A student recently asked me in class if there was a charter school I would recommend in Austin (besides the UT-Austin Elementary Charter School). This afternoon I visited one such school. There are some “reformers” in Austin that have criticized the Austin Independent School District for ending a partnership with the corporate charter chain IDEA. It turns out that Austinites are not opposed to charters, they just believe that charters should promote access and equity and should be led by the communities in which they are placed instead of by corporate-types and outsiders (Stay tuned for a new post coming soon to Cloaking Inequity on post-colonialism and charter schools in New Orleans) The Austin American-Statesman reported:
Prior to ending the IDEA partnership, trustees voted unanimously Monday night to approve a full-scale charter partnership for Travis Heights Elementary.
The charter will be managed by a board representing teachers, community members, the district’s labor group Education Austin, and Austin Interfaith.
But unlike IDEA, school leaders agreed not to move forward on the charter unless it had the support of a majority of its teachers and the neighboring community. The school’s leaders will have greater power over their budget and curriculum, which next year will focus on dual language instruction; technology and digital learning; and service learning, which teaches through community service projects.
I will have more soon on the educator/labor/district/community collaboration at Travis Heights Elementary, an in-district charter school. It’s great to have good news to write about! …or in this case— share photos of.
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