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Tassajara Prep Charter Petition Denied by Alameda County Board of Education

June 24, 2010

On Tuesday June 22, 2010 the Alameda County Board of Trustees voted unanimously to deny the appeal of Tri-Valley Learning Corp.’s controversial Tassajara Prep charter petition for a charter high school.  The Tassajara Prep charter petition was unanimously denied earlier this year by the Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees. 

During the same meeting the Alameda County Board of Trustees approved the Community School for Creative Education charter school, targeting low-income students in East Oakland.  In contrast to other approved charter schools, Tri-Valley Learning Corp. has been unable to rally community support or demonstrate a legitimate need for Tassajara Prep in Dublin.

At both the local and county public hearings no Dublin parents spoke in favor of the Tassajara Prep charter petition (in stark contrast to the unified, organized and vocal opposition to the charter petition).

In denying the Tassajara Prep charter petition appeal, the Alameda County Office of Education prepared a detailed report (executive summary available here).

The Alameda County Board of Education’s role in this process is to consider the level of support for the petition, to “give preference to petitions that demonstrate the capability to provide comprehensive learning experiences to pupils identified by the petitioner or petitioners as academically low achieving” and to determine if the petitioner demonstrates a strong potential for establishing and operating a high quality charter school.

Key findings in the report include:

  • “The Petition did not have any public support at the public hearing by parents or the community … Without any community support, Petitioners demonstrate that they would not be able to successfully implement the charter school.”
  • “The petition does not present a sound educational program for the students to be enrolled in the school.”  Issues included: a lack of a reasonably comprehensive and cohesive description of the Educational / Instructional Program, a failure to sufficiently address Measurable Student Outcomes, a failure to sufficiently address the Method by Which  Pupil Progress in Meeting the Pupil Outcomes Will be Measured and a failure to sufficiently or coherently address Special Education instruction.
  • “The petition does not contain reasonably comprehensive descriptions of the Required Elements.” including a failure to fully describe the Educational Program, an inadequately described ELD program, an unclearly defined Special Education program, a Governance Structure that fails to meet the required standard (including parental involvement requirements) as well as other governance issues.
  • No provisions or alternative solutions in the budget if renting a site is required to house the charter school in lieu of a Prop. 39 request.
  • Revenue projections based on very optimistic enrollment estimates and dependence on an Implementation Grant not yet received or guaranteed.

Earlier this year the Dublin Unified School District prepared a Findings of Fact that recommended denying the Tassajara Prep charter petition (available here).

Tri-Valley Learning Corp. has the option of appealing the decision to the State Board of Education.  Email to be kept informed of next steps in the process.

Even if approved, there are many unanswered questions regarding the charter school, most significantly the location of Tassajara Prep.

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