Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2007 at 11:37 am
I beg to differ - charter is preferable to an MI choice program. MI is too expensive and complex, too consuming of district staff resources, too risky, and not an program that can be offered in a diverse and equitable way. Barriers to entry will render the program infeasible.
Charter and Choice program are equal in their burden on space to PAUSD.
Have a backbone and fight both.
But if we're going to be strapped with one or the other, let the charter proponents keep their own headaches.
Let Ohlone get on with Ohlone, save them from themselves. Let PAUSD get on with PAUSD priorities, and let the charter folks have at it. They've worked so hard - they deserve it! (Poetic Justice)
Posted by Lorraine, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2007 at 12:26 pm
I agree with Parent. Let the PACE charter school tackle this one. Our school board got it right in January--we can't absorb another choice program and, if PACE wants to carry the burden of a charter school, let them. Once the district gets over the initial hassle of their start up , PACE can then absorb the headaches with curriculum, cost, personnel, etc. PACE may get access to district funds initially, but at some point the charter school will need to make their own dreams come true. I hope the BOE is reading this, but just to be sure, I'm sending my letter asap.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2007 at 6:42 pm
Mashing my way through the logical analysis of a PAUSD run MI and a Charter MI, if we MUST have one or the other, I have concluded the same thing as Parent.
With mutual agreements happening between other basic aid districts and ours, a Charter is, in fact, a less risky choice for PAUSD than running another immersion program on its own.
I think that we should turn down any attempt to start a Charter in PAUSD, and fight it at the County level if there is an appeal, all the way up to the State.
If we are still forced to have a Charter School in PAUSD, I think that is preferable to having a "choice" immersion school for several reasons. One of them is that we would have set a precedent that would discourage these strong arm tactics from future groups, since they would know it would not be an easy win.
Don't let this continue to divert resources from PAUSD's priorities. Let the MI people do their own work and take their own risks.
Yes, it would take time to slog our way through the beginning part of a Charter, but after that the Charter School would be responsible for the vast majority of the administrative time and costs, and all the materials costs.
A Charter school is also forced to be accountable to the rules governing public education code. As a result, charter schools can and have floundered in trying to meet all the various requirements of Charter schools and/or education codes for public education. For example, trying to match our District's ethnic diversity would be interesting to watch, or if they try to require language proficiency tests for entrance to the school, it would be difficult under the education code which forbids public schools from denying entrance to a school on the basis of language proficiency.
The language proficiency exams have not been challenged yet, probably because most programs so far have been established in areas that are happy to turn a blind eye in order to increase student enrollment or help the disadvantaged.
But, there are clouds brewing over this issue as it relates to a recent German Immersion Charter School, and certainly as it relates to an MI Charter school here.