April 27, 2005
Arizona State University, for years a vocal critic of the state’s school choice movement, now wants to open a charter school.
ASU officials will unveil a plan tonight to open elementary and secondary charter schools on the campus of Tempe High School and elsewhere in the Valley.
Nobody at the ASU College of Education or the Tempe Union High School District knows yet what these charter schools might look like, or who would control the public money that comes with each student.
"This is still in the conceptual stage," ASU spokesman Manny Romero said.
He said ASU’s vision is to forge partnerships with neighboring school districts and launch innovative "university public schools" that would prepare students from diverse backgrounds for college and successful careers in a global economy.
Acting Tempe Elementary School District Superintendent Debra Gomez will attend a Tempe Union governing board study session at 6 p.m. today and listen to ASU education dean Eugene Garcia discuss the idea. Tempe Elementary would stand to lose students to the venture, but Gomez said she will listen to ASU’s pitch.
Tempe Union Superintendent Shirley Miles said a more substantial partnership with ASU could benefit students in her district — but all parties involved need to figure out how governance would work.
One plan includes a charter school on the Tempe High campus. Similar schools would open near ASU East, ASU West and downtown Phoenix.
Public forum What: ASU officials will answer questions about plans for ASU-run charter schools during a Tempe Union High School District governing board study session.
When: 6 p.m. today; regular board meeting follows at 7 p.m.
Where: District office, 500 W. Guadalupe Road
Information: (480) 839-0292