Center of the Known Charter Universe

EdReformer is in Chicago this week at the National Charter School Conference.  Doug Crets will be blogging and tweeting nonstop for the next 48 hours; look for some great interviews with charter leaders.
This year, there’s likely to be a good deal of focus on the crappy charters that have been a boat anchor holding the sector back. Many were a product of weak authorizing and lack oversight during the wild west days of the late 90s.  The whole notion of performance contracting loses validity if there’s no accountability.  It’s likely that Bill Gates will beat this drum in his opening comments.
The NYTimes reports on encouraging graduation rates from charter schools in Chicago:

the Renaissance Schools Fund, a Chicago philanthropy started by business leaders through theCommercial Club of Chicago. Since 2005, the group has raised $50 million for 67 new charter and contract public schools in Chicago. Six of its high schools graduated their first class this spring, and more than 90 percent of the graduates have been accepted to a two- or four-year college. By contrast, the most recent data from the Chicago Public Schools, from 2008, shows that 52 percent of all graduating seniors had enrolled in college for the following fall.

Given the strong results from multiple operators it’s puzzling that Daley/Huberman have pushed the pause button on charters (and new school development) here in Chicago.
Mikey Revenaugh, Connections Academy, and I will be talking about online and blended learning this afternoon.  Stay tuned for more charter news!

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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