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Morning Shots

Excuse me. There's egg on your face.

eggonfaceThere is no more dedicated charter school foe than Gwinnett County Schools in Georgia. For years, they have targeted Ivy Preparatory Academy, a unique all-girls school in Norcross educating more than 300 students.

First they denied Ivy its charter. Then they fought the state board which overruled their rejection. Then they fought the constitutionality of the state board. Then they cried foul over a funding allocation process they say robs their kids of a quality education. That’s a lot of billable hours, no matter how you look at it. No big loss for a district with a $2 billion + annual budget, I guess.

But in this battle, David just keeps getting one up on Goliath. On the latest round of state tests, every girl at Ivy Prep passed the reading and language exams. To add a cherry on top of that, no traditional public school in Gwinnett County had multiple grade levels ace the tests, but its other charter school, New Life Academy of Excellence, did.

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The Antidote

christie-antidoteGarden State Governor Chris Christie doesn’t mince words, and doesn’t suffer fools. His reaction to a compromised school choice bill, watered down to allow for swift passage in the legislature:

“If you gut the purpose of the program to begin with, what good is it?…

If you compromise yourself away to nothing, then I don’t know what you’ve won…

(Legislators) are irrelevant in this in comparison to the children in 200 plus failing schools in New Jersey who are being stripped of hope…

People wonder why there is violence in our cities. Violence is commited, in the main, at least in my experience, by people without hope.

They wonder why there is drug abuse in our cities. People who turn to drugs are generally people with out hope.

They wonder why families are disintegrating in our cities. Families disintegrate because of the poison of a lack of hope.

And the greatest antidote to a lack of hope is a world class education“.

(Watch his complete response.)

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The hits just keep on coming

dontchangeThe opening of Virginia’s latest charter school (one of only four operating around the state) has been nothing but a roller coaster ride, not to mention a textbook example of the more-often-than-not contentious relationship between school districts and their charter schools when districts hold all the cards under a weak charter law:

Since the start of their dance with Richmond Public Schools (RPS) in the spring of 2008:

Patrick Henry was forced to go through the RPS approval vote process three times

Patrick Henry was initially left out of this year’s RPS budget

Patrick Henry is to be held to higher standards than other RPS schools, but will receive 21 percent less funding

Patrick Henry was “generously” granted leased space from RPS at a cost of $1 per year – facilities which came with a crippling renovation price tag of close to $1 million

Enough already?

Apparently not. Yesterday, a school more than 2 years in the making, one that will offer families a longer school year and a curriculum focus not available in traditional Richmond schools, was faced with the possibility of being on the receiving end of one more hit – the potential refusal by RPS to hire their first principal just as the final preparations for their inaugural school year get under way. (more…)

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