San Jose, CA (November 20) -- Two weeks after the Santa Clara County Board of Education renewed the charter of Bullis Charter School of Los Altos for another five years, the board approved three more charter schools to open August next year despite denial requests from five school district superintendents.
A week after approving Bullis School, the board unanimously passed county-wide charter guidelines which was the basis of approving Bullis' renewal and the opening of three Rocketship Education Schools next year.
The county-wide approval was unanimously granted by the board to three Rocketship Education Schools after long deliberations at the county office in the presence of about 700 people who boarded allegedly Rocketship-chartered buses led by Rocketship Chief Achievement Officer Preston Smith.
The approval was opposed by the superintendents of the School Districts of Sunnyvale, Alum Rock, Evergreen, Mount Pleasant, and Santa Clara. The Board unanimously approved the opening of one Rocketship Charter School in August 2012 in the Alum Rock School District and two others within the San Jose Unified School Distict. Apparently, the approvals have impacts on the enrollments of the five school districts that opposed the chartering of the three schools.
Rocketship Education claims they are employing innovative quality education in their K-5 schools. This was corroborated by a parent of three Nelly Gutierrez. Gutierrez said the school have registered remarkable success in teaching poor and Latino children. "I'm here with my heart in my hand to ask you to please approve Rocketship, for my children and others to come," she said.
It was reported during the hearing that parents believe that when their childen who have poor grades transferred to Rocketship, their grades improved and became excellent grades.
Reaffirming the county-wide charter guidelines, Santa Clara Board of Education President Joseph Di Salvo said, "We believe these guidelines will support our effort to balance the concerns of the districts with the interests of charters."
With the dissent of the five school districts regarding the approval of the three new charters of Rocketship Education by the board, President Di Salvo needs to reconcile his statement and the position of the board.