On Top of the News
Shut Down Bad Charter Schools
4/7/15 | USA Today
Behind the Headline
Authorizers: See What Replacing Failing Charter Schools, Replicating Great Ones Can Do
3/19/13 | Education Next
In USA Today, Richard Whitmire argues that charter authorizers need to be more aggressive about shutting down poorly performing charter schools.
Keeping all these charters open, the truly awful ones and the below-average ones like Banneker, threatens the nation’s most promising school reform. After three decades of trying one improvement effort after another, only one has both worked and proven scalable to reach far more students: charter schools.
The best charters, perhaps the top 20%, are capable of adding a year and a half of learning for each year a child spends in class. Those top charters have also demonstrated an ability to team up with troubled traditional urban school districts — a role that probably represents the best shot for providing better schools for all.
But as long as lousy charters are allowed to languish, the many critics of charters — teachers unions and superintendents who dislike the competition — can successfully stave off more charters capable of saving millions of students from academic abysses.
An analysis performed by Public Impact looked at how replacing low-performing charter schools while replicating high-performing ones could and should work.