Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PHSSA's fate twisting in the wind

At a meeting last night the Richmond School Board denied more requests from the Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts.

The more the differences between these two groups appear to be about fussy details, the more it seems the differences are really more about aspects of the back story -- no matter what, the education establishment in Richmond (and perhaps in other places) still sees the entire charter school option/movement as a slap in the face and a threat.

To catch up on the saga of a group of parents trying to reopen a 90-year-old school building, to offer a 2010 curriculum to elementary school children, the following information is offered:

Click here to read an article, "School Board Votes on Patrick Henry's Admissions Policy," in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch,

Here's a press release from Kristen Larson about tonight's PHSSA fundraiser:
Governor Robert F. McDonnell, along with Delegate Joe Morrissey and Delegate John O’Bannon will be jointly hosting a fundraising event at the Patrick Henry School on Tues., Mar. 30.

Two hundred and fifty education supporters and business leaders from across the state of Virginia have been invited to the event. The event will showcase the vision of the school’s curriculum, samples of the Patrick Henry Green CafĂ© healthy food options, and building tours.

Where: PHSSA, 3411 Semmes Ave.
When: Tues., Mar. 30, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. (program begins at 7:30 p.m.)
About PHSSA: Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts (PHSSA) is a kindergarten through fifth-grade school based on meaningful parent, educator and community involvement.

The school will provide the children of our diverse community with an academically rigorous science- and arts-based curriculum that emphasizes environmental awareness and social responsibility.

About Public Charter Schools: Charter schools provide public education options for parents and students. Charter schools are allowed increased flexibility to operate and to adapt to the educational needs of children, and to maintain high levels of accountability to students, parents, the community, and the state to provide a high-quality education.

Currently in the Commonwealth of Virginia, there are four public charter schools, including PHSSA. Nationally there are approximately 4,600 public charter schools operating in 40 states and Washington D.C., serving approximately 1.3 million students, with 365,000 students on charter school waiting lists.
Richmond.com has run three pieces I've written about PHSSA:
  • Click here to read my piece, "Is Time on Patrick Henry's Side?" which was published at Richmond.com on Mar. 22.
  • Click here to read my piece, “Public Education in the Political Spotlight,” which was published at Richmond.com on Mar. 3, 2010.
  • Click here to read my piece, “The Spirit of Patrick Henry,” which was published at Richmond.com on Jan. 19, 2010.

Writing for RVANews, Chris Dovi has been covering the Patrick Henry story more thoroughly than anyone in town. Here are links to his stories over the last four weeks:

  • Click here to read Dovi’s “Patrick Henry School finds a new home (for now)” at RVANews on Mar. 25, 2010.
  • Click here to read “Crusade for Voters president and VP step down” at RVANews on Mar. 17, 2010.
  • Then there’s Dovi’s: “Patrick Henry lottery an emotional night for parents” at RVANews on Mar. 12, 2010. Click here to read it.
  • Click here to read Dovi’s “Patrick Henry School: Gubernatorial support” at RVANews on Mar. 1, 2010.
Click here to visit Carol A.O. Wolf’s Save Our Schools blog. Wolf is a former Richmond School Board member (2002-08) who is also a former journalist, who still writes about education issues.

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