Reform: Can The Charter Quality Movement Gain Traction?
An announcement is just that -- a statement of intentions about things that haven't happened yet. And this isn't the first time that charter quality proponents like NACSA's Greg Richmond have tried to rein in the charter school movement. (Disclosure: I've done some freelance writing and research for them.)
But NACSA's new "One Million Lives" might be the largest and have the greatest chances of success -- if it can find ways to pick up additional powerful allies and do what so few inside the reform movement are willing to do: name states, authorizers, networks, and specific schools. And if the reform movement can get over its collective denial.
The effort faces some daunting challenges: NACSA isn't NAPCS, the Nina Rees-led national organization that represents charter school operators. And the Obama administration shortsheeted the charter quality movement when it required states to remove charter caps as a condition of being eligible for Race to the Top with no real quality (or diversity) requirements. There are still plenty of charter apologists out there, who want to focus on the high performing networks and generally ignore the broader quality problem.