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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Washington State Charter Schools - the Beat Goes On

I do plan on doing a thread on the latest Charter Commission meeting but there is some other charter news.

From the Everett Herald, there's a story about Jim Spady and his efforts, over the last 20 years, to bring charters to Washington State.  As an activist, I can only admire their drive and tenacity (even if I don't really support the outcome).   The article does bring up two issues I had wanted to call out.

One, the lawsuit against 1240 is very much alive, according to Rich Wood of the WEA.  According to the article, it's "in the works" but the WEA is concentrating on McCleary first.  (Good call.)

Two, Mr. Spady is to be part of the new Washington State Charter School Association.  This association is a line-up of the usual suspects. 

Funded by Gates Foundation ($800k)?  Check. 
Chris Korsmo of LEV, spokesperson for the group? Check (but let's hope they make her more camera-ready than she has been in the past). 
More LEV people?  Check. 
Business types (Steve Mullin of the Washington Roundtable)?  Check. 
Calls for the 40-schools-over-5-years cap to be lifted?  Check and mate.

The association is going to give support/information to those who want to open charters, especially for at-risk populations.  (And that definition of "at-risk" came up at the Charter Commission meeting with some surprising findings.) 

First goal?  A five-charter "leadership cohort."

The Association is identifying the inaugural cohort of five leaders who plan to open the first public charter schools in Washington. Cohort members will receive coaching on writing a charter school application and board member recruitment. Cohort leaders will participate in trips to observe high performing charter schools and receive a planning stipend.

Also, note to new groups like WSCSA.  It's really not a blog if you don't take comments.  That would be a news feed, not a blog.  If you can't take the heat, don't call it a blog.

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