Dec 28, 2011

New Study Shows Need For Academic Accountability With Charters (Also, New Study Shows Need For End To Money In Politics)

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According to a new study from the Center for Education Reform, though 15% of charter schools have historically closed since 1992, only 3% have closed for academic poor performance. Reports the Huffington Post on the study:

In nearly two decades, only 3 percent of charter schools have ever been closed for underperforming, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The Center for Education Reform, a pro-charter advocacy group, traced charter-school closures since 1992 in what it called the "first-ever national analysis" of its kind. It found that 15 percent of 6,700 charter schools have been shuttered, and 18 percent of those closures were attributed to academic underperformance. Other prevalent reasons charter schools were closed include financial deficiencies (41.7 percent), mismanagement (24 percent), district-related issues and facilities problems.

While the report identifies key levers of accountability – such as the charter quality measures StudentsFirst members and allies recently pushed for in Michigan – it also should serve as a clear call for greater academic accountability and quality measures. The information presented shows a startling low number of charters being closed for poor academic performance. While we know that many charters deliver particularly outstanding results in difficult circumstances – and that charters typically do as well as public schools – not all charters are performing at the same high levels we expect for our kids.

In Michigan, we proposed requiring charter authorizers to close bottom-performing schools, to require annual reviews and parental notification of performance, and to create pathways and incentives to allow high-performing charters that are doing a great job educating our kids to replicate and expand. StudentsFirst members will continue to push for these important reforms. This coming year, we hope that Michigan legislators – and leaders across the country – will do more to ensure academic accountability in schools serving our kids.

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