I was reading this article on Time Ideas and it reminded me that this is a topic I have wanted to address for some time now on my https://mcessay.com/ website. The whole point of a charter school is that they were supposed to be easy to close down if they were not meeting their charter obligations. While this is good in theory it has not been so easy in practice. This makes it more difficult for the higher performing charter schools because opponents of charter schools quickly point to those schools and use them as examples to create the perception that all charter schools are bad.
It is not as simple as just determining that a school is not meeting their obligations to their students if our goal is to progressively improve education. We must also determine why some charter schools fail while others succeed. Document and learn from mistakes, then avoid those mistakes going forward. Think of this as a process improvement exercise on a grand scale, this is the same thing that most successful businesses do, they innovate, evaluate then build upon the things that worked while dropping those that did not. This results in products continuing to evolve and improve while reducing cost over time.
Public education has taken the opposite approach, fighting to continue doing the same things, pile more federal requirements on curriculum, and watch as costs continue to rise. Anyone that has participated in evaluating a failing business model is familiar with the instant defensive stance that is taken when you begin to look at how things are done and what can be improved. You will always hear an endless stream of excuses and blame. All too often that leads to failure, not because success was unattainable but because those involved were too busy justifying failure to consider alternatives that would put them on the path to success. Rather than looking at reports (think standardized tests) and using them to determine what can be improved they do whatever they can to make the reports look good and divert attention away from statistics that show failures. This is the endless cycle we find ourselves in with education and the only way to break this cycle is to innovate, evaluate and continue to build on successes while discarding failed initiatives. Neither side can get too wrapped up in defending and perpetuating pet initiatives that didn’t work, and that includes the reformers who support charter schools.
To some that read my articles and follow me on Facebook, this statement might come as a surprise. Why would someone who is obviously pro-charter recommend shutting down some charter schools? The answer, in my opinion, is quite clear. For me, it’s not about charter schools specifically; it’s about improving the quality of education. If a charter school isn’t living up to their objectives then they are contributing to the decline in education. When we do not recognize and correct failed schools, charter or traditional public schools, we are doing a disservice to those children who attend the school and diminish the impact the more successful schools have. Those who consider themselves “education reformers” must view each school objectively and without bias, otherwise we are no better than those who fight to maintain status quo in our public schools.