Guinn Center to district charters: Be more like state-sponsored ones

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CCSD photo
bus bus bus
CCSD photo

The Guinn Center on Wednesday released a report on district-sponsored charter schools. Among their recommendations: Clark County and Washoe County school districts should consider transferring oversight of their underperforming charter schools to the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority or Achievement School District.

Short of that, the report recommends school boards encourage their low-performing charters to “partner with a high-performing charter management organization” (like the ones used by state-sponsored charter schools) or to “leverage community partnerships and programs” (like Jobs for America’s Graduates).

Charter schools are tuition-free schools that receive per-pupil funding from the state. They have more autonomy than traditional public schools. The majority of Nevada’s charters are sponsored and overseen by the state charter authority, a board of appointed members. A handful are sponsored and overseen by traditional public school districts like CCSD and WCSD. A few charters fall under what’s called the Achievement School District, a program created during the 2015 legislative session that takes control of low-performing public schools and converts them into charters.

Six district-sponsored charter schools were named “Rising Stars Schools,” meaning they are among the lowest-performing schools in the state. Three are part of CCSD; three are part of WCSD.

CCSD is in the process of addressing its underperforming charter schools. Earlier this month, trustees began the process of reconstituting the boards at two of those charters — Delta Academy and 100 Academy of Excellence. They voted to put the third — Rainbow Dreams Academy — onto a remediation plan.

The Guinn Center’s new report included data showing the differences in demographics between state-sponsored charter schools, district-sponsored charter schools and district public schools overall. However, it did not address those differences and how they might factor into the overall performance of district-sponsored charter schools.

Guinn Center chart

April Corbin
Reporter | April Corbin is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. Most recently she covered local government for Las Vegas Sun. She has also been a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of its student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. April serves as treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas pro chapter and is an at-large member of the Asian American Journalists Association. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise. She lives with her boyfriend, his toddler, three mutts and five chickens. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, exploring Nevada and defending selfies.

1 COMMENT

  1. Sooooo…. Regular district schools have higher populations of at-risk students, but do a better job teaching them. Why are we wasting taxpayer money on charters again?

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