Charter school accountability | IN 60 SECONDS

Charter schooling introduced many important innovations. It showed how we could have school choice inside of public education; how nonprofits could run public schools; how great public schools can be replicated or expanded. But we’ve never made full use of one of the charter schooling’s most important contributions: contract-based accountability. A charter school negotiates performance contracts with an authorizer. That contract lays out exactly what the school will accomplish. In exchange, the school then gets freedom from a wide array of rules. Now, if the charter school succeeds, its contract will be renewed. But if it fails to meet its performance goals, the school will be closed and replaced. The new federal education law encourages states to create accountability systems that are new. So why not apply contract-based accountability to all public schools in a city, including those run by the traditional school district? This is the way for all of the city’s schools – charter schools and district schools – to have equal operational freedom and be held equally accountable. To learn more about my take on charter school accountability, check the links in the description below. Also, let us know what other topics you want AEI scholars to cover in 60 seconds.

  1. Worked at four Charter School… Its a scam. Pays better for teachers though. Kids perform well enough on tests but thats about it.

  2. Why not? Because teachers unions will never allow it. It's more important for them to collect their cushy benefits and salaries on backs of the public than to actually do their jobs and teach kids to standard.

  3. All the other countries that perform better in the international PISA comparison do not need charter schools to achieve superior results. The US is rather below average in that comparison.

  4. My cousin is so thankful for charter schools. The schools are terrible in the district they live in. Her son starts kindergarten next year. This particular charter school has been around for several years. I'm a public school teacher & my special ed director has her own children in a charter school because it's better than their local school.

  5. Why not use this solution? Um. OK. I'll bite.

    1) If the school fails, great, you've shut it down (likely to be replaced by the same school under a different NP name), but how does that help the students that just spent a year in a crap school? How does it make sure that the next school will be better?

    2) To public schools? Ok. Who is going to pay for that? What does "shut down" exactly mean with a public school.

    3) Funny story about charters. Here's what they do.
    3a) They reject poor students.
    3b) The ones they end up with anyway, they kick out back to the public schools.
    3bI) They keep the money given by the state for the students they kick out.
    3c) Now their performance looks better because they have selected only the best students to actually have.

    4) Again: who is going to fund this? You know building schools costs money yes? Taxpayer money. They may not have care about such a thing where you live: but among those of us who don't have Trump-like tax-avoidance skills, having a constant turn-over of schools, having our children constantly change schools as a result, and having to pay for all that over-capacity and waste is unappealing.

    5) Sucks for everyone in a rural area where the charter schools just don't go because there's not enough money in it. Good education only for the privileged I suppose.

    How about, instead, we actually focus on how to make our public education system better.

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