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NJ Mandarin charter asked to clarify academics

September 16, 2011

Charter Schools Clarify Academics

State asks key questions to proposed Mandarin-immersion schools; decision expected in Sept.

 Charter schools were asked to clarify their applications in several key areas over the summer as they await a decision by the state Department of Education.

The state’s charter school office has before it 55 applications for new charters, including two Mandarin-immersion schools that would recruit students from Livingston and neighboring districts. The decision is expected later this month.

The proposed local charter schools were required to resubmit their financial statements and expand how they will assess academic success, according to addendas to their application posted on the Livingston Public Schools website. (See charter school informationhere).

The questions are in line with new directions coming from acting education commissioner Chris Cerf, who last week detailed steps that are intended to improve the oversight of new and existing schools. (NJ Spotlight has that story here). The rules spell out what’s expected for charter schools in the areas of student performance and state tests.

“We are committed to supporting the expansion of high-quality charter schools that serve unmet needs across the state,” Cerf says in the letter to charter leaders. “In return, we will require charter schools to demonstrate continuous academic achievement and a commitment to equal access.”

Questions aimed at doing just that were asked of Hanyu International Charter School and Hua Mai Charter School, the two applicants who propose to open schools locally next year.

Among the questions, Hua Mai is asked to clarify how it will measure proficiency for Mandarin language, and to clarify student progression grade by grade. Hanyu is asked how it will meet state standards in combination with Chinese instructions and evaluate teachers.

Please read more here.

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