CCSA Calls for the Non-Renewal of 5 Charter Schools as a Result of Academic Underperformance

December 2, 2014

  • Print

Sacramento, California - The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) has called for the non-renewal of five (5) charter public schools from across California that are below CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal. These five charter schools are among the lowest performing schools in the state, have not demonstrated substantial growth over time, and have consistently ranked near the bottom of state and local measures of academic performance.

While California's public schools transition to a new accountability system, CCSA and its members remain committed to ensuring charter schools deliver on their promise to students and their families. Charter schools operate with greater autonomy and flexibility than traditional public schools in exchange for increased accountability. Charter school renewal is the time when charter school authorizers must determine if a charter school is fulfilling this promise.

"We believe that charter public schools should be held to high standards of performance and when they do not perform, we advocate for their non-renewal," said Jed Wallace, president and CEO, CCSA. "We know that closing low-performing charter public schools is one of the strongest tools available to ensure quality in California's charter school sector."

This year, CCSA is calling for the non-renewal of the following five charter public schools: South Sutter Charter School (Sutter County); Manzanita Middle School (Contra Costa County); New City Charter School (Los Angeles County); RAI Online Charter School (San Diego County); and Oasis Charter Public School (Monterey County).

CCSA is committed to supporting our members in creating significantly better learning opportunities for children and their families. That means not only supporting the growth of high-performing schools, but also shining a light on those charter public schools that are not providing a high-quality education. In doing so, California's charter school movement reaffirms its commitment to the transparency and accountability parents and the general public wish to see in place for all public schools.

"CCSA has led the way for increased accountability by raising standards that value academic rigor, while also giving schools credit for academic growth, and for taking on the challenge of serving traditionally disadvantaged students," said Elizabeth Robitaille, senior vice president of Achievement and Performance Management, CCSA. "Students cannot wait for schools to 'get better.' Parents are demanding high-quality educational options now."

There are 91,000 students on charter public school waiting lists - despite an additional 87 new charter schools opening this year for a total of 1,184 charter schools in California. Nearly 548,000 students attend a charter school in California, leading the nation in the number of charter school students and the number of charter schools.

"We recognize that closing a school is a difficult decision," continued Wallace. "But we believe it is necessary, which is why we've advocated for the non-renewal of chronically underperforming schools since 2011."

CCSA's Accountability Framework
CCSA developed its Accountability Framework in 2009, working closely with technical experts and CCSA's Member Council, comprised of charter public school leaders from every region of the state. This framework is a multi-dimensional model that values academic rigor while also giving schools credit for growth and for taking on the challenge of serving traditionally disadvantaged students well. It provides the basis for CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal, a minimum performance standard that CCSA developed and uses as part of its advocacy efforts for charter schools seeking a renewal of their petition.

Under California law, charter school petitions are authorized for up to a five-year term, and may be renewed by the authorizer for additional five-year terms. To inform schools, authorizers and the public on school performance, CCSA publishes Academic Accountability Report Cards every fall that show the results of each charter school on the Accountability Framework and CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal. CCSA encourages authorizers to use this data in making their decision about whether to renew a school's charter.

In order to meet CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal, charter schools must have operated for a minimum of four years and meet at least one of the following:

  • Academic Performance Index (API) score that is above the 27th percentile of performance for all schools in California in most recent year (API 2013 score greater than or equal to 749), or
  • 3-year cumulative API growth of at least 50 points (2012-13 growth + 2011-12 growth + 2010-11 growth), or
  • Within range of or exceeding predicted performance based on similar student populations statewide, in either of the last two years, based on CCSA's metric, the Similar Students Measure.
  • Second Look: For schools below the first three criteria, CCSA offers a "second look" process whereby schools may submit additional evidence of student academic gains that may demonstrate higher levels of growth than what is seen at other schools.

2014-15 Charter Schools Below CCSA’s Minimum Accountability Criteria
(Charter Schools Renewing in 2014-15)

School Name



South Sutter Charter

Marcum-Illinois Union Elementary


New City School

Long Beach Unified School District

Los Angeles

RAI Online

Vallecitos Elementary

San Diego

Manzanita Charter

West Contra Costa Unified School District

Contra Costa

Oasis Charter School

Alisal Union


Learn More

An Ongoing Commitment to Accountability In a time where the state has suspended state testing, it is critically important for the charter public school movement to be able to tell the story of how gains are being made statewide in communities being served by charter schools. CCSA remains committed to transparency and accountability for the students and families California charter schools serve.

"Accountability has been a top priority for CCSA through many changes and it will continue to be. Students only get one shot at first grade or freshman year. That's why we remain committed to transparency and accountability for charter public schools," said Wallace. "We believe that closure of persistently underperforming schools is a natural part of a healthy charter school movement, and will allow us to continue reinventing public education in California."

About the California Charter Schools Association The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) advances the charter school movement through state and local advocacy, leadership on accountability, and resources for member schools. CCSA's vision is to increase student learning by growing the number of families choosing high quality charter schools so that no child is denied the right to a great public education. Our mission is to ensure a million students attend charter public schools by 2022, with charter public schools outperforming non‐charter public schools on every measure. For more information, please visit our website at*