California’s statewide charter school association is calling on authorizers to not renew the charter contracts of five of the state’s lowest-performing schools.
Tracking individual school achievement and making closure recommendations is a very rare task for a charter association to take on.
The five schools in question, which are located in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sutter, Contra Costa, and Monterey counties, have also not shown enough improvement over time, according to a statement from the California Charter Schools Association. All five schools are authorized, or overseen, by local school districts.
“We believe that charter public schools should be held to high standards of performance and when they do not perform, we advocate for their non-renewal,” CCSA’s president and CEO Jed Wallace said in a statement. “We know that closing low-performing charter public schools is one of the strongest tools available to ensure quality in California’s charter school sector.”
This is not the first time CCSA has called for shuttering schools. The organization also flagged schools for non-renewals in 2011 and 2013. CCSA only advocates for closure when schools are up for renewal and are failing to meet standards laid out by the organization in 2009.
Those standards, which are guidelines not requirements, are mostly based on academic rigor but also give credit for growth and serving disadvantaged students. In addition to making non-renewal recommendations, CCSA also releases annual accountability report cards for every school in the state with the hopes that authorizers will use that information to inform renewal decisions.
The charter movement is premised on the idea that if schools fail to perform, they are shut down (i.e. the “charter bargain”). But as the charter sector matures, it has struggled with the reality of shutting down schools.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.