Deal Forced on Edison, Despite Meritless Charges

Published August 1, 2001

The San Francisco School Board’s charges against the Edison Charter Academy are completely without merit, according to a report from the San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute, released a week before the board’s vote on the disposition of the school’s charter.

Despite this, the school board used the threat of charter revocation to force the Edison company into accepting an unattractive deal, said the PRI report’s author, Policy Fellow Diallo Dphrepaulezz.

Edison was freed from district control and allowed to apply to the state for a five-year renewal of its charter, but the agreement also imposed the following conditions on the company:

  • no addition of grade levels beyond the current 1-5 at Edison Charter Academy;
  • no additional Edison schools would be approved through the district;
  • surrender of over $300,000 in Consent Decree funds;
  • no support of any future parent or teacher petitions.

“The board’s latest move has changed the local school choice debate forever,” said Dphrepaulezz. “The traditional cast that has for years decried the plight of underachieving minorities now finds itself at odds with those same groups, particularly African-Americans and Latinos.”

In his report, The Fight to Save the Edison Charter in San Francisco, Dphrepaulezz examines the charges against Edison and finds them all without merit, including the charges that the school “counsels out” minority and special education students. He shows that students at the Edison charter school achieved dramatic improvements in test scores. From 1999 to 2000, only two of San Francisco Unified School District’s 73 elementary schools showed better test score improvements than the Edison charter.

For more information . . . Diallo Dphrepaulezz’s 24-page report, The Fight to Save the Edison Charter in San Francisco, published on June 22, 2001, is available from the Pacific Research Institute Web site at