Bob Dunton, past CSD Superintendent and the current Director of the Corbett Charter School, was listed as a consultant for CLCS, Cascade Locks Charter School, in the Hood River School Board Meeting Minutes from early in 2010. Read here for more background on CLCS and how CSD was involved with a merger effort. The CLCS, Cascade Locks Charter School, was denied twice by the Hood River School Board and then finally denied by the State of Oregon. ( See below for that report in full for download. )
The State of Oregon will not sponsor this Charter Model.
The below are excerpts from the report from the State of Oregon and their review in January and February of 2011 of this Charter Model. The full report can be read/reviewed from the link below.
” The charter does not address how these children will learn to read, nor does it give the primary teacher the tools to teach them to read.”
The founders ( of Cascade Locks Charter School ) assume that if students are “read to” and are surrounded by quality reading material, they will learn to read. The authors need to research new findings from the 1990s that document “some” children may learn to read in this manner, however “most” children will need to be explicitly taught to read using scientifically based reading practices.
The text and material the founders are proposing to use to teach K-3 student to read is neither research based nor explicit teaching. Without proper tools, teacher will not be successful at teaching all students to read in the primary grades.
The early K-3 students are expected to learn by osmosis from their older peers, or left to struggle on their own trying to decode text and learn to read through “exposure” to literature.
It seems that the charter designers may not have an experienced educator on their team to help guide them with current research based teaching practices and systems that are in place for academic success.
The proficiency based credit and grading system is excellent for the upper grades, however our young children in K-3 need the best teaching possible to excel. Perhaps the school might reconsider beginning the first 3 years with a middle / high school program only – then adding the early years after they have had success with the secondary system.
Research has shown that this may work for some children, children that come to school already reading, but for most children, reading will need to be explicitly taught. The charter does not address how these children will learn to read, nor does it give the primary teacher the tools to teach them to read. The proposal relies on workbooks instead of textbooks and uses programs that are outdated and have not shown to impact student learning.
Saxon Math at the elementary level and high school level has not proven to be a successful core program. It has shown success at the middle level – as an intervention program.
Teaching staff are not supported with any professional development plan, and are expected to implement – to fidelity – 7 models of teaching with success. The instructional arm of the proposal is weak and unsubstantiated with funding, research or best practice findings.
Teachers will not be able to sustain all 7 of the charter teaching models within a reasonable time frame. Choose one or two models to adhere to, provide training and let staff a great job with a few models – slowly, rather than spread everything too thin and miss the mark for the charter’s children.
To read this part of the State of Oregon report, select here.
” A substantive review of the charter proposal was conducted in January and February by a review team consisting of ODE staff, charter school developers and sponsors, individuals with expertise in curriculum, school finance, governance and alternative learning environments. Attached is a copy of the summary of that review.”
Colleen Mileham, Assistant Superintendent, Oregon Department of Education
To download the full document from the state of Oregon ( 34 pages ) select here. …….. Connie Kennedy and George Fischer, two proponents of the current redistricting effort between CSD and Cascade Locks, are also two of the key players in the Cascade Locks Charter School ( CLCS ). If this school district merger were to happen it would be up to CSD to allow a Charter school into Cascade Locks. Select here to read about the proposed merger and signature gathering that is happening now.