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October 12, 2006

For More Information, Contact:
Hema Sareen Mohan (650) 688-6384


The Senate Select Committee on California’s Master Plan for Education, chaired by State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), will hold an informational hearing in San Jose to discuss California’s charter schools.  Simitian has expressed concern over the “increasingly contentious” atmosphere surrounding the charter school application and approval process.

This is a follow up to a hearing that the committee held in August in Sacramento.  The purpose of the event is to hear first-hand from charter schools and school districts about the experience of implementing and running charter schools, and to explore ideas for future state legislation.

Panelists will discuss the demographics of students that charter schools serve, promising practices in charter school design, and the experience of school districts whose students are enrolled in charter schools.  The event is free and open to the public. 

Thursday, October 19, 2006 – 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Santa Clara County Office of Education
1290 Ridder Park Drive
San Jose

  • State Senator Joe Simitian, Committee Chair
  • Brian Edwards, Senior Policy Analyst, EdSource Edwards will present the characteristics and demographics of charter schools and charter school students on a regional and statewide basis.
  • Priscilla Wohlstetter, Director, Center on Educational Governance, University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education Wohlstetter will discuss findings from her recently released report, “Compendium of Promising Practices: Innovation in Charter Schools,” and talk about the database she has created to track best practices.
  • Caprice Young, CEO, California Charter Schools Association Young will examine ways to strengthen California’s charter schools.
  • Allison Leslie, Principal, East Palo Alto Charter School East Palo Alto Charter School is a K-9 school of ASPIRE, a not-for-profit organization that establishes and runs multiple charter schools.
  • Andrew Goldenkranz, Principal/Superintendent, Pacific Collegiate School Pacific Collegiate was named “2006 Charter School of the Year” by the California Charter Schools Association and was recognized by Newsweek magazine as a top American high school.
  • Glen Harris, Principal, Pathfinder High School Pathfinder serves students aged 14-17 who have been expelled, are on probation, are in gangs, or are chemically dependent.
  • Maria Meza-De La Vega, Interim Superintendent, Ravenswood City School District Ravenswood City serves approximately 4,500 students with a quarter of its total enrollment attending charter schools.
  • Bill Erlendson, Assistant Superintendent, San Jose Unified School District San Jose Unified is a K-12 district that serves approximately 32,000 students and has about 2 percent charter enrollment.
  • Karen Edmonds, Principal, Santa Cruz High School Santa Cruz High School serves approximately 1,200 students.  The common administration district, of which Santa Cruz High School is a part, serves approximately 5,200 students with around 2 percent charter enrollment.

For more information, call Simitian’s district office in Palo Alto at (650) 688-6384 or in Santa Cruz at (831) 425-0401.


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