CNS – The California Charter Schools Association announced last Wednesday that 13 public charter schools, including six in the Southland, were named “Certified Charter Schools,” bringing the state’s total number of such campuses to 86. The 13 campuses are participants in the Certified Charter Schools Program, “which validates charter schools that have undergone rigorous, comprehensive review and upheld quality standards established by California’s charter school movement,” according to the CCSA.
“Launched in May 2007, the Certified Charter Schools Program represents the first time in the nation that a state’s charter school movement has defined standards for high quality and accountability, and recognized charter schools that have met those standards,” according to a CCSA statement.
The 13 campuses include:
— Bert Corona Charter School, Pacoima;
— Desert Sands Charter High Schools, Lancaster;
— Heritage College-Ready Academy High School, Los Angeles;
— Huntington Park College-Ready Academy High School, Huntington Park;
— Los Angeles Leadership Academy, Los Angeles; and
— Richard Merkin Middle School, Los Angeles.
Peter Thorp, interim chief executive officer of the CCSA, said the 13 schools to receive the designation “have joined a select group that is demonstrating a commitment to high quality.”
“These schools represent a strong commitment to continued achievement and accountability in California’s charter school movement,” he said.
More than 12 percent of all of California charter schools are now certified, according to CCSA. Along with the 86 certified charter campuses, there are currently 420 candidates for certification. More than 70 percent of the state’s charter schools are participating in the movement’s quality efforts, according to the CCSA.
The association incorporated more than three years of input from 300- plus charter leaders to create the program “to recognize charter schools that have met quality standards which assess student achievement, responsible governance and fiscal integrity.” The program includes a rigorous independent review process by CCSA- approved third-party reviewing agencies aligned with the movement’s quality standards. Those agencies include the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the State Board of Education’s Charter Renewal Review. In order to become a Certified Charter School, a charter campus must successfully complete the third-party review.