Tuesday, December 16, 2008


By George B. Sánchez, Staff Writer | LA Daily News

16 June 2008 - A former Los Angeles Unified School District teacher and charter school operator has been named to lead the California Charter Schools Association.

Jed Wallace will join the charter association as its new chief executive officer.

The association has led the fight to get adequate funding and space for charter schools from traditional public school districts.

 Jed Wallace >

The association grew by more than 300 schools - and 250,000 students - under the leadership of previous director Caprice Young, who is also credited with forcing traditional schools to improve their programming as a result of charter competition.

"We're pleased that we were able to find the perfect candidate to fill Caprice Young's shoes as we seek to take the charter school movement to an even greater level of effectiveness and success," said Rick Piercy, chairman of the board of directors for the association, according to a press release.

Piercy said Wallace has a unique combination of experience in classroom teaching, administration and fundraising that makes him ideal to lead the association.

For the past five years, Wallace worked at High Tech High in San Diego, first as its executive director and then as chief operating officer. Before that, Wallace was a special assistant to then San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Alan Bersin.

Wallace worked as a bilingual fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Hooper Avenue Elementary School in South Central Los Angeles from 1993 to 2000.

Following his teaching career, Wallace was selected for the inaugural group of the Broad Foundation Residency in Urban Education, a program created by billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad to train leaders in the nation's largest school districts.

After teaching, Wallace worked with the San Diego Unified School District and provided oversight of the district's charter schools, which grew from 17 to 25 in the period he was with the district.

In his five years at High Tech High, a successful K-12 charter program with an emphasis in science, math and education, Wallace helped the program grow from 600 students to 2,800, staff size from 50 to 300 and annual revenues from $5million to $23 million.

High Tech High is also one of the first charter schools in California authorized to operate its own special-education program.

Wallace will begin work with the association Feb. 1, 2009. In the meantime, interim director Peter Thorp will continue to lead the association.



High Tech High Executive Tapped to Lead CA Charter Schools Association

Jed Wallace, Former Classroom Teacher, District Authorizer and Official at Top Charter Management Organization to Head CA's Charter Movement

LOS ANGELES, Dec 15, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The California Charter Schools Association today announced that Jed Wallace, the Chief Operating Officer at the nationally-renowned High Tech High charter school organization based in San Diego, was selected by its Board of Directors to serve as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Wallace will assume the duties as head of the state's charter schools association from former leader Caprice Young, who stepped down from her position in September.

As Chief Operating Officer for High Tech High since 2004, Wallace oversaw all operational management duties for the charter school organization as it grew from educating 600 students to more than 2,800 students today. During Wallace's tenure, High Tech High's staff expanded from 50 teachers and employees to more than 300 today. He led efforts to develop more than $70 million in school facilities projects for High Tech High, helped secure more than $60 million in philanthropic support, and he spearheaded outreach efforts that tripled the attendance rate of low-income students who now attend the network of high-quality charter schools.

"I am honored to have been chosen by the Association's Board of Directors to continue building on Caprice Young's legacy and to take the California charter school movement to new heights," said Wallace. "My passion for charter schools has been strongly shaped by my experiences and challenges faced as a classroom teacher within the traditional system, as well as my desire to always put the needs of students first."

Wallace previously served for seven years from 1993 to 2000 as a classroom teacher at Hooper Avenue Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Here he created The Family Strand "School-Within-the-School" - an innovative program where he led a team of 10 public school teachers that educated over 220 students. Student achievement scores during his tenure increased 20 percentile points above Hooper Avenue's school-wide averages.

After finishing his seven years as a classroom teacher, Wallace attended the Kellogg School of Management, where he received his M.B.A. in statistics and organizational behavior. He was also selected to the inaugural cohort of the prestigious "Broad Foundation Residency in Urban Education," a nationally-recognized program created by businessman and philanthropist Eli Broad, designed to train talented individuals to serve in some of the nation's largest school districts.

Wallace was hired by San Diego Unified School District's then-Superintendent Alan Bersin to serve as the District's Charter School Authorizer. At San Diego Unified, Wallace performed oversight responsibilities for the District's charter schools, which grew from 17 to 25, serving over 10,000 students during his tenure. Wallace developed and implemented the District's comprehensive Charter School Policies and Guidelines, an exemplar for charter school oversight which was promoted by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and emulated by many charter school authorizers across the nation.

"We're pleased that we were able to find the perfect candidate to fill Caprice Young's shoes as we seek to take the charter school movement to an even greater level of effectiveness and success," said Rick Piercy, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the California Charter Schools Association. "As a key contributor to the creation of one of the most respected schools in the country, Jed is well positioned to continue our emphasis on quality within California's charter school movement. Jed's experience in the traditional system makes him an ideal leader to impact the broader public school system so that every California family can benefit from charter schools' successes."

As Chief Operating Officer for High Tech High, Wallace implemented several unique initiatives that have served as innovative models for the public school system. Wallace led efforts to make High Tech High the first public charter school organization in California to be granted authority to certify its own teachers - a program that has now trained more than 70 new teachers. Wallace also helped create High Tech High's Graduate School of Education, the first such school to be opened up in California in the last 20 years.

Under Wallace's management, High Tech High became the first charter school organization to be approved by the State Board of Education to operate a "Statewide Benefit" charter, allowing the charter school organization to open up campuses across the state without additional school district approval. High Tech High also became one of the first charter schools in California to be authorized to operate its own special education program, providing High Tech High the funding and autonomy necessary to implement special education services widely recognized for its innovation.

"During his tenure with High Tech High, Jed was a driving force in our efforts to provide new opportunities to the students in the San Diego community," said Dr. Larry Rosenstock, Chief Executive Officer of High Tech High. "While there is no equal to Jed, we will work hard to fill his big shoes. This move will ultimately be good for High Tech High and it is great for California's charter school movement."

"As incoming leader of the California Charter Schools Association, I intend to take the lessons and successes I've learned from High Tech High and leverage them so that the broader public school system continues to benefit from the best practices of high-quality charter schools," said Wallace.

Wallace, who will be based in Sacramento, will begin his duties starting on February 1, 2009. Handling his duties until then will continue to be interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief of Staff Peter Thorp. Thorp, former Executive Director of nationally-recognized Gateway Charter High School in San Francisco, was previously Chairman of the Association's Board of Directors.

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