Another Missed Opportunity

I just finished reading the Record Gazette's article about the school board denying the Highland Academy Charter School petition. See the "Latest News" section for a link to the article "Beaumont school board turns down charter school" by Tracy Kratzer. While I was reading this, I couldn't help but think this is another missed opportunity by our school district. The board members want us to believe they support the concept of what board member Janelle Poulter referred to as "a need for alternative placement for students." Parents want a charter school in Beaumont.

The petition was denied because of the following:

"the petition presents an unsound educational program for the pupils to be enrolled in the school; the petitioners are unlikely to successfully implement the program set forth in the petition; the petition does not contain all of the required affirmations; and the petition does not contain reasonably comprehensive descriptions of all of the required elements."

There is no indication by the board or the administration that the petition was denied because they don't want a charter school in Beaumont. It seems to me that all of these "problems" in the petition could be worked out with the support of OUR administrators and educators. This board should follow their own policy and regulations they approved in November and establish a parent involvement plan with input from parents. Parents could have expressed their support and help the board and administration see the benefit of working with the organizers behind the Highland Academy.

Parents, administrators, board members and teachers should come together with Brent Bishop and his supporters and work together on a petition the board could support. This missed opportunity could be a big win for our schools and our kids. This could have been one of those things the district talks about when they say they want to celebrate what is right in our schools.

Instead of looking for reasons to deny a petition, our representatives should look for solutions to fix the petition to provide the best charter school. The administration will tell us that no other school district works with organizers to help establish charter schools. The same administration that continues to tell us we are better and different than other school districts.

Who says we have to be just like other districts? This administration does when they want to point to other districts to justify their administrators increased salaries and pensions.