This will be my last EdNews commentary for 2009. (Okay, I’ll pause a moment to allow that to sink in … Or at least long enough for the wild applause to stop.)
Reading the Colorado Charters blog recently, I learned that the Adams 12 school district (for the uninitiated, Northglenn-Thornton, north Denver metro area) this week denied two more charter school applications — by best estimates, making it six applications in a row shot down by this board. (Full disclosure: I was on one of these start-up charter school boards, Milestones Academy, that was rejected by Adams 12.)
Perhaps it’s becoming a rote activity for the Adams 12 board, but I did note that lack of parental demand was not listed among the reasons for denying the applications. And I didn’t get a close look at the claims that academic quality was an issue. So I’m not exactly sure why parental public school choice was shot down here, though I’d be glad to learn more. But the incident raised two questions in my mind:
1. Given the recent “witch-hunt” audit proposal that came this month before a legislative committee (and thankfully was defeated), is the Adams 12 board’s rejection streak part of a growing anti-charter school backlash? and
2. To what extend would implementing the “Charter 2.0″ agenda temper these attacks? The League of Charter Schools plans to focus its 2010 agenda on setting higher standards for charter authorizers, building a specialized charter accreditation program and on increasing support for underperforming charters. But how much will that really mean for the Adams 12 boards of our state?
Food for thought, at least until I re-join the discussion here next decade. Until then, may students and teachers enjoy your time off, and may all have a blessed end of Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year.
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