Tuesday, October 6, 2009

News Release from the Charter School Institute

Charter School Institute Statement on Cesar Chavez Network

Lee Barratt, interim executive director of the Charter School Institute, today issued the following statement regarding the Cesar Chavez Network:

“The Charter School Institute welcomes the recent actions by the Cesar Chavez School Network (CCSN) to transfer the charters for Cesar Chavez North and Goal Online Academy to new independent boards, a direction set in motion with an agreement signed in August by both the institute and the CCSN boards.

“This agreement was designed to create strong, independent governance of the two schools operated by the network and authorized by the institute. The goal of the institute is to ensure quality education and continuity in the education of the students served at all CSI schools.

“The institute has no role in the decisions about individual staff and managers of the Cesar Chavez School Network. Our concerns with CCSN have centered on governance, management, finances and operations.

“The activities by the CCSN at these schools—such as repeated firings of school principals, mass firings of teachers and closing down online education services to students—raised questions about the ability of the network to continue to provide quality education to its students.

“As the CCSN leadership and board repeatedly failed to comply with our agreement, the institute prepared to initiate the process to revoke the charters from CCSN and to issue new charters for each school to the new boards, created in accordance with the August agreement.

“The goal of the CSI will be the continued operation of the schools under the oversight of newly-constituted boards at each school. Each school will have a new charter to operate that is separate from the original charter with the network.

“It remains the position of the institute that these new boards will determine whether a continuing relationship between each school and the CCSN is in the best interests of students.

“The specifics of those agreements, if they are negotiated between the schools' boards and the CCSN, will be subject to approval by the CSI.”

For more information about the Charter School Institute, contact interim director Lee Barratt at 303-866-3275 or CSI Board of Directors president Alex Medler at 720-635-8329.

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