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Applying to a Charter School
I am wondering if anyone has thought about founding a K-5 charter school in Berkeley? I know there is a new 6-8 charter school called REALM, but I'm curious to know why there isn't already a K-5 charter school. Has one been attempted and failed in the past? Have any community groups formed to begin working through the process? Does anyone have any idea why there isn't already a K-5 charter school in Berkeley? Do you think there would be interest in starting a progressive K-5 charter school? Thanks! Curious about charter schools
Although charter schools are not administered by the school district they are located in, they must still be approved by that district, and BUSD has never approved one except for Realm, which was started by one of their own. Why is this? We are not allowed to know. BUSD has no information on its own website about the charter school approval process, and has not provided information to the website for the US Dept of Education's Charter School Catalog that keeps track of how many applications have been submitted for each school district nationwide, and how many were approved. (See http://catalog.charterschoolcenter.org/authorizer/berkeley-unified-school-district).
My guess as a long-time BUSD parent is that BUSD's history of strong loyalty to teachers' unions has influenced its decisions when it comes to charter schools. Teachers' unions strongly oppose charter schools because charter schools are not obligated to adopt the contracts between unions and the local school district. Charter schools can hire and fire teachers according to the school's own needs and goals, not according to contracts that are designed to protect jobs and benefits. By refusing to allow charter schools, the Berkeley School District is protecting the teachers unions' interests and serving their needs, not the needs of kids in the disctrict. BUSD is deciding for parents what kinds of options we will have for our kids.
Bottom line: if BUSD schools aren't working for your child, and you can't afford private school, you are just out of luck. Check out one of the 30+ charter schools in Oakland. local mom
We need to move before our kids start elementary school, but really only want to move once (i.e. want to select a place we can stay through high school). Problem is, we can't afford private, and would like to stay in Oakland. We've done a lot of research and I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about how difficult it is to get kids into any of the charter high schools in Oakland. I really know nothing about how to get into charter schools, how many applicants they get, etc. But, I can see that the charter high schools are much more highly regarded, in Oakland. What are our chances of getting in? Thanks so much
Does anyone have info on any of the new small autonomous or
charter high schools in Oakland? We are trying to find a
place for a kid who receives speech and resource support
in middle school and does better in a small, relatively
I'd like to find out more about charter schools in Oakland. Websites? Specific reccomendations? I've heard good things about Lighthouse in downtown Oakland, but that's it. We're interested in finding a school strong in both arts and academics. We're looking for Sept. of 2004. Are the waiting lists horrendous? Our daughter's been in a very relaxed Montessori school. Thanks Kaila I've heard of two others in Oakland, North Oakland Community School, and East Bay Conservation Corps School. They both have websites. I don't know anyone with kids at EBCCS, but do know folks who had kids at NOCCS and they were thrilled with it. It has a visionary parents group, and great parental support.
There was a study recently done by PACE (Policy Analysis for California Education) which showed that Charter Schools frequently had less well prepared teachers and larger class sizes than public schools. Here's a link to the article from the Berkeley home page: http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/04/08_charter.shtml
It's certainly worth looking at that, and the article in the New York Times recently about charter schools. Anon
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