School Choice & Charters

Calif. Charter Group to Certify Schools

By Christina A. Samuels — May 08, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The California Charter Schools Association, which counts about three-fourths of the state’s 618 charters as members, has created a Certified Charter Schools Program recognizing schools that have achieved excellence in academic outcomes for their students and in their operations.

The association says its program is the first time a state’s charter school association has defined standards for quality and offered a seal of approval to schools that exceed it.

“It’s giving charter schools a chance to trumpet their success,” said Caprice Young, who heads the association.

It’s also giving charter schools a chance to define success in their own terms, Ms. Young said. The certification process will focus primarily on student outcomes, she said.

“We knew as a movement that if we didn’t take responsibility for defining quality, someone else was going to do it for us. And it wasn’t going to look the way we wanted it to,” she said.

The announcement of the program came after U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings visited a charter school in Los Angeles as a part of National Charter Schools Week.

The certification process includes a detailed self-study as well as a review by a third party, such as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which accredits public schools in California, or the Washington-based American Academy for a Liberal Education. More than 30 schools have gone through the certification process.

Pat Golding, the director of the 600-student, three-school Hickman Charter District, said the self-evaluation prompted the district to formalize some of its successful internal practices. “It’s good to have quality standards so that everyone knows what they are, and then everyone can be held accountable to them,” she said.

Rick Piercy, the president and chief executive officer of the Lewis Center for Educational Research, which runs the 964-student Academy for Academic Excellence in Apple Valley, said charter schools “have to be better, and we have to set a higher standard for ourselves, if we’re going to survive.”

See Also

See other stories on education issues in California. See data on California’s public school system.

For background, previous stories, and Web links, read Charter Schools.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 09, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Opinion The Kind of School Reform That Parents Actually Want
Parents' inclination to focus on solving specific problems rather than system change helps explain the appetite for novel school options.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Opinion What Do Parents Look for When Choosing a School?
New polling sheds light on what a nationally representative sample of parents had to say on this question this summer.
2 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Virtual Charters in Hot Water Again. Accusations of Fraud Prompt $150M Lawsuit
Indiana officials seek to recoup more than $150 million they say was either wrongly obtained or misspent by a consortium of virtual schools.
Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star
2 min read
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis. Rokita filed a lawsuit against a group of online charter schools accused of defrauding the state out of millions of dollars Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings/AP
School Choice & Charters How the Pandemic Helped Fuel the Private School Choice Movement
State lawmakers got a new talking point as they pushed to create and expand programs to send students to private schools.
8 min read
Collage showing two boys in classroom during pandemic wearing masks with cropped photo of feet and arrows going in different directions.
Collage by Gina Tomko/EducationWeek (Images: Getty)