Charter schools turning around charter schools

A recent Wall Street Journal story highlights a unique turnaround strategy for underperforming charter schools. The model is essentially a charter takeover of a current charter school, meaning that the current charter management rescinds their charter and a new Charter Management Organization takes over the school, establishes a new board, and possibly restaff the school and administration.

Charter schools are often cited as a solution for low-performing “traditional” public schools, but there are many low-performing charter schools that should be closed. Charter schools are public schools and should be just as accountable for their performance as any other public school.

While an active debate about charter vs “traditional” public schools [how they’re funded, how they’re approved (it varies by state), how their monitored, and if they’re eligible for state and federal grants (i.e. RTTT, Title I, TIF)] continues, it is clear that most policymakers and educators agree on one thing: low-performing schools (charter or traditional) should not be allowed to continue to “educate” children.

Charter Management Organizations are often used to taking over low-performing district schools (Mastery in Philadelphia, AUSL in Chicago, etc), but with the exception of some interesting work being done in New Orleans, charter schools taking over existing low-performing charter schools is still a relatively new concept. While there are more schools that need help than there are high-performing Charter Management Organizations who are willing and able to do this work, it is promising to see 1) existing charter school leaders recognize that they are not successful and that the students deserve better and 2) CMO’s taking on the responsibility to turn those schools around.

To read the article, click here.


1 Comment »

  1. […] blogged about this issue before, but it’s important to remember charter schools are (well, charter schools should be) […]

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