Charters: Advocates Play Catch-Up On Accountability
Can charter schools' reputation be rescued before it's too late? In a situation that seems like an eery preview of what will soon happen in online learning, charter advocates are now madly -- belatedly -- trying to play catch up on charter quality and accountability issues -- even as lawmakers and charter operators ramp up operations.
The Huffington Post outlines the push for accountability and claims from CER that closure rates are north of 15 percent (Charter School Proponents Focus On Accountability In Word If Not In Deed). You can watch the live press conference going on now here.
The problem is that the Obama administration opened the barn door wide open with its irresponsible Race to the Top charter cap elimination priority, left the charter quality/closure issue to the SIG process, which is a mess, and in the meantime the national charter school groups are limited by their operators/ association members from taking a strong stand on charter closures and revokations. The National Alliance figures are a little different from CER, as you can see here, and has been somewhat stronger on charter accountability than CER going back a couple of years now (see here). NACSA, the organization of authorizers, has been trying to bring attention to quality issues for years now, but has for the most part been drowned out by the enthusiasm of the charter operators and reform folks pushing charters to their current 5600-school level.
Meanwhile, states continue to expand charter options -- the latest being Michigan (Charter School Expansion Underway in Michigan State EdWatch, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signs law lifting charter school limits Freep).