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Another Charter School Would Help Richmond 

We would like to thank you for “Second Group to Propose City Charter School” (Street Talk, Sept. 23). We think coverage by the media is very important for the public to learn about Richmond Academy of Excellence, our proposed middle-high, college-prep charter school with emphasis in math and science. We congratulate your staff writer for being the first journalist to discover the project.

We would like to elaborate on few important points in the article. We plan to start with around 100 pupils and gradually reach to more than 300 children in five years, as a small school is more likely to offer adequate attention to each pupil.

As mentioned in the article, we will benefit from the vast experience of the nonprofit Magnolia Research and Education Foundation, which has been running a very successful charter school system in California. Our board also has a local educator, Sheila Bynum, who we believe will play a significant role throughout implementation of the project with her first-hand experience.

The study we referred to in the article was regarding tertiary education within the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development's 30 countries comparing age groups 25-34 to 45-54 and was based on a highly reputable and oft-cited “Education at a Glance” report of 2008. There are also many United States-originated research publications focusing on issues regarding U.S. secondary math and science education.

A charter school open to children of all Richmond families delivering high-quality education would provide pilot testing of innovative teaching approaches locally, offer an alternative to interested families, contribute to the local economy by sending more young Richmonders to college, and increase available trained workers for Richmond-area businesses. Finally, Virginia deserves to be in a better position than No. 46 among 50 states in the number of charter schools, which brought significant innovation and success to education in a number of inner-city populations.

Al Dalkilic
President, Richmond Education Foundation

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