Far too often, we run into situations where stakeholders believe a portfolio strategy is nothing more than a charter school growth strategy. We encourage city leaders to think beyond the obvious. While we ultimately aim for a system of autonomous and accountable schools, we know there may be more than one path to get there.
Author: Joe Siedlecki
Ten years ago, turning around struggling schools by using school operators was an inkling of an idea. Despite the existence of thousands of schools struggling to provide students with a basic education and hundreds of school management organizations, there were just a few school operators willing to try to restart these schools.
While every child deserves the chance to attend a quality school, far too many kids remain in failing schools.
Why is the charter school sector in DC so strong, especially when compared to other cities that have high charter market shares, but much lower performance?
The ed reform movement has collectively poured talent into schools; we now need to exert the same energy to build a cadre of professionals qualified to oversee charter authorizing organizations and school portfolio management offices/functions.
The persistent existence of poor performing charter schools (and lax authorizers) does a disservice to families and children, and puts the entire charter movement – including the substantial number of high-quality schools and charter management operators (CMOs) operating in long underserved communities – at risk.
As emotions around test-based accountability continue to flare, those of us who have a grasp on what a more nuanced accountability system looks like need to counter fear with the facts – and constantly push for better ways of evaluating school quality.
A recent report finds that, on average, charter schools receive $3,418 less per pupil than traditional district schools. Although the report has some weaknesses, a real and troubling disparity in per pupil funding in many cities does families and students a disservice.
Underserved kids deserve quality options at every stage of education. Vetting schools prior to authorization, regularly evaluating their performance against a clearly defined measurement framework, and replacing schools that do not perform well with those that do are all steps that work.
As the city’s new administration evolves its education policies around pre-K and charter schools, it has a big opportunity to increase the quality of both.