Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Accountability + Options = Charter Schools

A crucial element to restoring the quality of education in St. Louis is charter schools. Many of the problems—specifically in the St. Louis Public School district—stem from administrative malfunctions. Because these teachers unions and self-interested bureaucrats struggle to maintain unjustified control, proper changes have not been made even in the face of continually failing schools. Charter schools provide the administrative flexibility to provide proper management on fundamental issues such as funding allocation and standards setting.

Accountability is a key concept of charter schools. Failure to meet academic performance standards or any unacceptable fiscal management will lead to charter termination by the state. The state department is required to study and report a charter school’s performance every two years. Furthermore, theses schools undergo annual audits and submit report cards reviewing the year.

The school choice aspect of charter schools will not only hold the charter schools accountable (why would a parent choose to attend a poor school?), it will also provide the motivation for public schools to final begin to implement positive changes. Charter schools provide parents with options concerning the important and emotional issue of their child’s education and future. Parents now have a choice outside failing public schools and expensive—possibly religious—private schools. The concepts of schools choice and accountability will work together to improve the education of our children—therefore making charter schools an essential method.



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