Are charter schools the key to education reform? Guests are Chris Lubienski, University of Illinois associate professor of education policy, organization and leadership; Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools; Gary Miron, education professor at Western Michigan University.
Chris Lubienski who has studied charter schools for ten years, gives us some background about the movement’s beginnings and its current standing. From a handful of schools in the nineties, charter schools currently number over 5,000 schools enrolling over 1.4 million students. Professor Lubienski points to the irony that teachers unions which initially, led by Albert Shanker, championed charter schools in the nineties are now often among their biggest critics.
Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, believes that charter schools do best when are the result of slow and deliberate growth. He also believes that they should be held more accountable, particularly for student performance. However, he’s proud of the accomplishments of charter schools in Chicago and believes charter schools can originate good ideas that then percolate through the public schools.
Illinois Network of Charter Schools
Gary Miron supports the original idea of charter schools as locally developed and governed schools that would encourage innovation and embrace unique missions. He is unhappy with the current situation in which a third of charter schools are managed by for profit corporations generally from outside the states in which they operate.
For Further Information
Multiple Choice: Charter School Performance in 16 States
This is the report done in June, 2009, by Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, that found that 46% of charter schools performed equally to public schools, 37% performed less well than public schools, and only 17% performed better than public schools in math. Charter schools also came out less well in reading.
Charter, Private, Public Schools and Academic Achievement: New Evidence from NAEP Mathematics Data. 2006.
Chris Lubienski and Sarah Theule Lubienski
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools