February 2004 Show Resources—New Options for Families: Charters and School Choice
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Online resources and organizations

U.S. Charter Schools

The U.S. Charter Schools web provides a wide range of information and links to resources to guide charter schools in every phase of their development. It also provides a "Community Exchange" environment that allows for discussion between schools and various support providers. Lastly, the site's State Profiles contain contact information for resource centers to assist parents who are interested in learning more about and/or enrolling their children in a charter school.

Trends in the Use of School Choice

This report by the Department's National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) shows that the percentage of students enrolled in public schools of choice increased from 11 percent in 1993 to 14 percent in 1999. In addition, parents whose children attended either public schools of choice or private schools were more likely to say they were satisfied with their children's schools, teachers, academic standards and order and discipline than were parents whose children attended public, assigned schools.

Charter Schools in Indianapolis: 2003 Accountability Report

Mayor Bart Peterson of Indianapolis issued the 2003 Accountability Report on Mayor-Sponsored Charter Schools, an in-depth analysis of the performance of the first three charter schools he authorized.

Building Excellent Schools (BES)

BES, originally known as the Massachusetts Charter Schools Resource Center, provides charter schools and their leaders with the knowledge and tools necessary to create and sustain a high-quality education for all children. BES offers professional development in school design, governance, community support, curriculum, and instruction.

>Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (CREO)

Hispanic CREO is non-profit organization that serves as a national voice for the right of Hispanic families to access all educational options. CREO was created in response to the large educational achievement gap and the educational crisis of Latino children- who are now officially the most un-educated and the most undereducated minority group in the United States. The organization is based in Washington, D.C. Hispanic CREO is forming local chapters beginning with Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, and Texas.

Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP)

KIPP is a national, non-profit organization that recruits, trains, and supports outstanding educators to open and run high-performing college-preparatory public schools in educationally underserved communities. KIPP schools are open-enrollment schools where students develop the knowledge, skills, and character needed to succeed in top-quality high schools, colleges, and the competitive world beyond. They share a core set of operating principles known as the Five Pillars, and their School Leaders participate in intensive training through the KIPP School Leadership Program.

South Mountain Community College

Located in Phoenix, Arizona, South Mountain Community College is designated as a Minority Institution and Hispanic-Serving Institution and is one of ten colleges in the Maricopa Community College District. The District ranks among the nation's largest community college systems and is the largest single provider of higher education in Arizona. This past summer, South Mountain established the Teacher Preparation Charter High School to encourage Hispanic students to pursue the profession.

Summit Charter Middle School

Summit Charter Middle School, the first charter school in Boulder, Colorado and offers its students the opportunity to enroll in a rigorous academic program. Summit recognizes that its customers are the students, parents, and community, and therefore it is responsive and accountable to their concerns. In 2003, Summit was the only public middle school in Colorado to be honored by the U.S. Department of Education as a No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon School.

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No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind—Especially for Parents Page

On this site the U.S. Department of Education offers information about public school choice, supplemental services, testing and accountability, as well as parenting tips on reading and homework.

  • Tools for Student Success: Selected Publications for Parents and Teachers
    This catalog provides brief descriptions of a number of publications featuring the latest research and most effective practices in subjects such as reading, homework, and staying drug free, as well as information on how to obtain these publications in hard copy or online.

  • No Child Left Behind: A Parents Guide
    This is the essential guide for parents, and provides answers to questions about No Child Left Behind and what the law means for parents, in an accessible and easy to understand format.

  • Questions Parents Ask About Schools
    This pamphlet provides answers to commonly asked questions on topics such as Getting Ready for School, Monitoring School Work, Helping with Reading, and Working with Schools and Teachers.

The Office of Innovation and Improvement

The Office of Innovation and Improvement is a nimble, entrepreneurial arm of the U.S. Department of Education. It makes strategic investments in promising educational practices through grants to states, schools, and community organizations. It also leads the movement for greater parental options and information in education. The following grants administered by OII provide assistance to charter schools and other school choice programs:

The School Information Partnership

The Partnership is a public-private collaboration designed to empower parents, educators and policymakers to use the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) data to make informed decisions and improve school results. The new site displays timely, relevant and comparable school, district and state data required to be publicly reported by the No Child Left Behind Act. Six states are already online; by summer, a majority of states should be available.

How is My School District Doing

To obtain information on the performance of your school district, follow the link highlighted above, select your state, choose the "State Contacts" link, and select "How is My School District Doing". This will link you to school district performance data from your State Department of Education.

President Bush's FY 2005 ED Budget Proposal

Expanding educational options for parents was a key achievement of the No Child Left Behind Act and remains one of the President's highest priorities. The reality, however, is that in most school districts there are too few options for parents seeking a quality education for their children. To help overcome this problem, the 2005 request includes a number of proposals designed to ensure that parents have meaningful choices. For more information see the section on expanding parental options, included in this budget summary.

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Participants

Nina S. Rees is the Deputy Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII). OII makes strategic investments in promising educational practices through grants to States, schools, and community and non-profit organizations. It also leads the movement for greater parental options and information on education. In this capacity, Ms. Rees serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Education on all matters related to parental options and choice. Prior to her appointment, Ms Rees served as a former aide to Vice President Cheney and was the former Chief Education Analyst for The Heritage Foundation. A frequent media commentator on education issues, Ms. Rees' articles and views have appeared in many national newspapers and magazines.

Thomas Mahowald is Board Chair for Summit Middle Charter School in Boulder, Colorado. Summit Middle School provides an enriched and challenging curriculum taught by teachers highly proficient in their subject areas. Mr. Mahowald is also a technology entrepreneur, with over twenty years of experience in international technology and medical management, and is currently CEO of New Tech Health, which operates medical clinics worldwide. He has previously served as Vice President of Sales for International Data Corporation and Sales, Studio Solutions, Inc.

Shelly Hendrick has been involved at Summit Middle School for the past six years. Her older daughter graduated from Summit and now attends high school in Boulder. Her younger daughter is currently an eighth grader at Summit. She has been a parent volunteer and currently works as the Finance Manager. She is so enthusiastic about the Summit Middle School curriculum and school, she became a founding parent of Peak to Peak K-12 Charter School in Lafayette, Colorado which based its middle school curriculum on the Summit model. She has a Masters in Public Administration from California State University Hayward and a BA from the University of California Irvine.

Ken Roberts has worked for the Maricopa Community College District for the past 32 years. He is currently Dean of Instruction at South Mountain Community College (SMCC). Located in Phoenix, Arizona SMCC is a designated Minority Institution and Hispanic-Serving Institution and is one of ten colleges in the Maricopa Community College District. The District ranks among the nation's largest community college systems and is the largest single provider of higher education in Arizona. Dr. Roberts has previously served as the District's Instructional Designer working with numerous content areas and developing over 100 major instructional products for classroom use. Dr. Roberts recently helped establish a partnership to create a new teacher preparation charter high school at South Mountain Community College and Phoenix College.

Leticia Ruiz is Principal at the new Teacher Preparation High School, a partnership between South Mountain Community College and Phoenix College, in Phoenix, Arizona. The school is dedicated to preparing high school students for entry into college-level teacher education. As Principal, Ms. Ruiz is helping students experience the art of teaching by using the modeling method with their peers, and utilizing technology to gather information and gain computer skills that will enhance their presentation abilities. She previously served as Principal at NFL Y.E.T. Academy, and has been honored with the National Hispanic Caucus of Hispanic School Board Members Award. She is a graduate from Loyola Marymount University.

Marcela Garcini is Senior Field Organizer for theHispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (CREO). CREO is a non- profit organization devoted to the improvement of educational outcomes for Hispanic children through the empowerment of families and parental choice in education. With two children of her own, Ms. Garcini has been involved with the School Choice movement since the year 2000, and she is also founder of the C.A.R.E. group and President of Maestros de la Comunidad. She is a graduate from the University of Mexico Valley with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications Science, and is a former high school teacher with the Dallas Independent School District.

Tracy McDaniel is the Founder and Director of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) of Reach College Preparatory in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. KIPP is a national, non-profit, organization that recruits, trains, and supports outstanding educators to open and run high-performing college-preparatory public schools in educationally underserved communities. Reach Preparatory School is a free open-enrollment public school under the KIPP academies. Tracy McDaniel has twelve years of teaching and administrative experience, and was named the 1995-96 Oklahoma City Public Schools Teacher of the Year, and received the State of Oklahoma's 2000 Vice Principal of the Year Award. An ordained minister and pastor, McDaniel received his M.A. in School Administration from the University of Central Oklahoma.

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Last Modified: 08/02/2013