The 2013-14 San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury recently released a report examining the level of collegial engagement between public charter and traditional public schools in San Mateo County. The report focuses on determining whether local charter schools are sharing instructional best practices with their non-charter counterparts.
The Grand Jury concludes San Mateo County charter schools and organizations are not actively sharing information with traditional schools and no formal mechanism currently exists to facilitate such sharing.
[RELATED: Read the full Grand Jury report here.]
The Grand Jury names the San Mateo County Office of Education as “the logical entity to promote improved communication between charter and non-charter schools in the County.” County Superintendent of Schools Anne Campbell agrees. “Although a variety of opportunities currently exist for charters and non-charter educators to come together, primarily through professional development sessions offered by the County Office, we can always explore additional avenues for connecting our local charter school leaders with their non-charter peers.”
The Grand Jury report also clarifies that in San Mateo County, each charter school is accountable to its charter authorizing governing board. The San Mateo County Office of Education does not presently have chartering authority over any of the county’s 14 charter schools.
Additionally, the Grand Jury advocates a longer school day and school year. In commenting upon this recommendation, Superintendent Campbell stated, “Such reforms should be driven by educational data about student learning outcomes and should be considered and acted upon by a district’s elected school board who must enact such reforms within a district’s existing budget structure.”