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California School Accountability Report: Conflict over classrooms in SF

 

Here’s our pick of recent news about the ongoing effort to privatize public education in California. Want these straight to your email inbox? Sign up here.

 

San Francisco’s school district wants more charter school accountability. San Francisco’s school district unanimously passed a resolution this week calling for more oversight and accountability for charter schools opening and operating in the city. Districts statewide are grappling with how to handle the rapid growth of charter schools, which compete with them for state funding. The resolution directs the district to conduct a “thorough” analysis of the “fiscal, educational and socio-emotional impacts” that charter schools have on the city’s students. San Francisco Examiner

More conflict in SF. Malcolm X Academy is “decorated with brightly colored murals of the school’s namesake, maps of Africa, and the motto of both the slain black leader and the school: ‘by any means necessary.’ That motto is being tested as the school and its 105 students—up from 90 last year—share space with 90 pre-kindergartners, kindergartners and first graders attending a new charter school in the same building, KIPP Bayview Elementary.” San Francisco Public Press

Charter petition rejected by local leaders. The Moreno Valley School District east of Los Angeles has unanimously denied a petition for a new charter school within the district’s boundaries. An attorney who reviewed the petition said its proposed program for high-achieving students seems “ambitious” and its plan for special education students and English language learners is lacking. The Press-Enterprise

“The cards are stacked in favor of the charter school.” A lawyer for California’s Mountain View Whisman School District has told the district’s trustees that they have little grounds to deny a forthcoming petition for a new charter school. Under California’s existing charter school law, the cards are indisputably stacked in favor of the charter school, he said. “Charter school law is still in its infancy and many components of it have been challenged in court, but the overarching theme is that the petition process—along with requirements for districts to provide ‘reasonably equivalent’ facilities under Proposition 39—show a bias in favor of charter schools.” Mountain View Voice

Amazon might be getting in the school business. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, is reportedly planning to launch a national network of Montessori preschools backed by a $2 billion commitment. He “said his schools would be ‘full scholarship,’ implying, some observers thought, that the network would be fully private, with seats reserved for poor children, as opposed to a more common public-private partnership, with an integrated mix of students from different backgrounds. The New York Times