The Los Altos Community Foundation has a gained a strong reputation for mediating community disharmony over the years. In fact, it tried to bring Bullis Charter School and LASD together to resolve their facilities issue over five years ago. Now LACF will do something entirely different–try to clear the air and reduce tensions with some facts and factual analyses about Bullis Charter School and LASD.
LACF’s “PrimeTime Project Program” plans to gather and review “facts” about Bullis charter school and about our LASD public schools and to educate the public about the findings. The study will look at charter law and supervision, sources of funding, enrollment practices, and the serving of disadvantaged populations. There certainly are facts, factoids, half-truths, omissions, and what have you, swirling around the situation. Separating the pertinent facts from the rhetoric will be a challenging task.
Karen Duncan leads the program and has scheduled in-depth interviews with stakeholders and key participants on both sides. Non-partisan volunteers, usually retired LA-LAH residents, will divide up the research agenda.
See the the study planning document below:
LACF PrimeTime Project – Bullis Charter School Study
Preliminary planning document
September 17, 2013
The PrimeTime Project is a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation that promotes community harmony by determining the factual basis for controversial aspects of selected community issues.
While the issues themselves may be quite complex, often their resolution is impeded by a straightforward lack of information or by mis-information or mis-conceptions. These are the aspects of issues that are most amenable to a PrimeTime Analysis. In fact, our key criteria for selecting issues and studies are that they are amenable to factual analysis and that our results have the potential for high impact in the community.
We will not only conduct the studies; we will further educate the public about our findings and their relevance to the issue, through publication, presentation, and other forms of community outreach.
With respect to the BCS Study we have identified five areas where we believe we can make a substantial contribution. These are our starting point, and this analysis may lead to further analyses. We will work closely with the LASD and BCS to refine our selected areas and obtain the data and other information we need.
The five areas are approximately:
- History and rationale for the charter movement; what is a charter school; how chartered; state-wide status and impact to date. What are the laws governing charter schools, how are they implemented/managed, and how is compliance monitored.
- What public funding is available for a charter school, as compared to a traditional public school.
- What other sources of funding are available/used by LASD traditional public schools and the Bullis Charter School.
- How does a charter school acquire students, as compared to a traditional school district school.
- How does a charter school deal with disadvantaged groups in the community, as compared to how a traditional school district school does so.
For further background information about the PrimeTime Project, and to view and comment on our library study, Los Altos Informs, see our website page at losaltoscf.org/primetime.