Newark Charter School Fund Creates “Charter Compact”
The Newark Charter Compact is an important development that I hope is replicated everywhere there are charter schools. Among other things like high quality and closing failing schools, it aims to ensure that charters are serving ALL students, including their fair share of ELL, SPED, etc. students:
Charter schools in Newark will have an opportunity to sign onto a newly developed "charter compact" that will ensure they are upholding the highest principles of transparency and public accountability, serving an unmet need in Newark, striving for educational excellence, and fulfilling their missions to educate all students in the most equitable manner possible.
The compact was developed by the Newark Charter School Fund, a three-year old organization committed to increasing the number of high-quality schools in Newark by improving charter schools, expanding successful schools, and developing promising new schools.
…Under the compact, the charter schools, funders and stakeholders would commit to serving all students in the city, especially the highest need students requiring special education services, students who are English Language Learners, students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and other underserved or at-risk populations.
Schools would also commit to recruiting and advertising in the widest and most inclusive manner possible and eliminate any process steps or requirements of parents before the charter application and lotteries are completed.
Under the compact, schools would also agree to correct misinformation about any application or lottery requirements for parents.
"As part of this agreement, charters will not be allowed to require families or students to attend information sessions to apply to their schools or enter the lottery," Ashton said. "Charters could offer those informational sessions as an option, but not a requirement."
Charters would also agree to provide multiple ways for charter parents and students to access and complete an application, including posting an application online, a mail-in application, and in-person drop off at the schools.
"We want charters to communicate a clear message that students with special education needs, students who are English Language Learners, and other at-risk students are served by charter schools," Ashton said.
Thursday, 22 September 2011 16:55 Local Talk News Editor