Monday, February 6, 2012

American School Board Journal's take on charter school expansion

I am not fully done reading the February 2012 issue of the American School Board Journal but am suggesting now that if charter schools interest you - whether you're pro, con, or conflicted - this issue, which focuses on the role of school boards in managing and regulating charter school expansion, is full of good reads. "Follow the Money" suggests that school board members be clear about where charter school funding comes from and offers the National School Board Association's view on charter schools:
The National School Boards Association takes the position that charters can have a role in sparking innovation, as an alternative education setting for families wanting something different, or even as an escape from a difficult local situation. But NSBA also argues there should be some ground rules: Charters should abide by the same regulations as traditional public schools, and they should be held accountable to the same degree. 
Finally, NSBA believes local school boards should retain authority over charters, retaining their role as the public trustees overseeing education services within their communities.
Emphasis mine. Very different from what's happening in Rhode Island now.

"Plan for the Best" offers perspectives on facilities and program planning that will bolster districts' public district systems, thus mitigating charter school promoters' opportunism; its author, Kelley D. Carey, offers a  perspective that doesn't map fully with the concerns or realities of many urban districts, including Providence, but his point that what parents are looking for is a well run, credible, effective school system and that the best way to preserve strong district systems is for school board to provide that is inarguably good advice for all.

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