Monday, December 20, 2010

C5 Charter School Under Development - Need More Interest Forms Within Next 10 days

From C5 Charter School Bev Melugin:

Our charter school in development, C5 International School, must have 20 more parent signatures of meaningful interest in enrolling their K-3rd grade students in our school next school year, 2011-2012, to assure that we will be provided facilities by the San Francisco Unified School District.

Are you and anyone else that you know interested? Here is more information to help you to support having our school as an option for families.

1. When parents sign the form, that is available on our Website at www.C5internationalschool.org, and return a hardcopy with an original signature in person or by mail or messenger to our office before December 30th, it does not obligate them to enroll their child or limit their choices of other schools for enrollment.

2. Signed forms will help us to be sure that we will have a school facility next fall when the State Board of Education approves our charter proposal by March 15. Request for facilities under state Proposition 39 is a separate process from the approval of a charter proposal.

3. We simply ask that those who sign and return a form maintain their interest in enrolling in our school, among other schools if that is the case, through next spring, even if questioned or challenged by the school district.

4. Information about our school is on our Website, the address is mentioned above, and many details are in the copy of our charter proposal located there that was submitted to the school district.

We must turn these forms in to the school District by Noon Thursday, December 30th to qualify for a District facility.

We will be checking the mail each day. We wish everyone a joyful and peaceful Holiday Season and rewarding new school experiences next year!

38 comments:

  1. Why do we need another charter school when some of the District's existing schools are underenrolled? It makes more sense to me for people to put all this effort (starting C5) into improving an existing school instead. Is there a way to integrate some of c5's pedagogical ideals into an existing school? The district has developed some unconventional programs at other schools. Why must it be so nihilistic? Is it too distasteful? Like buying a used car instead of something shiny and new as dreamed of?

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  2. "...when the State Board of Education approves our charter proposal by March 15."

    Is that "when" or "if"? I do not believe this is a done deal. I was just listening to the SFUSD board meeting on the tv last night and it they turned you down due to your lack of description of your programs and your disciplinary action plan (my interpretation as to why it was turned down). The State of California may or may not grant this charter.

    You should make this clear in your announcement and not indicate that this is definitely going to be approved.

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  3. This is a bit of a scam. They are asking people to lie if challenged. The district researched all their material and decided they were not viable. One example, they say they will have a 10 students to one teacher ratio but that one adult could be a volunteer or student intern. Someone they could get cheap. But our State Board of Ed is pro-charter and gives them all an ok. Then the district is stuck finding them a facility. We have charters now that are in facilities they feel inadequate and are looking for SFUSD to provide another building. And Gateway Middle charter needs space. So they want you to lie that you may go to C5 so they can get their charter from the state. And then they'll be underenrolled when all the people doing them a favor drop out. This is outrageous.

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  4. I'd be more supportive if this were a k thru 8. That's where I see a serious hole in sfusd's offerings.

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  5. I'm following this issue as a longtime charter skeptic and observer of education reform fads.

    I have the same question for the C5 operators that I ask of the Mission Prep operators: As neophytes who have not run K-12 schools, why do you think you can run a school that's superior to schools run by the current educators in SFUSD? And how do you respond to the charge (voiced in previous comments) that a new charter school will suck resources, students (likely from involved families) and other types of support from existing schools, harming those schools and the students in them?

    Also, it's troubling to see deceit and spin on the C5 website. Do deceit and spin have a place in education? Should that give prospective parents pause?

    To recap: The SFUSD BOE rejected the C5 charter proposal. The applicants are taking their proposal to the state BOE, which can, if it chooses, charter the school itself -- in which case the school will not be an SFUSD school. (I believe it's technically its own school district in that case.)

    In any case, the status of the application is that it has been rejected by the SFUSD BOE and will be submitted to the state BOE.

    The spin on the charter
    school's website is a bit eyebrow-raising, given that situation:

    Phase 1 Done, on to Phase 2!
    December 16, 2010

    We completed the Phase One review with the San Francisco School District and are now preparing for Phase Two, which is sending our proposal petition to
    Sacramento for review by the California State Board of Education.

    http://c5internationalschool.org/2010/12/phase-1-done-on-to-phase-2/

    It remains to be seen how the state BOE is currently dealing with charter applications. The state BOE is stacked with charter school advocates and charter industry insiders by fervently pro-charter Gov. Schwarzenegger. But a current trend in the charter world is for charter insiders themselves to call for tougher oversight and review of charter schools (after years of vigorously resisting any accountability at all). So it's hard to know how favorably inclined the SBOE will be.

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  6. If you believe people like Daniel Pink and Ken Robinson that the current educational system is preparing children for an economy that no longer exists, then you start to look for alternatives to the mainstream public school curriculum. If some of these alternatives can also be free, then I say great, go charter schools!

    While I think my daughter's public school is doing a decent job, I don't believe that the curriculum fosters enough creativity, innovative thinking or passion for life-long learning. Any time you have to teach to a multiple choice test you have pretty much lost the game. If a charter school can work around this and provide parents with a similar belief with an alternative, I think that's important, and not just sucking resources from other schools. My $.02.

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  7. "If you believe people like Daniel Pink and Ken Robinson that the current educational system is preparing children for an economy that no longer exists, then you start to look for alternatives to the mainstream public school curriculum."

    Bravo. It isn't as though SFUSD is doing such a great job educating children, and there is a reason some of SFUSD's schools are under-enrolled: BECAUSE THEY SUCK.

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  8. I strongly object to stating that challenged schools "suck." That's a harsh and callous judgment on a school, its teachers and its students -- an attack on our most vulnerable children.

    Charter schools also have to administer the mandated multiple choice tests.

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  9. Why didn't you enroll your kids at Malcolm X, then? If you care so deeply?

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  10. Malcom X's API went up about 100 points last year. Doesn't sound like it sucks to me. Must be doing something right.

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  11. There is no evidence that Charter schools perform better.

    So, it comes down to whether it offers an alternative which differentiate enough so parents want.

    I haven't seen C5 offering much difference from a regular school. It has "international" in name but no immersion, and any SFUSD school would have the "international" element in it just from the student body. It claims 1-to-10 student ratio.....based on interns and volunteers. A lot of SFUSD schools can easily beat that with parent volunteers and/or partnership with universities for student teachers. So exactly what does C5 offer?

    I am not against charter school, but I cannot stand fault advertising.

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  12. "I strongly object to stating that challenged schools "suck." That's a harsh and callous judgment on a school, its teachers and its students -- an attack on our most vulnerable children."

    We're 50th in the nation and we're just hunky-dory. Feeling better now?

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  13. "Malcom X's API went up about 100 points last year. Doesn't sound like it sucks to me. Must be doing something right."

    Great, send your kids there if you think it is such a great school.

    Nowhere to go , but up, when only 6% of the 2nd graders tested at proficient for English in 2008.

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  14. It's pretty clear that, like CACS, C5 would offer a safe haven to the largely white, middle-class families savy enough to find out about C5 and fill out its separate application.

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  15. CACS is falling apart.

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  16. 7:30 How so? I thought there were always internecine parent politics and loose academics at CACS but kids felt nurtured and parents comfortable.

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  17. I am finding this whole thread singularly frustrating. I would like to get a better understanding of WHY I should be interested (where is the school likely to be located? how is the classroom approach different from regular public school?). Instead I get charter-bashing and suggestions to put my kids in under-enrolled school that are under-enrolled for a reason.

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  18. 10:59
    Don't make any decisions on schools based upon what you read here, you have to look for yourself, or talk to the people yourself (in the case where there is no school yet to look at.)

    As for this new charter, they may not even get permission from the State, the Reggio Emilia local people say this school is not at all "Reggio", the student/teacher ratios they mention are based upon wishful thinking that parents will volunteer all day, the school really looks like it will be a disorganized mess.

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  19. Ahem.

    location, location, location.....

    Uh, good luck with that.

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  20. CACs is 36% free and reduced lunch versus a little over 52% for SFUSD. Yes it does have a higher number of middle class whites, but I wouldn't call it a haven. It isn't exactly a che che private school. Why do you, 1:12, assume that only whites are savvy enough to fill out an application. is this a case of low expectation or what?

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  21. "I'm following this issue as a longtime charter skeptic and observer of education reform fads."

    Charter schools are edu-fads? What about SFUSD immersion, or test/audition–only high schools like Lowell and SOTA? Fads too?

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  22. "longtime charter skeptic"

    more like: long-winded charter basher"

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  23. Not every program is a fad; I suppose the definition is fluid. What puts charter schools into the "fad" category for me is the fact that they are being touted as the magical miracle solution to the challenges faced by public education and propped up with hype (see "Waiting for Superman," for example).

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  24. Now that don's hiding his sorry ass it looks like Caroline is the new kid to kick around. And as don before her, she is surely the reason we do not have world peace.

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  25. As far as I can tell, Caroline always posts under her own name. Do we really need to kick around other parents?

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  26. Do we really need to trash other people's school choices?

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  27. Caroline's hardly new to this blog.

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  28. @8:27
    blog peace, you mean.

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  29. "Why do we need another charter school when some of the District's existing schools are underenrolled?"

    If they are underenrolled there must be a reason. Maybe they should be closed if they can't attract enough students to stay open. Most of these schools are perennial underperformers. These failure factories are good for one thing only, to employ teachers. They invest good money with little chance for any academic success in return using the same old methods.

    There is a need for new ideas in education. The easiest pathway for creating new schools is through the chartering process. Charters can offer a wider range of instructional styles and less bureaucratic red tape. It is true that most charters have not outperformed their counterparts. Like anything else, there are always scammers ready to take advantage of public trough.

    For people with new ideas in education they are the only game in town. The rest are chronically bogged down with hackneyed instructional styles and employment practices that spell doom for innovation.

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  30. 1:30 -- If you think that the students in these "failing factories" are underperforming because of a lack of innovation, then I'd like to see a charter school with the same funding as the public school take all the kids from the factory school and effect an academic turnaround.

    The problem is not pedagogy, its the students who for whatever reason or combination of reasons (broken family, violence, abuse, lack of attention, poverty, etc etc) are not provided with the environment any student needs to thrive.

    Besides, I don't see any charters in this town (perhaps with the exception of KIPP) running out to recruit the families from the "factory school" demographic.

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  31. The KIPP schools famously impose many hurdles that ensure that they enroll only the more-motivated and compliant of students from the "factory school" demographic. Then they get rid of their less successful students at an astounding rate and (unlike public schools with attrition) do not replace them.

    I'm speaking as someone who actually did the legwork of "trying" to enroll my child in a KIPP school to check out whether there really were hurdles. We didn't actually go as far as following through with the the "we don't give admission tests, but please schedule your test now" test, but that was the requirement. Just to give an example.

    After reading the school's parent handbook, my daughter (then 12) asked me to enroll her so she could lead an uprising of the oppressed masses. So I don't think she would have made the cut as future KIPPster material.

    Also, FYI I have challenged charter industry insiders to please name some of the innovations that charters are supposedly pioneering. So far no one has been able to come up with one. The main innovation is funneling public money into private pockets, at our kids' expense. I'm not saying this is the motivation behind every charter school, by any means, but there are plenty of them.

    http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/

    And yes, bad stuff goes on in public education too. The difference is that public schools are not hailed as miracle solutions and showered with millions upon millions in private donations on that basis.

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  32. The KIPP schools famously impose many hurdles that ensure that they enroll only the more-motivated and compliant of students from the "factory school" demographic. Then they get rid of their less successful students at an astounding rate and (unlike public schools with attrition) do not replace them.

    I'm speaking as someone who actually did the legwork of "trying" to enroll my child in a KIPP school to check out whether there really were hurdles. We didn't actually go as far as following through with the the "we don't give admission tests, but please schedule your test now" test, but that was the requirement. Just to give an example.

    After reading the school's parent handbook, my daughter (then 12) asked me to enroll her so she could lead an uprising of the oppressed masses. So I don't think she would have made the cut as future KIPPster material.

    Also, FYI I have challenged charter industry insiders to please name some of the innovations that charters are supposedly pioneering. So far no one has been able to come up with one. The main innovation is funneling public money into private pockets, at our kids' expense. I'm not saying this is the motivation behind every charter school, by any means, but there are plenty of them.

    http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/

    And yes, bad stuff goes on in public education too. The difference is that public schools are not hailed as miracle solutions and showered with millions upon millions in private donations on that basis.

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  33. Charter schools ARE public schools.

    They are free and they are available to anyone who puts in an application, just like every school in SFUSD.

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  34. Charter schools are funded with public money but are privately run, and are free to pick, choose and kick out students as most public schools can't do. They're not supposed to, but nobody oversees their enrollment process, so they are free to if they so choose.

    Jerry Brown just changed the makeup of the state Board of Ed so that it's no longer stacked with charter insiders, so it's no longer the slam-dunk that it would have bene under the Schwarzenegger admin.

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  35. Nobody really oversees SFUSD's enrollment process either, or how SFUSD spends its money on "consultants" who are really SFUSD staff who pocket the money for themselves.

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  36. SOTA is a public school which offers admission based on audition. They are free to pick and choose who gets to attend.

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  37. Does anyone know the status of c5s charter?

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  38. http://c5internationalschool.org/2011/01/withdrawing-our-proposal-while-deciding/

    "We are withdrawing our petition for appeal to the State Board of Education regarding our charter school proposal denial by the San Francisco Unified School District. That means that there will be no C5 International School beginning this fall for the 2011-2012 school year."

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