Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Washington Charter Commission Announces Forum for Summit

The Washington State Charter School Commission (Commission) will be hosting two (2) public forums in July. These public forums are a chance for the parents, community members, local residents, and school district board members and staff to learn about and provide input on the proposed charter school.

Commission representatives will be in attendance. Below are the dates, times and locations for each public forum:

Summit Public School: Seattle #2
6:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, 2015
9601 35th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126
Charter applicants will provide a 15 minute for presentation. After the presentation, 45 minutes of public comment will occur. Individuals interested in giving verbal comment during the public forum can enter a random drawing before the public forum begins. Individuals will have no more than 2 minutes to provide verbal comment; however, individuals requesting translation support will be given 4 minutes to provide their verbal comment.

Individuals or groups wishing to provide written comment may send their statements by July 31, 2015 to:

Washington State Charter School Commission
P.O. Box 40996
Olympia, WA 98504-0996.

—OR—

info@charterschool.wa.gov

End of release

(The other charter with a forum is in Walla Walla.)

I will note that both Summit and Green Dot had brought in supporters (some from out-of-state) to their forums and then had staffers take the tickets and they distributed them.  I am going to ask the Commission staff to please not allow this to happen.  I think whoever gets a ticket has to be the speaker if selected.

As well, the West Seattle Blog had this story on Summit's building at 35th/Roxbury.   The Washington Charter School Development group (part of the Washington Charter School Assn) bought it for $4.75M.  Interestingly, the Gates Foundation gave the WCSA $4.2M in Jan. 2014.  The Washington Charter School Development group is part of Pacific Charter School Development.  From their website:

NewSchools Venture Fund was instrumental in providing the seed capital and expertise required to establish the organization. Since PCSD’s inception, NewSchools has been joined by The Broad Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as providers of project equity. Operational support has been provided by these same organizations along with the Pisces Foundation, The Ahmanson Foundation, and The Weingart Foundation.

Apparently, all corporate ed reform roads lead to Gates, Broad and the Waltons.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

NewSchools Venture Fund began around 1998.

Follow the money =>
Venture capitalists poured $642 million into K-12 companies in 2014, a 32 percent jump over the previous year, according to the NewSchools Venture Fund.

It appears that public education dollars are now a hunting ground for venture capitalists.

-- Dan Dempsey

Melissa Westbrook said...

I also want to point out that Arbor Heights Elementary may be ripe for a charter takeover.

Their principal, Christy Collins, has told some AH parents how great charters are (including Summit). Interestingly, Ms. Collins has a connection to none other than Chris Korsmo who heads the League of Education Voters who are huge charter supporters. Korsmo has a child at AH and is on their PTA Board.

Brand new building for AH soon and all they would need is a majority of AH teachers to sign a petition (and submit it with their charter application). I would tell you the number that is but AH's staff link at their webpage doesn't work. I would guess it might be 15-18 people.

18 people to flip a school and take a building.

I'm keeping my eye on this one.

NW mom said...

Hmm - my nephew is at AH. I'll have to ask if they've heard anything.

Anonymous said...

The State of Washington has some pretty strong language in its Constitution about gifts of public money/property to private entities. Since the charter legislation was written nationally (ALEC style) and sort of "dropped in" here -- I am sure it didn't take that into account. I have been waiting for the first attempted "charter conversion" of a publicly owned and paid-for school. If this happens, I hope someone on the "public" side of the equation will take this on and litigate its constitutionality.

Jan

Melissa Westbrook said...

Jan, I absolutely agree. But I don't think it just "dropped in" - I think they left it there, hoping no one would notice.

I hope the Supreme Court also takes this into account. But, if not, if an SPS building was under attack, I would probably file a lawsuit myself.

I don't believe for a minute this could stand up in court, especially for a teacher takeover.

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

You have more faith in the courts than I do.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Check out the first folks on the NewSchool Venture Fund under Our team.

OUR TEAM

The bios of the principals show Gates Foundation experience and Broad connections.

Examples:

Stacey Childress
Chief Executive Officer

Stacey Childress is the CEO at NewSchools Venture Fund.

Prior to joining NewSchools, Childress led the K-12 Next Generation Learning team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, investing in schools and technologies that support personalized learning for middle and high school students in the United States.

Prior to joining the foundation, Childress was on the faculty of the Harvard Business School where she wrote and taught about entrepreneurial activity in public education in the United States. Her work focused on urban public school districts, charter schools, and nonprofit and for-profit enterprises with missions to improve the public system


================
Scott Benson is the Managing Partner of the Innovative Schools team.

Most recently Scott served as Sr. Program Officer at the Gates Foundation where he led its personalized and blended school strategy from 2010 to early 2015. Scott’s portfolio directly supported 50,000 seats and included the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), Charter School Growth Fund and over 50 direct grants to charter and district schools. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, Scott was Director of Strategic Academic Initiatives and a Broad Resident at D.C. Public Schools. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



-- Dan Dempsey

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