Chartering Is a Platform

My effort to explain why no student learns from a charter was reasonably successful, I judge from the comments this week.

This is good. The discussion will be a lot clearer if we all see chartering as a platform on which people create schools.

Some of the schools chartered will be different and hopefully better schools than we have today; some will not.

Whether the school-chartered is different or better depends on what kind of school it is; on what approach to learning its organizers design into it.

The case for chartering is that it is better as a platform: better than the ‘district platform’ for creating innovative and successful schools.

But, again: In evaluating success advocates and researchers alike need to identify what the school (chartered or district) is as a school—need to describe what its students read, see, hear and do—and relate student performance to that.

—Guestblogger Ted Kolderie, Education|Evolving

3 Replies to “Chartering Is a Platform”

  1. Ted,

    You’re right on again here with this one. However, your statement that “The case for chartering is that it is better as a platform: better than the ‘district platform’ for creating innovative and successful schools.” doesn’t make sense to me in light of all the research we’ve had in the last few years.

    At best, I think one could conclude that it is inconclusive as to whether chartering is a better platform. And that’s being kind because, like you, I really hope that we get more charters and that the people who run them begin to see them as good platforms for innovation. However, I know of no acceptable measures of “innovation” as such and therefore I’m not sure how one could support your statement.

    So arguing straight up that charters are a better platform for innovation seems like a tough case to make. However, if you can make it, go for it.

    Why don’t you dedicate your next post to ten reasons why charters have been PROVEN to better platforms for innovation than traditional public schools?

    I hope you’re right!

  2. Yes, I would like to hear about the “innovative” success of charter schools vs traditional schools. Magnet schools haven’t been mentioned nor their successes discussed. They are another piece of the educational puzzle.

    The main issue I see with charters is academic accountability. They can be “innovative” (what exactly does that look like?) without the constraints of traditional schools but when they are not successful who holds them accountable?

  3. I have to agree with Lilian why aren’t we disscussing their accountability. If these schools fail I would also like to know who is going to pick up the pieces. I am also concerned about another argument maybe someone can help me with. I saw a news clip on charter schools the other day and they were comparing the amount of charter schools in low ses neighborhoods to more affluent ones and they concluded that there was a significant higher ratio in the affluent neighborhoods. Are we trying to seperate the classes again?

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