Charter Schools in Fresno, A Study by the Education Committee

Charter Schools in Fresno, A Study by the Education Committee

charter school pro con graphic

Executive Summary followed by a link to the full study

Beginning with the school year 2016-17, The Education Committee prioritized the study of charter schools located within Fresno Unified School District. We relied heavily on the California Department of Education's date bases and also sent teams of two members to tour most of the schools and interview adminstrators, teachers, and students. 

The Charter Schools of Fresno Unified represent a range of structures: virtual schoos, independent study, seat-based and blends; independent schools or branches of larger networks; schools that are chartered by Fresno Unified or by the County or by other districts;s schools that have a single campus and schools that operate "resource centers" in addition to chartered campus. 

The study examines a number of critical areas and includes observations and data about the following: 

  • Structures
  • Numbers
  • Demographics
  • Curriculum
  • Achievement
  • Success Markers
  • Finance
  • Trends

A number of concerns were noted. Among those were insufficient transparency and accountability, significantly low achievement in a number of instances, financial data that did not yield complete information, and state regulations that did not appear to be uniformly enforced. These concerns led to recommendations which are here summarized:

  1. Charter schools need to include tranparent financial and achievement data on their web sites
  2. Thier Boards of Education need to follow the Brown Act so that information such as agendas and minutes are available to the public. 
  3. Charter schools should list all of their locations and not just the originally chartered site. 
  4. Schools featuring independent study need to strengthen their curriculum and make greater efforts to motivate students to stay in school and graduate
  5. The chartering district should enforce state regualations regarding standards and oversight and assure that stated goals are met.

Here is the link to the complete study:  Charter Schools in Fresno




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