Charters Were Supposed To Save Public Education. Did They?

In Education On

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On the whole, however, charters have failed to live up to their promises.

Consider, for instance, the lack of innovation in the charter sector. According to a recent report by the IBM Center for the Business of Government, for instance, charter schools tend toward a particular set of practices: longer school days, comprehensive behavioral policies (governing how students dress, when they can speak and where they can move, enforced by a range of punishments) and a focus on academic achievement. That’s because charter renewals are generally conditioned on students’ standardized-test scores. Consequently, the report concludes, “there appears to be less innovation than originally anticipated.” A report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education concluded that charter school innovation has often been in areas like “new uses of funding and governance,” rather than in instructional designs.

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