Charter school leaders should embrace performance incentives to encourage the proliferation of top-performing charter schools, says a report released last week by the Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Public Impact and the Washington-based Progressive Policy Institute.
According to the report, charter-management organizations should negotiate contracts with states, districts, and other authorizers that link charter school growth to student outcomes. ‘There is no good reason to give charter schools educational space without requiring results ...,’ the report says.
The report also recommends that top-performing charter operators expand their work by reaching out in small ways, such as by supporting individual teachers in unaffiliated district-run schools with direction and tools to close student-achievement gaps in their classrooms.
The report says that while the contribution of charter schools to U.S. education reform is fiercely debated, few educators doubt that a subset of charter schools have produced “extraordinary results” with disadvantaged students. The purpose of the report, say the authors, is to recommend how that subset of high-performing charter schools can grow exponentially.
A version of this article appeared in the March 02, 2011 edition of Education Week as Charter Schools