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Concerning our local charter schools

Posted: June 2, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 2, 2014 2:00 a.m.

I read with interest the article in the May 26 issue of The Signal (“Pavley’s bill would change charter school law”) about the bill introduced by California Sen. Fran Pavley regarding charter schools.

The law, if passed, would block charter schools from locating outside the district that charters them.

It’s obvious that this legislation is aimed at the people who have been trying for a long time to open the Albert Einstein elementary school in Santa Clarita.

The school finally received a charter from Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District and is currently conducting classes in that area.

To those of us who have been following the tortuous path that the Einstein folks have had to take to open the elementary school, it’s interesting to note how many different excuses the various governmental bodies have used to block the school: “exclusionary” (even though admission is by lottery), paperwork not properly submitted, vague planning and budget information, refusal to approve building permits.

The roadblocks have been numerous and varied.

I want only to bring to the attention of your readership that the Albert Einstein Academy (Jr. High and High School), which just graduated its first class this year, has been notified by Newsweek that the school has made the “short list” of schools throughout the United States that are being considered for Newsweek’s 2014 list of America’s Best High Schools.

That’s no guarantee that AEA will make the final cut. However, it’s amazing thatthese administrators and directors, who can run a high school that catches the attention of Newsweek, can be so inept in putting together a proposal to open an elementary school.

So ... what’s really going on here?


SCF: Posted: June 2, 2014 7:49 a.m.

Very good question. Clearly nobody can say AEA isn't doing a good job educating the kids. And isn't that what it is supposed to be about?

projalice11: Posted: June 2, 2014 8:33 a.m.

"AEA has made the “short list” of schools throughout the United States that are being considered for Newsweek’s 2014 list of America’s Best High Schools."

"The roadblocks have been numerous and varied."

So ... what’s really going on here?
A very good question ..

ginnyp: Posted: June 2, 2014 8:51 a.m.

What's going on here. How about the fact that first on the list is that Charters are not union controlled. Whether the public school teachers want the union or not, it is fully entrenched into the system. Next, they put a priority on students actually learning and can show successful results the majority of the time, unlike our public school districts today. Administrations are limited in size, while public school systems are top heavy. How about the fact that Charter Schools require parental participation, and the parents want to be active members of the process. Where as, in public schools it's nearly impossible to get parents to show up for Open House, most of the time; let alone get them to be part of any process. Charter Schools are a threat to school districts, just like the mere mention of vouchers is a threat.

debatenohate: Posted: June 2, 2014 8:53 a.m.

If the AEA K-6 management team could follow the rules/laws WHILE their teachers did a good job educating the kids, there wouldn't be anything "going on." I've watched this all unfold over the past few years, and I've been excited by the educational opportunities but horrified by the twisted, seemingly cagey way the leadership has tried to make those opportunities happen. It was enough to turn me off, after being a very big supporter.

Lotus8: Posted: June 2, 2014 2:12 p.m.

I think the education at the school is probably a very good one. The fact is that the folks running the operation are sketchy. Building out property with no permits or approvals, leaving big decisions until the very last minute, having to bus kids all around, having an outside school district charter them, and the list goes on.

Can we also please get off the whole "parents at public schools never show up or get involved" thing? There are many examples of poor parenting, but there are plenty of parents showing up to these events per my attendance at them and at many other school functions. Of course there are going to be more involved parents at a charter or private school, as it takes parental motivation to seek out that school choice and most uninvolved parents won't bother.

As kids progress in school, the ones who perform at a higher level seek out honors courses, sports, band, and other activities to keep them operating at a college prep level vs. the kids who simply show up for basic education and plan on operating a cash register upon graduation.

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