Charter schools: The Debate Continues

Marion Herbert's picture
Friday, December 23, 2011

With recent statistics indicating that more students than ever are enrolled in charter schools, there’s no end in sight to the ongoing debate over which is more effective in educating our kids: Traditional public or charter schools. A newly released report offers potential talking points for both sides.

On Wednesday, the Center for Education Reform  issued “The State of Charter Schools.”  According to the report, 1,036 of  about 6,700 charter schools – about 15% - have “closed for cause” since the first charter law was passed in 1992. Among the major reasons cited for those closures, according to the report, are financial, mismanagement, academic performance, facilities and district obstacles.

Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform, called performance-based accountability “the hallmark of the charter school concept,” in the report, but also noted the importance of parental choice: More than 19 million parents “have had public school choices they would otherwise never have had,” according to Allen. This is especially the case for those who do not have the financial means to pay for a private education, she said.

In other charter schools news this week:

In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill into law that removes the cap on the number of charter schools in the state.  The measure also introduces new reporting and accountability standards for charters.  Charter schools continue to enjoy parental as well as political support on state and federal levels.

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