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Issue # 10
January  2010
New Vision
Greetings!

Welcome to the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools Email Newsletter.  We will  keep you updated on current charter school issues, news, and events.  Please let us know if there is anything else you would like to see in our communications to you or if you have a charter success story you would like to share.   As always, thank you for your support and voice in Louisiana's charter school movement. 
Policy Update
   
 JANUARY BESE UPDATE

JANUARY 2010 REGULARLY SCHEDULED BESE MEETING

  • BESE approved the Accountability Commission's recommendation to raise the minimum SPS to 75 over the next two years (10 points in year 1, and 5 points in year 2).
  • 4.5 and 8.5 students now may be promoted without passing the LEAP, provided these students meet other specified criteria.
  • BESE heard preliminary discussion on the MFP and will be making final decisions on the MFP resolution in March.
  • Denied all three Type 2 Charter School Applications (2 in New Orleans and 1 in St. Landry Parish).
JANUARY 28, 2010 SPECIAL CALLED MEETING OF BESE

Reconsideration of the three Type 2 Charter School applicants based on the requirement that BESE take action on an application no later than January 31.
  • Approved International High School of New Orleans and New Orleans Military/Maritime Academy. (Voting to approve: Penny Dastugue, Glenny Lee Buquet, Jim Garvey, Chas Roemer, Tammie McDaniel, John Bennett, Linda Johnson and Walter Lee.  Voting NO: Keith Guice. Absent: Louella Givens and Dale Bayard.
  • Denied the Acadiana Charter School in St. Landry Parish. The basis of the denial was around funding. BESE member Tammie McDaniel led the argument that the State should not be accessing local tax dollars for Type 2 charter schools that were not specifically detailed in the millage the voters passed in a school district. However, when given the chance to support a motion that would have sought a legal opinion on the matter, Ms. McDaniel, Walter Lee, Linda Johnson and Keith Guice all opposed, preventing the motion from garnering the necessary six votes to pass. (Voting to approve the charter: Glenny Lee Buquet, John Bennett, Penny Dastugue, Chas Roemer and Jim Garvey. Voting NO: Tammie McDaniel, Walter Lee, Linda Johnson and Keith Guice. Absent: Louella Givens and Dale Bayard).


Introducing Charter 1st Fridays

A new program called Charter First Fridays invites the community to visit, tour and learn about public charter schools. Created by the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Charters First Fridays will kick-off at New Orleans College Prep on February 5, 2010 from 8:30-9:30 AM.    
 
"Across the nation, high-quality charter schools are providing families and children with an education that was not available to them 18 years ago. In cities like New York City, Chicago, and Boston, charter schools are working to close the achievement gap and transform children's lives. Still, most people have never seen these inspiring public schools in action," said National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President and CEO Nelson Smith. "Charter First Fridays seeks to change that by setting up regular opportunities for members of the public to visit a charter school and get involved in the movement where they live."

The first Friday of every month, the LAPCS will assist a charter school in opening it's doors to the community.  This is a great opportunity for the business community, prospective parents and students, and the general public to step inside a charter school and witness firsthand the innovation in learning that takes place.

If you are interested in participating in the Charter First Fridays program, please contact Elizabeth Garrett at egarrett@lacharterschools.org
Louisiana's Race to the Top Application

The Race to the Top (R2T) is officially underway, and Louisiana is among the 41 competitors entering the contest for the $4.35 billion federal education grant. Last Tuesday, January 19th, officials from the Loui siana Department of Education delivered the state's application to the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. The LDOE publicly released the contents of Louisiana's 187-page R2T application, 68-page budget and 418-page appendix.

Click HERE to view the entire LDOE press release and application.
 

Job Listings On LAPCS Website
 
Please note that the LAPCS website now has a statewide job vacancy posting page on our website.  Please let your HR or recruiting staffer know that this resource is available. To access the page, click HERE.
 
The Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools also has a New Orleans job vacancy page available.  To access this site, click HERE.

Grant Opportunities

The LAPCS is pleased to bring you a comprehensive list of grant opportunities that may be of interest to Louisiana's charter schools.  The list is updated daily with new and interesting grant opportunities, so check back often! To visit the list click HERE.
 
Upcoming Deadlines:

Best Buy: Scholarship Program  (February 15, 2010)

Intel Foundation: Schools of Distinction (February 17, 2010)

Sodexo: STOP Hunger Scholarship  (February 24, 2010)
Events
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2010 SUMMER OF SERVICE PROGRAM


The Louisiana Serve Commission announces funding available for a Summer of Service 2010 Program from June 1 to August 10 for up to 500 6th-9th grade students.  Eligible applicants include public schools and nonprofit organizations with experience working with youth.  Programs will implement a community-based service-learning program for up to 500 disadvantaged youth who will provide their community with a minimum of 100 hours of direct service.  In return for these service hours, each student will receive a $500 education award from the Corporation for National and Community Service.  This is a short-term opportunity that will engage students in environmental/energy conservation projects that benefit their community while strengthening classroom skills.  There is no match requirement for the grant. 
 
Funding for this program is contingent upon the Louisiana Serve Commission being awarded Summer of Service 2010 grant funds from the Corporation for National and Community Service. 
 
A copy of the grant guidelines and application are HERE.  The grant application can be found at www.volunteerlouisiana.gov.
 
Instructions provided in the guidelines include submission of a Letter of Intent to Apply due to the Commission by February 5, 2010.   Interested applicants will also be required to participate in a technical assistance webinar on February 10.  The grant application must be submitted to the Commission by March 5, 2010.  Details on this process can be found in the grant application guidelines. 
 
This is a wonderful opportunity for middle school students to be of service to their community while earning an education award. 

New Orleans Members Advisory Council
 
The LAPCS Members Advisory Council is a key organizational component in identifying problem issues, setting priorities, gathering data, communicating important issues, resolving problems, and more.  
 

Next Baton Rouge MAC Meeting:

When:  TBD

Where: Baton Rouge Location TBD

Next New Orleans MAC Meeting:

 
When:  March 2010
 
Where: New Orleans School TBD

To register to attend the MAC Meeting, please email achen@lacharterschools.org
 
Welcome New LAPCS Members!
WELCOME!

New School Members:


D'Arbonne Woods Charter School
Firstline Schools:  New Orleans Charter Elementary &                                     Dibert Elementary School
Audubon Charter School
McDonogh 42



New Vendor Members:

GTTR

Global Teachers Research & Resources, Inc. (GTRR) provides experienced, dedicated teachers in critical teaching fields to schools and school systems.  Our teachers are carefully pre-screened, well-trained and supported after placement.  GTRR Teachers offer stability in that they often become a welcome part of the community and continue to teach at the same location.

Articles of Interest 
"Teacher see control at up-for-bid L.A. Unified Schools"
Los Angeles Times
January 2, 2010

A plan to let outside groups bid for control of dozens of long-struggling and new local campuses has unleashed a formidable competitor: Groups of teachers from inside the Los Angeles Unified School District are vying to take charge of their schools.
Read More...

"Editorial:  Promises and Facts on Charter Schools"
The New York Times
January 10, 2010

Charter schools - which are run with public money but subject to fewer state regulations - have a lot of supporters in Washington. Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants states to close some chronically failing schools and turn them into charters. Congress is so enthusiastic that it has created a $50 million fund and given Mr. Duncan the authority to directly finance charter school operators who want to replicate or expand successful programs.
Read More...

"States Race to Apply for U.S. Education Funds"
Wall Street Journal
January 19, 2010

Forty states are seeking federal school funding through a competitive Obama administration program that has prompted educational changes as well as resistance in much of the country.  States have spent months, and in some cases millions of dollars in consulting fees, preparing applications for the first round of the $4.35 billion Race to the Top program, due Tuesday.
Read More...

"Opinion:  Charters and the Contract Conversation"
Education Week
January 20, 2010

What happens when teachers and management have the opportunity to create a contract from scratch? At my school, the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston, we recently had that opportunity, and discovered what is possible when there is a shared school mission and no previous binding agreements. We had the chance to start fresh.
Read More...

"Education Secretary Duncan calls Hurricane Katrina good for New Orleans schools"
Washington Post
January 30, 2010

Education Secretary Arne Duncan called Hurricane Katrina "the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans" because it forced the community to take steps to improve low-performing public schools, according to excerpts from a television interview made public Friday.
Read More...

About Us 
MISSION
 
The mission of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is to increase student achievement by supporting, promoting, and advocating for the quality charter school movement.

WHO WE ARE
 
 
Caroline Roemer Shirley, Executive Director
Contact Caroline at croemer@lacharterschools.org
 
Andrea Chen, Membership & Programs Director
Contact Andrea at achen@lacharterschools.org 
 
Elizabeth Garrett, Communications Director
Contact Elizabeth at egarrett@lacharterschools.org

Renita Thukral, Policy Director
Contact Renita at rthukral@lacharterschools.org

Sherman Whites, Business & Operations Director
Contact Sherman at swhites@lacharterschools.org
 
In This Issue
BESE Update
Charter 1st Fridays
Race to the Top
Job Postings
Grant Opportunities
Upcoming Events

SAVE THE DATE!

Louisiana Charter School Day at the Capitol

May 6, 2010

Stay tuned for the schedule of events!


GOOD NEWS!  
Kenilworth Science & Technology School Leader honored by Baton Rouge Business Report

Cuneyt Dokmen, the former school leader of Abramson Science & Tech in New Orleans, and current leader of Kenilworth in Baton Rouge was named one of the Baton Rouge Business Report's "Forty under Forty."  Congratulations!  Read More.

Purse Flats™ Announces Its College Scholarship for Graduating Seniors From Edna Karr High School and McDonogh 35 Preparatory High School

Thank you to the company, run by a native New Orleanian, for supporting our students!  Read More.

Lusher Student's Work in University's High School Art Show

A student at Lusher School in New Orleans is among nine high-school students from around the country whose work is being featured at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Congratulations!  Read More.

SAVE THE DATE!
3rd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference

October 15-16, 2010

Hilton Riverside Hotel
New Orleans

Stay tuned for more information.

Staples 

Interested in saving 15-85% off the list-price on office and classroom supplies? 

 Learn more about our STAPLES Statewide Charter Schools Buying Program open to all LAPCS members!  Click HERE!
 

 

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