NEWS ABOUT CHARTERS
Urban Academy, St. Paul – has moved from downtown St. Paul to a facility in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul. The school is hosting an Open House for families and friends of the school on Thursday, August 20th from Noon – 6:00 p.m.
Upper Mississippi Academy, St. Paul – has moved from a modular buildings that it has occupied for two years near Fort Snelling to the West 7th Street area of St. Paul.
Note: Both of these facilities have served as home for other charter schools in the recent past.
CHARTERS IN THE NEWS
Jane Goodall Environmental Sciences Academy, Maple Lake – which is planning to open September 1st, announced that it is increasing its first-year capacity from 100 to 114 students in grades 6-12 after surpassing their initial enrollment goals. The Academy is located on the grounds of Camp Courage.
St. Cloud Times-07/24/2015
Twin Cities Academy, St. Paul – is expected to break ground this fall for a $12 million facility on St. Paul’s Eastside. The campus will be situated on a 9.2-acre site that formerly was the site of A cement plant. The new facility will have space to accommodate 600 students in grades 6-12. It will also provide space for athletic facilities, including a soccer and baseball fields. Star Tribune-07/24/2015
Summit Charter School, Inver Grove Heights – is delaying it opening until the fall of 2016. The decision was reached by their authorizer, Innovative Quality Schools (IQS), after a complaint had been filed with the Minnesota Department of Education that alleges possible ties to people connected to the defunct Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA). That Academy closed after a lawsuits alleging that the school was promoting the Islamic religion and that it funneled money to faith-based groups.
2014-2015 – BLACK STUDENT ENROLLMENT
13,042 Charter School Students or 27.3% of Minnesota’s 47,747 Charter School Students are Black – Statewide Average of Public School Black Enrollment 11.5%
- 6,290 Males
- 6,752 Females
CHARTER SCHOOLS ENROLLING BLACK STUDENTS
139 (88%) of the 158 Charter Schools enroll at least 1 Black Student
- 22 Charter Schools have an Enrollment of over 20% Black Students
- 63 Charter Schools have an Enrollment of over 50% Black Students
Schools with the Highest Percentage of Black Students
- Universal Academy, St. Paul – 100% – Black Students
- Dugsi Academy, St. Paul – 100% – Black Students
- Higher Ground Academy, St. Paul – 99% – Black Students
- Twin Cities International Elementary School – Minneapolis – 99% – Black Students
- Best Academy – Minneapolis – 99% – Black Students
2014-2015 – HISPANIC STUDENT ENROLLMENT
4,696 Charter School Students or 9.84% of Minnesota’s 47,747 Charter School Students are Hispanic – Statewide Average of Public School Hispanic Enrollment 8.38%
- 2,368 Males
- 2,328 Females
CHARTER SCHOOLS ENROLLING HISPANIC STUDENTS
131 (83%) of the 158 Charter Schools enroll at least 1 Hispanic Student
- 6 Charter Schools have an Enrollment of over 20% Hispanic Students
- 8 Charter Schools have an Enrollment of over 50% Hispanic Students
Schools with the Highest Percentage of Hispanic Students
- Aurora Charter School, Minneapolis – 99% – Hispanic Students
- El Colegio Charter School, Minneapolis – 98% – Hispanic Students
- Partnership Academy, Richfield – 95% – Hispanic Students
- Hiawatha Academies – Minneapolis – 89% – Hispanic Students
- Academia Cesar Chavez – St. Paul – 88% – Hispanic Students
On April 15th the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice released a survey of registered voters in Minnesota on Education and School Choice.
- 20% – Selected “education” as the state’s highest priority, 19% responded “economy and jobs”
- 52% – Thought that K-12 Education is heading in the “right direction” – 36% – thought it has gotten off on the “wrong track”
- 65% – Thought the state’s public school system is “good or excellent” – 33% – thought it is “fair or poor”
- 69% – Either underestimated educational spending per student, or could not guess the amount spent.
School Choice Preference
- 45% – would choose a public school
- 36% – would prefer a private school
- 8% – would choose a charter school
- 7% – would prefer to home-school
The Survey also includes responses to questions about tax-credit scholarships, education savings accounts. The phone survey was conducted in February with 606 registered voters in Minnesota. For more information and Survey results:
2014-2015 – ASIAN and PACIFIC ISLANDER STUDENT ENROLLMENT
6,990 Charter School Students or 14.64% of Minnesota’s 47,747 Charter School Students are Asian and Pacific Islander – Statewide Average of Public School Asian and Pacific Islander Enrollment 7.22%
- 3,543 Males
- 3,447 Females
CHARTER SCHOOLS ENROLLING ASIAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER STUDENTS
107 (68%) of the 158 Charter Schools enroll at least 1 Asian and Pacific Islander Student
- 19 Charter Schools have an Enrollment of over 20% Asian and Pacific Islander Students
- 9 Charter Schools have an Enrollment of over 50% Asian and Pacific Islander Students
Schools with the Highest Percentage of Asian and Pacific Islander Students
- Community School of Excellence, St. Paul – 99% – Asian & Pacific Islander Students
- Hmong College Prep Academy, St. Paul – 98% – Asian & Pacific Islander Students
- New Millennium Academy Charter School, Minneapolis – 95% – Asian & Pacific Islander Students
- Hope Community Academy – St. Paul – 94% – Asian & Pacific Islander Students
- Sejong Academy of Minnesota – St. Paul – 90% – Asian & Pacific Islander Students
The MN Association of Charter Schools (MACS) and the MN Association of Charter School Authorizers (MACSA) have agreed to form a Joint Task Force on Board Governance. The Task Force will focus on the responsibilities of Board Governance/Board Development Committees, Board Nomination and Election Issues. The goals of this joint effort are two fold; Improve the functioning of charter school boards, and provide a generally accepted framework for oversight of board governance.
The Task Force is charged with five tasks:
- Identifying board governance terminology and definitions as applied to charter school governance.
- Development of a sample charge for Board Governance Committees – roles and responsibilities.
- Identifying and recommending effective Board Nomination policies, practices, and processes for charter schools.
- Identifying and recommending effective Board Election polices, practices and processes for charter schools.
- Identifying and recommending effective Board Governance Committee policies, practices and processes for charter schools.
The Task Force of between 7- 11 members will be composed of representatives of charter schools (board members, school directors and other personnel) and authorizers. Persons interested in serving on the Task Force need to complete an application and submit by Monday, April 27th.
The Task Force is to complete is work by no later than October 31,2015.
Highlights of the Association’s Board of Directors April Meeting.
- Adopted a recommendation that the Association develop and recommend to school boards basic qualifications for school directors, and school succession plan policy.
- Approved the establishment of a Joint Task Force with MACSA (authorizers) on Board Governance
- Identified and reviewed list of potential candidates to be contacted about running for the MACS Board of Directors
- Established a deadline for board members to complete the Individual Board Member Assessment in preparation for the board’s annual retreat
- Brainstormed ideas about how to increase member involvement (school boards, school directors and teachers) in the Association’s work
- Identified questions that need to be addressed in the upcoming evaluation of the Association’s lobbying and grassroots advocacy
- Approved the date for the Spring Public Policy Forum (Tuesday, June 9th)