Education Commissioner approves charter application from Carpe Diem San Antonio

As mentioned in this earlier post, Education Commissioner Michael Williams has approved a charter application from Carpe Diem Schools–San Antonio (application).

Under the new process created by SB2, the State Board of Education could exercise a veto at its November meeting.

“Public charter schools are in great demand from parents across Texas, and we look forward to these schools receiving final approval and beginning to serve students,” said David Dunn, executive director of the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA). “From innovative blended learning to public montessori education, these charters will be providing quality, individualized learning for successful student achievement.”

“TEA Commissioner grants four new charters, sends decision to SBOE”, Tracy Young, Texas Charter Schools Association news release, September 27, 2013.

Carpe Diem is known for blended learning—combining self-paced online coursework with support from teachers and fellow students. (Read more about the Carpe Diem model in this earlier post from July and this earlier post from February.) Blended learning has its critics:

Some have expressed concern about the school’s blended learning model. Karen Miller, a former leader in the Texas PTA, said the program’s focus on online learning may deprive students of the social skills adopted when learning in groups and with teachers.

“Ed chief approves new S.A. charter schools”, Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News, September 27, 2013.