endorsed by leaders of a parents group. Under California's so-called parent-trigger law, parents could evict L.A. Unified from its own campus.
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