Beware Charter School Authorizer Shopping


Beware Charter School Authorizer Shopping

The Fort Wayne, IN Journal Gazette, published an op-ed over the weekend by NACSA president and CEO, Greg Richmond. Richmond warns against the dangers of charter school forum shopping whereby a charter school seeks out a new authorizer to avoid accountability. In Indiana, several charter schools that have been slated for closure by Ball State University are now shopping around. Richmond says that this is a race to the bottom that won’t get us more quality schools and will only allow low-performing schools to continue failing kids.

“As they pitch other authorizers, these failing schools will come up with many explanations for their low performance. They serve a lot of low-income students. Their students come to them far behind academically. They’re popular with parents. Other public schools are no better. They need more time.
Indiana’s parents and taxpayers should be wary of these arguments. These groups were given a charter because they said they could do better. They knew that many of their students would be low income and come to them behind. But they said they could succeed; none of them proposed to run a “D” or “F” school.
This is a moment of truth. We cannot create more good schools for children by accepting more failing schools. In the end, we will get the quality of schools we demand. If we accept low performance, we will continue to get low performance. If we maintain high expectations and standards, our children will get the schools they need to prepare them to succeed in life