Monday, December 2, 2013

AP: Idaho Charter Tops In its Class, But Doesn't Have Long Waiting List

Posted By on Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 9:47 AM

A Coeur d'Alene public charter school is profiled this morning by the Associated Press' Nicholas Geranios. Begun in 1999, the Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy was ranked No. 13 among the top 20 high schools in the west and No. 59 among the top 100 high schools in the nation by Newsweek in 2011—the only Idaho high school on the lists.

The AP reports that the academy's curriculum is "rigorous" and not built for every student.

"When these kids go to college, classes look like what we do here," Principal Dan Nicklay told the AP.

Yet there is no exhausting waiting list—only about 100 names on the school's list of families waiting to get in.

That's very different from many of the Treasure Valley's public charter schools. In March of this year, Boise Weekly visited a number of the schools and found a lot of joy and heartbreak among parents who nervously sat through a series of lotteries to get their kids into particular schools.

"The estimated waiting list across the state, the last time I checked, was over 7,000 names," Michelle Taylor, state school choice coordinator told Boise Weekly. "I can tell you that at a lottery we held last week, we had a parent who was in tears because their child got in and we had another parent in tears because their child ended up No. 100 on a waiting list."

At a March lottery for Boise's Sage International, there were 87 spaces available but more than 650 applicants.

"For instance, in the second grade, we only have two spots available" said Lisa Lechner, Sage business manager. "In the fourth grade, we don't have any spots available but we'll still draw those names to create a waiting list."

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