Selected readings on US charter schools
In a nutshell
Under current law, a school board may enter into a contract with an individual, group, business, or governmental body to establish a charter school, which operates with fewer constraints than traditional public schools. UW-Milwaukee, UW-Parkside, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and the city of Milwaukee can also operate or contract for the operation of charter schools.
This bill (SB76) requires a school board or other entity that has contracted with someone to operate a charter school to allow the operator to establish additional schools if each of the charter schools the person operates in the state exceeds Department of Public Instruction standards for the past two years.
The case for it
Bob Delaporte, spokesman for Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, who introduced the measure, said it would provide more choices and flexibility for children to be successful in school and to attend schools that are not considered to be failing.
“Her overall philosophy is every kid deserves a chance to succeed. She wants to give kids the maximum opportunities possible to succeed,” Delaporte said, adding, “We all benefit when kids come out of school educated and prepared for the workforce.”
The case against it
Miles Turner, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, said his organization believes the only charter schools that should exist are those that are operated by school districts and subject to the oversight of locally elected school boards.
“Otherwise, you just have businesses opening up for-profit charter schools” and receiving taxpayer dollars, without being subject to the same regulations and oversight, Turner said.
Turner called it “ludicrous” to use the DPI’s rating system as the basis for authorizing additional charter schools, saying it is based on a test that is being replaced and is not considered to be a valid measure of success. “The whole thing seems kind of shady to me,” he said. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
Source: Wisconsin State Journal – by Sandy Cullen