Washington State Charter School Update

It appears that the Washington Charter Commission must have gotten a flurry of submissions because the final count is 28 letters of intent to apply to become a charter school.

(I spoke to Spokane School district - the only school district authorizer in the state - and they received three letters of intent.  They say they have one unused building in their district currently so that may be up for grabs among the three applicants, if they follow thru on applying.)

I would be surprised if half of the letters of intent applicants follow-thru, given the heavy lift that is the charter application.  So I'm guessing there will be about 16 applications for 8 charters.  

Newest entries to the Charter Commission:

So there are some themes: STEM, "academy" and "prep" or "preparatory." 

Because the one-paragraph requirement, you don't get a real feel for these schools.  The most intriguing for sure is the Finnish First one. 

The majority of the letters say they intend to start Fall 2014 with a handful in Fall 2015 (including Green Dot and the Summit high schools).   There appear to be no true conversion schools in any of the Charter Commission batch of letters. 


TechyMom said…
I voted against 1240, but I have to say... some of these look pretty interesting. Given the mess that SPS middle school is going to be for the next few years while the new boundaries roll out, it's nice to have a few more options that don't cost $30k/year.
chrismealy said…
I love the Finnish model, and I'm happy to see it getting attention, but I gotta wonder how a school in Yakima is going to replicate it.
Again,until the lawsuit is settled, I wouldn't count on anything. I suspect that's why the more established charters said 2015.
StringCheese said…
So... Washington STEM doesn't check off "STEM" as its School Model Specialty... Bizarre.
Lynn said…
I'm curious about CAL Elementary. It's a K-5 school with a College Prep model. What does a college prep kindergarten class look like?
Charlie Mas said…
Lynn asked: "What does a college prep kindergarten class look like?"

As any Teach for America corps member can tell you, a college prep kindergarten class has posters and banners on the walls about Stanford, Princeton, and Brown. The kids are all encouraged to talk about going to college, what college they will choose, and why their choice is the best.
Lynn said…
Oh man. Now I'm worried my kid won't be going to college. There are no banners in his classroom. Is first grade too late?
seattle citizen said…
There's still time, Lynn. Find a good charter like Arne Duncan's Ariel K-8 in Chicago (where he got his first and only experience as an educator before taking over Chicago schools and then the nation's) Ariel was created as an altruistic tax write-off of the Ariel Investment Corp. Find your kid a good charter like that, where she/he can prepare for college and then career as an investment manager. Lord knows children need to learn early how to take over companies, cut wages and costs while paying themselves handsomely, then sell the company cheap. Ariel does this and more in its investment-themed coursework.
With such an intensive focus on college and investment-career readiness, your kid won't have to be bothered by learning any of that namby-pamby liberal arts crap like art and civics and history. The intense focus on capital accumulation will enable your child to test into one of the investor's new online degree programs, graduate, and quickly amass a fortune playing marketing games with other people's retirement savings.
What's interesting is a number of the applicants want to open preK-5 or 8. They'll have to find the preK money elsewhere as the state only pays for K-12 (and, as we all know, not even full-day K).
Lynn said…
Could they charge tuition for preschool then roll those students up into kindergarten? That would allow them more control over who enrolls.
Anonymous said…



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