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California Department of Education News Release
Release: #13-107
November 5, 2013
Contact: Tina Jung
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Torlakson Launches Charter School Best Practices Project

Hundreds of Resources Available Online

SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Education is launching a new project to strengthen charter schools across the state by providing teachers and administrators access to hundreds of online resources to aid their work, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.

The Charter Schools Best Practices Project* [Note: The preceding link is no longer active.] has information to assist in planning and starting charter schools; evaluating charter school petitions; developing partnerships with other schools and local districts; and increasing student achievement in the classroom. Two charter school-related groups have been created for educators to share ideas.

"Charter schools are an important part of the education landscape in California, and strengthening them is a step toward strengthening the system as a whole," Torlakson said. "That’s why the department launched this effort to pool resources, share ideas, and serve all our students."

Charter schools are public schools that can provide instruction in any of the K-12 grades. They are typically created or organized by a group of teachers, parents, or community leaders or by a community-based organization. California became the second state in the nation in 1992 to adopt public charter school legislation, and there are now 1,161 active charter schools in California.

The Charter School Best Practices Project includes more than 700 online resources [Note: The preceding link is no longer active.] linking users to best practices and profiles of successful charter schools. The information is collected from the National Charter Schools Resource Center, which serves as a clearinghouse of high-quality resources on charter schools nationwide.

As part of this Best Practices Project, the California Department of Education is also offering eight free training sessions throughout California, where educators can learn strategies for connecting to partners across the state to find the information and resources they need. Attendees must pre-register for each of the events through the links provided below.

  • November 5, 2013: San Diego County Office of Education, Joe Rindone Regional Technology Center: Learning Labs 2-3, 6401 Linda Vista Rd., San Diego, CA 92111-7399.
  • November 6, 2013: Los Angeles County Office of Education, LACOE Education Center, 9300 Imperial Hwy., Downey, CA 90242.
  • November 7, 2013: Riverside County Office of Education, 3939 Thirteenth St., Riverside, CA 92501.
  • December 9, 2013: Santa Clara County Office of Education, 1290 Ridder Park Dr., San Jose, CA 95131-2304.
  • January 15, 2014: Sonoma County Office of Education, 5340 Skylane Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403-8246.
  • January 22, 2014: Shasta County Office of Education, 1644 Magnolia Ave., Redding, CA 96001.
  • January 27, 2014: Stanislaus County Office of Education, 1324 Celeste Dr., Modesto, CA 95355.
  • January 28, 2014: Fresno County Office of Education, 1111 Van Ness, 4th Floor Lab, Fresno, CA 93721.

* Note: The Brokers of Expertise Web site has been replaced with the Digital Chalkboard, Where California Educators Collaborate Web site. For more information, visit Digital Chalkboard Debuts.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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