October 2011

Nor Cal Underrepresented in Charter School Survey - Take Action Now!

Attention school Leaders! We need your help.

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OUSD Board Watch

As anticipated, OUSD voted last week to close 5 elementary schools.

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Nov. 7: Bay Area Special Education JPA Upcoming Meeting

Interested charters from the Bay Area and surrounding counties are invited to learn more about the new Bay Area Special Education Joint Powers Authority.

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Charter Management Organizations in the Valley

There is such a variety of schools that make up the charter school landscape in the Central Valley.

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Why should you look at your CCSA Academic Accountability Report Card?

Your Report Card tells you your school’s results on CCSA’s Minimum Criteria for Renewal - a threshold of minimum academic performance.

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CASH/CCSA Charter School Facilities Workshops are Coming Up!

Have a question or want to learn more about facilities options and solutions in California? These workshops from the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) and CCSA are for you!

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Nov. 1: SDUSD Board Meeting

We are requesting that all charter schools in SDUSD send a charter representative to the board meeting on Tuesday, November 1 to support the policy committee in their work to create a new charter policy.

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Senator Kehoe visits O'Farrell Community School

Senator Kehoe met with a small group of about a dozen charter leaders representing six different charters. It was a great meeting in which the Senator heard about our successes and struggles and got to see a charter school in action.

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Notice: Changes to Your Billing Cycle

To best serve the ever growing charter movement in California, CCSA is transitioning to a new billing date for all Charter, Support, and Vendor members.

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CCSA Receives National Recognition for Portrait of the Movement Report

This week, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) presented the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) with the “Award for Excellence in Advancing Knowledge” for the Portrait of the Movement report at their Annual Leadership Conference. The award validates CCSA’s continued efforts on accountability.

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Book Your Hotel for the Annual Conference

Since the Legislature will be in session during the conference,we expect the hotel blocks to sell out soon. So book today!

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CCSA Answers: How will the reduced school year impact staff retirement at charter schools?

Question: I understand that the CDE has ruled that charter schools may reduce their instructional year from a mandatory 175 days to a mandatory 170 days. How will the reduced school year impact staff retirement?

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Featured Grant: 2011 Accessible Golf Program

Funding to support organizations that provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to learn and enjoy the game of golf

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California Court of Appeals Sides With Charter In Prop. 39 Non-Compliance Dispute

A California Court ruled in favor of Bullis Charter School in a lawsuit against the Los Altos School District for non-compliance of Proposition 39, a law which requires school districts to provide “reasonably equivalent facilities” to charter schools.

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Prop. 39 Application Deadline Is Next Week!

The deadline for charter schools to submit Proposition 39 applications to their district is this Tuesday November 1, 2011, for facilities for the 2012-13 school year. As one of CCSA’s top priorities, we would like to encourage schools to submit their applications as soon as possible.

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Budget Trigger FAQs

Get answers to your questions about the “budget trigger,” which would implement automatic cuts to education if state revenues fall below specified projected levels.

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Nov. 1: Free Screening of "American Teacher" in Los Angeles

You’re invited to a free screening and discussion of “American Teacher,” a documentary produced by The Teacher Salary Project on Nov. 1 in downtown Los Angeles.

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External Opportunity: Free Grantwriting (10/28 deadline)

Resource Associates offers a fantastic (and free!) grant writing assistance program. They can help your charter school apply for “California 21st Century Community Learning Centers” (CCLC), but you must contact them this week.

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Great Schools Require Great Leaders

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Do you know someone who is interested in starting a charter school? Be sure to direct them to this video, now playing on the CCSA website and YouTube Channel.

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CCSA Responds to Article on "Founding Parents"

A recent article in LA Weekly was very critical of some local charters’ use of “founding parents.” CCSA responded to the article and will be working with schools and the district to give clear guidance and recommended best practices in admissions.

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Keeping Up With the School Visits in the Inland Empire

This week, I was able to visit the Hemet Academy of Applied Academics and Technology, the Western Center Academy in Hemet, and the School of Arts and Enterprise in Pomona.

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Improved services to our Central Valley families with special needs

A number of schools have approached us about creating an informal working group on special education. This will involve a dialogue about the challenges each school faces in serving special education students and engagement from our team of special education experts to help look for solutions.

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Health Youth/Healthy Regions: A Report on the Status of Youth in 9 Nor Cal Counties

The Healthy Youth/Healthy Regions report is unique because of the broad geographical scale and the cross-sector factors determine our youth’s and region’s health and well-being.

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Prop. 39 Request Deadline is Next Week! Apply now!

The deadline for submitting Prop. 39 facilities requests to school districts is next week, on November 1. In this final stretch, it is imperative to be prepared. If you haven’t submitted your application, there is still time.

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Hart Vision Award Nominations Due Friday, October 28, 2011

Why not take a moment recognize those teachers and volunteers that have risen to the top over the past year?

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Capitol Update 10/20/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Governor’s Actions Reflect His Experience
* Budget and Finance Update
* Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge
* Conference Update
* African American Student Performance in Charters

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Featured Grant: CVS Community Grants for Public Schools - Creating Inclusive School Settings

Funds for public schools with programs designed to include children with disabilities as full participants alongside their typically developing peers

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San Diego Unified Charter Policy

SDUSD continues to work with a group of charter leaders and district staff to hammer out a new policy. The group has made progress on supplemental documents such as a charter calendar and an FAQ for new developers.

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Congressman's staff tours Orange County Charters

Journey and Capistrano Connections had a great visit from Congressmen Campbell’s Legislative Assistant, Danica Dawson.

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CCSA Answers: When Should A Charter High School Go Through WASC?

Question: As a newly-opened charter high school, when do we need to go through WASC so we can offer UC-approved A-G courses?

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Oct. 27: "Are Teacher's Unions the Enemy?" with Steven Brill

On Oct. 27, Zocalo Public Square is hosting a free event featuring Steven Brill, who recently published a new book looking at a broad movement to cut through bureaucracy to improve our public schools.

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Ask Your Prop. 39 Questions Now: "Office Hours" Back by Popular Demand!

CCSA’s legal experts will be hosting their final “Office Hours” session for this year’s Prop. 39 applicants on Thursday October 20, 2011. If you have any questions about your application, or want more information on resources, and templates, register to join the session today!

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Environmental Charter needs your votes!

Environmental Charter High School in Gardena is one of three groups being considered for funding through the CBS Posivity Project. They need your votes in support of their solar project!

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ZOOM! Team Transition News

The ZOOM! team regrets to announce that we have recently undergone a leadership change. (Don’t worry - your project manager will remain the same!)

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CCSA Academic Accountability Report Cards Available NOW!

These reports show results for schools on critical accountability metrics, including how schools fare on CCSA’s minimum criteria for renewal and State Board of Education revocation regulations.

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ZOOM! Tip of the Month: Directive Imports Beyond the STAR Exam

Did you know that you can upload common standardized tests beyond the STAR exam into DataDirector?

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DataDirector 4.0 Release Update

You may already know about the delay (January 2, 2012). Find out why and what you need to do.

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Key Concerns with New LAUSD Prop. 39 Request Form

CCSA’s legal team has reviewed LAUSD’s new facilities request form and we want to alert you to some key concerns, as well as provide a template cover letter.

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Pro Bono Legal Review Extended to Oct. 25

Since LAUSD took so long to release its application, CCSA is providing pro bono legal review to schools in LAUSD through Oct. 25.

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We need to hear from you this week!

Just 46% of LA-area schools have completed the School Leader Survey so far- let’s hit 100%! This annual survey collects critical school-level data that CCSA uses to guide our advocacy in the coming year.

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Oct. 20: Option 3 Meeting

The Governance Council will be discussing service sharing options, the OIG audiet report and the OIM Enrollment Practices Report.

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LA Regional Meeting Presentation (Oct. 11, 2011)

The full presentation from the LA Regional Charter Leaders Meeting at Vaughn Learning Center

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OUSD Releases New Prop. 39 Application Form

Request your facility now - OUSD has released the new Facilities Request Form!

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LA-area schools eligible for for CA Distinguished Schools Program

The CA Department of Education has released a full list of schools that are eligible to apply to be CA Distinguished Schools based on a variety of accountability criteria. Congrats to the nine charter schools located in Los Angeles and Ventura counties!

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Don't miss Governance Training this week!

This intensive workshop led by experts and legal attorneys gives school leaders and their board members all the info they need to be effective stewards.

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Register for the 2011 CASH/CCSA Charter School Facilities Workshops

Facilities workshop co-sponsored by the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.) and the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) will assist charter schools in addressing critical facilities issues.

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Free ZOOM! Professional Development Opportunties

ZOOM! schools have access to extensive FREE professional development webinar offerings. Open to any staff member at ZOOM! schools, all you have to do is RSVP!

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Charters School Approvals Impacting Authorizer Decisions in the Central Valley

The Visalia Unified School District approved the the Sycamore Valley Charter Academy petition at their meeting Tuesday in a 6-1 vote. The school will open in August 2012.

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Can Charter School JPA's Help Serve Special Needs Kids Better?

Across Northeastern California, charter schools are collaborating to increase their capacity to serve student with special needs well. Formalizing these collaborations into Joint Powers Authorities (JPA) can help provide stability and structure for charter participants.

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Encore High School Hosts Workshop from The Young Americans

On October 14-16, Encore High School in Hesperia is hosting a theatre, dance, and song workshop with The Young Americans.

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Cielo Vista Charter School Receives its Five-Year Renewal

Cielo Vista Charter School in Palm Springs, a one year-old conversion charter, just received its five-year renewal from the Palm Springs Unified School Board.

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CCSA Fall School Visits Underway in the Inland Empire

Steven Holguin, CCSA’s Regional Director for the San Bernardino and Riverside County Region, is currently scheduling and visiting ALL the member schools within the region.

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Public Hearings for New Inland Empire Charter School Petitions

If you are a school developer, you should consider attending a public hearing from a petitioner who has already submitted. Learn how the meetings go and what the expectations are for public hearings. Also it is great to come and support new high quality start-ups that CCSA is also supporting.

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Current Prop. 39 Co-Locations in LAUSD

IIn the 2011-12 school year, some LA-area charter schools used classrooms at existing LAUSD campuses under a Prop. 39 agreement. See a full list of the sites of current co-locations.

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Protecting Your Career: Why Teachers Need Liability Insurance

In today’s litigious society you can never be too careful. No matter how insulated you think you may be from harm, or the close-knit your community you teach in, misunderstandings, accusations, and accidents are common when working with some else’s children.

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A Message from Lisa Berlanga: Regional Meetings and Prop. 39

Regional meeting wrap-up and information on Prop. 39 resources for San Diego-area schools.

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San Diego-Area Training Opportunity Reminders

Don’t forget about all the training opportunities coming up at the end of this month and next, including in-person governance and special education sessions!

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Friday, Oct. 21 is the Super Early Bird Deadline for the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference & Advocacy Week

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Have you registered for the conference yet? If not, we have a great opportunity for you and your school to save on registration.

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Career Technical Education Resources Available for Charters

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CCSA has created a Knowledge Brief on Career Technical Education that addresses how to fund a CTE program and provide CTE courses, as well as case studies of charter schools across the state that are successfully providing CTE courses.

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Two-Day Training Opportunity: Data Director Trainings

The ZOOM! team is holding two-day DataDirector trainings in both the Bay Area and Los Angeles within the next month.

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More than a Dozen Charters Eligible for California Distinguished Schools Program

This year, more than a dozen California charters are eligible to apply for the California Distinguished School Program, which honors some of California’s most exemplary and inspiring public schools.

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Featured Grant: Lowe's Toolbox for Education

Funding to help build better schools and communities by funding one-time building projects

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Capitol Update - 10/10/11 Special Edition

Over the weekend, the Governor signed and vetoed hundreds of bills. Among them were dozens of education bills, both charter school specific, and bills that affected California’s broader public education system. We are very pleased that the Governor has come out strong (and in no uncertain terms) in defense of charter schools.

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CCSA Answers: Is Ed Code Section 51745(e) applicable to charter schools?

Question: Education Code Section 51745(e) states, “No course included among the courses required for high school graduation under Education Code Section 51225.3 shall be offered exclusively through independent study.” Does this apply to charter schools with independent study programs?

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LAUSD Releases New Prop. 39 Application Form

Demand your facility now - LAUSD has released the new Facilities Request From!

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LAUSD Charter SELPA Director Position

We are now in search of a SELPA Director for the new LAUSD Charter Operated Programs Division and are reaching out to you in hopes of identifying a qualified candidate for the position.

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Start Planning Now for Spring Deferrals

Over 80% of February through June 2012 state apportionment payments are projected to be delayed until August or later. Are you prepared?

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CCSA is Hiring

CCSA currently has a number of job openings; be sure to share these opportunities with your network of charter school supporters!

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Public Hearings for New Inland Empire and Orange County Charter School Petitions

If you are a school developer, you should consider attending a public hearing from a petitioner who has already submitted. Learn how the meetings go and what the expectations are for public hearings. Also it is great to come and support new high quality start-ups that CCSA is also supporting.

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Oakland, Los Angeles Facilities Workshops are Right Around the Corner

Workshops being held in Oakland and Los Angeles will give an update on state funds available for charters, provide a road map for successfully accessing state funding, and look ahead to future funding and programs for charter facilities.

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KIPP is Making a Difference for African American Students in Oakland

Last week, one of our local charters, KIPP Bridge, was featured in CCSA’s report “Chartering and Choice as an Achievement Gap Closing Reform: The Success of California Charter Schools in Promoting African American Achievement”, which details the performance and enrollment trends of African American students in California’s public schools, including charter schools.

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Butte County Office of Education Convenes Charter Leaders

Charter leaders from Chico, Paradise, Nord, Forest Ranch and other communities in Butte County in participated in a luncheon hosted by the Butte County Office of Education (BCOE) to increase collaboration between BCOE and charter operators.

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Report on African American Performance in Charters; Sacramento School Highlighted

Last week, one of our local charters, PS7, was the venue for our statewide public release of the much anticipated “Chartering and Choice as an Achievement Gap Closing Reform: The Success of California Charter Schools in Promoting African American Achievement” report, which details the performance and enrollment trends of African American students in California’s public schools, including charter schools.

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Special Ed 101 & 201 Webinars Available to Valley Schools This Week

I’ve had a lot of questions and info requests from member schools on special education issues. Even in the Valley, where we’ve had our first County Office of Education SELPA provide new special education options for charters.

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Central Valley Regional Meetings Wrapped Up

There are really quite a lot of exciting developments that continue to propel the Central Valley to new heights in the charter school movement.

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Oct. 19: Free Training for Charter School Board Members in Los Angeles

Make sure your board members don’t miss CCSA’s four-hour intensive governance training being offered here in LA on Oct. 19! From governance best practices to legal policy and ethics, this training has the info you need to be a good steward of your school.

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Oct. 15 Deadline: Nominate Champions for Arts Education!

The Music Center is recognizing champions for arts education and is looking for nominations of teachers or schools that use art to inspiring learning by Oct. 15.

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Featured Grant: UnitedHealth HEROES Service-Learning Grants

Funding to help youth, ages 5-25, create and implement local, hands-on programs to fight childhood obesity

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CCSA Answers: Application of Proposed Budget Trigger

Question: Does the proposed budget trigger apply to the 2011-12 fiscal year only, or will its cuts and flexibilities carry over into other years?

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Legislative Visits are Critical

It is critical that our legislators understand charter school issues— what better way for them to learn about them than to see and hear directly from the students, parents and staffs of charter schools?

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Critical School-Level Data Needed

CCSA’s “School Leader Survey” requests information that is absolutely critical for our organization to effectively advocate for the needs of your school, this region and the Movement at large—needs like facilities, financing and special education.

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Oct. 12: CCSA Accountability Framework Webinar

Do you have questions about the research behind the Similar Students Measure (SSM) or the CCSA Accountability Framework? This is your opportunity to connect with the CCSA Accountability Team and ask those detailed questions.

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Oct. 29: Get free Communications Advice at "Quality Time with PR Minds"

Do you need some help with PR, but don’t have the budget right now? Non-profit organizations can get help at the P

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First SDUSD Board Meeting of the School Year

SDUSD had their first charter board meeting of this school year with three charter issues; a Special Education MOU, a material revision for a grade expansion for O’Farrell Community School and a public hearing for San Diego Global Visions (SDGVA) to add a middle school.

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Larchmont's Brian Johnson named "Reformer of the Month"

Congratulations to Brian Johnson, Executive Director of Larchmont Schools in Los Angeles, who was named “Reformer of the Month” for September by Democrats for Education Reform.

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Watts Learning Center Featured in CCSA Report on African American Performance In Charters

This week, CCSA released a statewide report detailing African American performance and enrollment trends in charter schools, as well as best-practices for effectively teaching African American students.

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CCSA Releases African American Student Performance in Charter Schools Report

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CCSA releases Chartering and Choice as an Achievement Gap-Closing Reform report, which details the performance and enrollment trends of African American students in both charter public and traditional public schools. The report shows that charter schools serving African American students more effectively.

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Oct. 4: LAUSD Prop. 39 Town Hall with Sean Jernigan

Are you thinking about applying for Prop. 39? Don’t miss this opportunity to dialogue with LAUSD and get application tips!

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