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Which Charter School?

North Bay Educational Foundation posts the appendices to its charter application.

Thanks to John B. for mentioning in one of the numerous charter school threads here on the Patch that the appendix to North Bay Educational Foundation's charter petition has been posted on NBEF's website. You can click the link to it here or you can browse it through the comfort of the Patch's file uploading service.

In the interest of oversharing, I happen to be at work right now, so I don't really have time to go through it. But I did put in a call to Patch editor Brent Ainsworth to see if he had heard that it was online. He hadn't. As I was scrolling through, chatting with Brent, I happened upon the Conditions for Classroom and Charter Visitation.

We all know that some of those involved in the move last year to convert Rancho Elementary to a charter are involved here as well. If there were any doubts, take a gander at the name of the charter in that section and in the Drug-Free Workplace section.

We all make mistakes. Lord knows, I make some doozies, including, perhaps, fast and furious blog posting when I really should be working for a living.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tina McMillan October 22, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Great I never said that the charter would not have to cooperate with the district; I did say that in the petition it asks to be directly funded. Directly funded is how it receives its money. It has nothing to do with a spirit of cooperation. We must all work together for this effort to succeed and yes a charter must have a cooperative relationship with the district and the district with the charter. Thus far we have heard little from the district, nothing from the board and far too much from SONS. The time and cost it took to put up a Wordpress website and then to write articles that are half truths, wrapped in lies, could have been better spent reaching out to the charter. I have tried posting responses to their inaccuracies on their website and they simply erase the posts. I have spoken to several other people who are treated in the same manner. The recent suggestion that they would post the names of families interested in the charter and that they would conduct "exit interviews" is so over the top as to be construed as harassment. If SONS would drop the attack and if the board and superintendent would step forward and work with the charter then we could have a constructive dialogue. The rest is simply wrong. You can't choose what people do; part of education is choosing for yourself. We chose neighborhood schools, friends chose neighborhood, private, magnet and even charter. We all still get along and our children too.
Laura T. October 22, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Education is a non partisan issue. The charter is not. The charter is pitting neighbor against neighbor and friend against friend. The bottom line is do you support the majority of students in Novato or the elitist minority?
Ross Ingels October 22, 2012 at 03:57 AM
It is my opinion from the research I have done on this topic that if a new charter school is approved and opened in Novato, it will lead to the closure of one our current schools. It is my opinion that if a school is closed, even if it not my childs school it would have a negative impact on my childs school. It is my opinion that if a school is closed, even if it is Rancho where a large portion of the families want the charter, hundreds of other neighborhood children at the closed school would be forced to change schools. While I support choice, it is my opinion that a new school in Novato (charter, magnet, essentialist or any other type) would negatively impact far more children than it would positively impact. I am just working and advocating for what I feel is best for my "kiddos", just like every other parent in this debate. If you are an NUSD parent and are concerned what effect a new charter school in Novato may have on your "kiddos" school, visit www.saveournovatoschools.com to see what you can do to help protect your child's current school.
Great Kids, Great Schools October 22, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Has anyone done a net present value calculation of the union benefits lost for the 17 or so teachers that indicated interest in leaving the district to teach Charter. I am certain this has occurred but I have just not heard any consideration of this and the budget is silent on how they might be compensated for this potential loss.
Tina McMillan October 22, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Great If teachers choose to leave the union to join a charter where is the negative financial effect on the district?
Roger October 22, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Laura, Rancho was a lottery type school for 30 years, but then 2 years ago the new district head picked a fight to change that. The killing of old Rancho pit neighbor against neighbor. The rebirth of Rancho teachers and parents via a Charter is merely trying to keep a 30-year history of success. The Charter expects to have 850 students by 2016. The Rancho brand has had a huge draw and will likely cause some new active families to move here and increase our house values, as what happens in Kentfield and Larkspur.
Great Kids, Great Schools October 22, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Tina, It is a benefit to the district. I am concerned for the value of lost benefits to the teachers.
Tina McMillan October 22, 2012 at 05:22 AM
Great These are teachers with between 13 and 28 years experience. If they are choosing to leave the union for the charter then you can trust that they have done their homework. The NBEF website has video of the information meetings with Rocklin teachers and two teachers from our district. You might want to watch the tape.
Patty Maher October 22, 2012 at 07:07 PM
I'm going to post this comment on a couple of threads. Sorry for spamming you. On Friday, the district deemed complete the application that was re-submitted by NBEF. You can now find a wealth of information on NUSD's site regarding the charter. Click on the "Proposed Charter School" link on the home page. It includes a summary of the petitioners regarding school of residence/current school, in-district or out-of-district, and whether the petitioner is signing for a student in 7th or 8th grade (which the charter is not going to have the first year).
Great Kids, Great Schools October 22, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Patty, Thank you. Interesting numbers. Of the kids in NUSD, 70% are from Rancho. 55% are from Rancho if you include the 71 additional from other schools. 4.3 % of the total from NUSD are ELL and 5% are reported Hispanic. What does that say?
Amy Oclassen October 22, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Having worked on the budget portion of the Rancho charter conversion petition, I can assure you that full analysis was done on benefits received by both certificated (teachers) and classified staff in NUSD and the costs associated with them at that time. This budget was written by NBEF to equal or exceed those benefits. Additionally, teachers moving to the charter would remain vested in CalSTRS and their pension benefits would continue to accrue there. The only real loss to the teachers is seniority within NUSD and membership in their current union. However, if they chose, they could vote to be represented by any union and create a new bargaining unit.
Amy Oclassen October 22, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Great - I would say that it reflects the fact that outreach is only in the beginning stages.
Tina McMillan October 22, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Patty The Pac Sun article says there was not adequate support by teachers and administrators to move forward. Do you have access to a link with the actual breakdown?
Great Kids, Great Schools October 22, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Amy, Thanks for the information. I appreciate it.
Tina McMillan October 22, 2012 at 09:47 PM
ex p Without a name to back up your credentials, you derisive comments can only be construed as either troll banter or SONS distortions. If you will allow other people with diverse points of view to post to the SONS website then we can begin to have a genuine dialogue. Certainly having SONS founding members come out from behind the curtain would be a start at transparency. You insist on calling yourself a former principal - of what school, in which year and please provide your actual name. As I have said before, no principal that I know would distort information with such regularity as to make it seem as if the goal was not to get at an understanding of what charter represents to the community but simply to destroy any effort by parents, teachers and community members to create an additional public school. San Marin has added a magnet school to its roster that specializes in technology and art. Rather than allow the funding issues to put them in a stagnant place they continue to innovate and create. MSA another magnet school, continues to grow. There you must audition to get in and compete with out of district students. Your motto is keep it the same no matter what. While that might make your situation better it ignores the needs of the many to take care of the few that subscribe to SONS politics.
Tina McMillan October 22, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Laura SONS is pitting neighbor against neighborh, not charter schools.
Peter Hamilton October 22, 2012 at 10:07 PM
http://www.calstrs.com/Newsroom/whats_new/IRS_regulations_public_charter_schools.aspx
John B October 22, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Great Kids - not sure what it says There are a number of ways to read this. Like Amy says it is pretty good to get 5% of a population that has been generally reluctant to go to charters already signed up so early, given little outreach to date. The charter does seen to have a comprehensive plan set forth in the petition http://www.northbayedu.org/images/PDFs/appen.pdf and the press release that was issued this morning says the outreach now begins in earnest. It does seem odd to me that the district would have released this information, given the preliminary nature of peition signatures. It makes it seem as though NUSD either doesn't understand that the initial data is just that, or that the Superintendent is leaking information to the community to create a negative discussion on this sensitive issue. I am a fan of Core Knowledge founder ED Hirsch whose goal for this curriculum is to close achievement gaps. And I am a big fan of his concept of cultural literacy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROIujiY1uZU
John B October 22, 2012 at 11:01 PM
A couple of other things I noticed about the data that NUSD released: 28% of the signatures are from private schools. Given that this has had such little outreach let's hope the charter can bring more kdis back to public schools in Novato, because a private kid that comes back to a public charter puts at least some money in our district's pocket. Also, if GATE is defined as 3% of the community (? someone will correct me if I am wrong, I am sure), then with 3% of signatures that seems on track for our brightest kids. If the charter can keep them in public schools and out of private schools that is a good thing too, right? Last - no idea about the Special Ed piece. How does 6% compare to NUSD overall today? Again, this all seems so preliminary so that drawing any conclusions is premature, but who doesn't like to calculate percentages and play the what if?
Justin Hubbs October 23, 2012 at 02:12 AM
According to the "Enrollment - Public Lottery" section of the petition, if the number of applications exceeds capacity, children of Founding Familes will be limited to receiving no more than 10% of total enrollment. If the school is oversubscribed, everyone will be given the same opportunity to attend, including most of the Rancho families that actually signed the petition. How ironic would it be if SONS folks ended up bumping Rancho folks through a fair lottery process...
My Three SONS October 24, 2012 at 08:35 AM
Tina, it appears your wish is their command. In addition to Michael Christian and Ross Ingels, Mike McIntyre has now publicly joined the holy trinity of parent advocates working together for fairness and equality in the "wonderful community we all share." Notice how silent the posts have been this afternoon and evening while their website gets a face lift? Is Mike an ex principal who used to educate the community, can you answer me that?
Starling Sapphire October 24, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I think we need to work on your understanding of irony because it won't be ironic at all. It would be like rain on your wedding day. Maybe a black fly in your, oh nevermind.
Tina McMillan October 24, 2012 at 05:51 PM
For those concerned about getting accurate information, stopping the hysteria and learning more about Charter Schools, Core Knowledge and North Bay Academy, please visit these websites, do your own research, take a breath, take the time and recognize that long before SONS sprung into action, Novato Unified School District has been capable of successfully managing Novato Charter School, now in its 16th year of operation in our district. NCS was one of the first 100 charters to open in California. They are part of a rich history of diversity in curriculum and choice. http://www.novatocharterschool.org/ Novato Charter School 16 years of success and innovation in public charter. http://www.northbayedu.org/ North Bay Academy a proposed addition to Novato's public schools. http://www.coreknowledge.org/ Core Knowledge curriculum would be the basis for North Bay Academy's PreK through 8 charter. http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cs/re/csabout.asp California State Department of Education up to date, accurate information on charter school laws. http://www.calcharters.org/ California Charter Schools Association more information on the formation and implementation of public charter schools throughout California.
Tina McMillan October 24, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Much of what you will find on SONS is misinformation, peppered with half truths, meant to frighten, enrage and diminish the professionalism of the conversation. Mr. Christian and Mr. Ingel have no experience in charters or in education. The families and teachers that have together created the template for North Bay Academy have drawn from professional resources to create a Core Knowledge school that is modeled after existing public charters with a history of success. Articles by Sol Stern support the notion that with the new Core Standards we need content based curriculum. Stern has written extensively on education reform. http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_3_curriculum-reform.html
Starling Sapphire October 24, 2012 at 07:33 PM
You don't any experience either but you seem to have an opinion. You seem to focus way to much on these two people.
Andrew R October 24, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Here is a great article from one of the pioneers of charter schools and a former Asst. Secretary of Education. She used to be a proponent, but has completely changed her mind because charter schools have failed to live up to their promise. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704869304575109443305343962.html
Patty Maher October 24, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Here I go spamming threads again: public hearing on charter set for Thursday, Nov. 8, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. http://novato.patch.com/blog_posts/public-hearing-on-new-charter-on-nov-8
Tina McMillan October 24, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Starling It is these two individuals that finally came out from hiding behind the SONS website when they posted their names. I have posted corrections to the website as have others and they have been repeatedly deleted. The corrections are links to the state website. It is fine to post accurate information but when you devote an entire website to bad mouthing an effort in which families, community members and teachers are involved, you have to wonder what makes them capable of deciding that their opinions are more important than CA charter laws.
Tina McMillan October 24, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Diane Ravitch is against all charter schools. She does not take the time to look at the positive impact on public education and in particular on the evolution of curriculum design and how the common core standards in combination with Core Knowledge Curriculum can be combined to create a system that is backed by research. Take a look at the 3 year NY study in the article by Sol Stern. The global statement that all charters are ineffective is a lie. Look at Novato Charter School and you will see how a Waldorf public charter has changed the lives of children and families for 16 years. No matter how hard you may try to completely negate the positive aspects of the public charter effort, we have local evidence to the contrary.

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