In the News

BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTE IMPLEMENTS LOWER CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL ENROLLMENT CAPS IN NEEDIEST DISTRICTS

June 24, 2014 | MCPSA

BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTE IMPLEMENTS LOWER CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL ENROLLMENT CAPS IN NEEDIEST DISTRICTS

New Policy Limits Choice for Low-Income Families and Children of Color in Brockton, Worcester, Haverhill, Somerville and Lowell

BOSTON – The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) today approved a new policy that lowers the charter school enrollment cap in five chronically under-performing school districts that serve a high percentage of low-income families and children of color.

The Board vote effectively lowers the enrollment cap in Brockton, Worcester, Haverhill, Somerville and Lowell and institutes a higher cap in rural and suburban districts like Hawlemont, Wareham, Dennis-Yarmouth, Spencer-East Brookfield, Palmer and Easthampton where charters are unlikely to locate. The Board is also discussing further changes in the calculation, which would re-impose lower caps in Boston, Lowell, Fitchburg, Everett, Salem and Holyoke. (Existing charter schools in those districts would not be affected.)

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Education board undermining charter school formula

June 23, 2014 | Boston Globe Editorial Staff

A WELL-INTENTIONED effort to measure student achievement in Massachusetts has jeopardized the expansion of charter schools in low-income districts. Education commissioner Mitchell Chester and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education need to recognize this mistake and ensure that charter schools continue to expand in the cities and towns with the greatest need for educational alternatives.

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Phoenix Charter Academy Network to locate charter school at Springfield Technology Park

May 28, 2014 | The Republican Newsroom

SPRINGFIELD – The Phoenix Charter Academy Network on Tuesday announced it has selected a site in the Springfield Technology Park at One Federal Street as the home of a new public charter school, officials announced.

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Calling the bluff on charter schools

May 23, 2014 | Scot Lehigh, Boston Globe

GOOD NEWS on Beacon Hill.

This week, the House passed a charter-cap lift that would give more opportunities to urban students while addressing concerns of charter foes.

The spotlight now shifts to the Senate. Will senators join the House — or scuttle a bill that is anathema to urban teachers’ unions?

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Lawmakers to Weigh Charter School Expansion

May 21, 2014 | Associated Press

The Massachusetts House has approved a bill that would allow for the expansion of charter schools in Boston and several other communities, and require more struggling public schools to adopt turnaround plans.

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Bill to expand charter schools in Massachusetts spurs long recesses in House

May 21, 2014 | Michael Norton, State House News Service

The idea of introducing more charter schools in Massachusetts, believed to be an emotional topic that divides lawmakers and feeds into policy differences, spurred long recesses in the House after legislation facilitating more charters hit the House floor at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

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Bill to expand charter schools in Massachusetts spurs long recesses in House

May 21, 2014 | Michael Norton, State House News Service

The idea of introducing more charter schools in Massachusetts, believed to be an emotional topic that divides lawmakers and feeds into policy differences, spurred long recesses in the House after legislation facilitating more charters hit the House floor at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

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Editorial: Charter compromise

May 19, 2014 | Boston Herald Editorial Staff

The House and Senate have agreed to an immediate boost in funding for payments to school districts to make up for kids who leave for charter schools. Now the pols who have thwarted the expansion of charter schools — and the self-serving ideologues who pull their strings — have one fewer excuse for doing so.

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Executive Profile: Beth Anderson of Phoenix Charter Academy

May 16, 2014 | Jay Fitzgerald, Boston Business Journal

Beth Anderson
Title: CEO and founder, Phoenix Charter Academy Network
Age: 45
Education: Bachelor of Arts in sociology, Brandeis University, 1991; master’s degree, education, Harvard University Graduate School, 1999
Residence: Swampscott
Growing up in Brockton and Carver, Beth Anderson thought she had it somewhat tough as the only child of an ironworker father and supermarket-clerk mother struggling to make ends meet and making sure their daughter would be the first in their family to attend college.
After graduating from Brandeis University in 1991, though, Anderson found out what tough really meant. As a teacher for two years in Los Angeles, Anderson had to deal with kindergarten and elementary students whose parents included active gang members and prostitutes.
Some impoverished children could barely speak English, while other immigrant students had never held a pencil before.
“I will never get over or forget what I saw in Los Angeles,” said Anderson, whose two-year L.A. teaching stint was organized by the nonprofit Teach for America foundation.
Her experience in the City of Angels was the driving force behind her later efforts to start and build what is today’s Chelsea-based Phoenix Charter Academy Network. The nonprofit network now runs two schools in Chelsea and Lawrence for 320 disadvantaged “at-risk” youths between the ages of 14 and 22, employing more than 100 people on a combined budget of about $7 million.
The Chelsea institution, which opened in 2006, is a fully licensed charter school. The Lawrence school, opened in 2012, is run like a charter but technically operated under a state receivership program imposed on the Lawrence school system due to its consistently poor education performance.

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Atlantis Charter School and Fall River Public Schools Form Partnership, Apply for $600,000 Grant

May 14, 2014 | Atlantis Charter School

Atlantis Charter School and the Fall River Public Schools announced today that they have formed a partnership to apply for a $600,000 federal charter school dissemination grant administered through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

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