According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the new mantra is "Open good charter schools; close bad ones." Citing support from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) and the Missouri Charter Public School Association, authorizers of two underperforming charter schools have stated they won't renew the two schools' charters.
These two charter schools have failed to perform on a variety of measures including governance, finance and enrollment, not to mention failing miserably at academic achievement. The percentage of students passing state exams were in the single digits or low teens. Just reading the facts cited in the newspaper article, it appears there is ample evidence to close the two charter schools. Further, it appears that everyone gave them multiple opportunities to recitfy problems. It's time to pull the plug!
Aother four charter schools closed at the end of the 2008-09 school year in Colorado. These are Denver Arts and Technology Academy (Denver); Challenges, Choices and Images (Denver); Shivers Academy (Harrison); and Cesar Chavez Academy-Central (CSI). This brings the total number of charter schools that have closed to 20 since the first one closed in 1998. Although most of the charter schools closed due to financial reasons, a handful have closed strictly for academic reasons.
Who determines when a charter school needs to be closed? It's authorizer. Charter school laws were established to offer greater freedom in exchange for greater accountability. If a charter school isn't performing, it should be closed.
The League of Charter Schools has developed much of their programming to support underperforming charter schools and hold a high standard for all charter schools. Across the state, leaders have discussed what warrants a charter school closure (revocation or nonrenewal). While some may debate a few middle-of-the-road schools, there are crystal clear situations where a charter school should close.
So the new mantra, cited by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is accurate: Open new charter schools; close bad ones.