School Choice & Charters Letter to the Editor

‘Thoughtful Review’ Crucial for Decisions on Charters

September 18, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Baltimore, Md.

Your article about charter school closures raised some critically important questions (“Debate Revs Up Around Closing Low-Achieving Charter Schools,” Aug. 22, 2012).

Here in Maryland, we are saddled with a state law on charter school approval and renewal that is too vague and provides little useful guidance to the local school systems that make these crucial decisions.

But at the local level, the Baltimore city district, under the law the only charter school authorizer in Baltimore, is moving forward on the issue on its own. The school system, in partnership with nonprofit organizations and representatives of charter schools themselves, recently established a promising new process for evaluating and deciding whether to renew charter school contracts in Baltimore.

This new process will rely heavily on data and facts about each charter’s performance, coupled with qualitative observations. The Charter and New School Advisory Board—made up of school officials and community representatives—will make recommendations on renewals to the district’s leadership.

Having this kind of thoughtful review is critical. Baltimore’s 33 charters are an important part of our portfolio of school options and meet the needs of many families.

The bottom line is we must be transparent and rigorous in evaluating all Baltimore schools; we can’t afford to have any low performers. This new process can ensure that the city’s charter schools are each doing a great job of educating our children.

Nothing less should be acceptable—here in Baltimore or throughout the country.

Carol Beck


Supporting Public Schools of Choice

Baltimore, Md.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the September 19, 2012 edition of Education Week as ‘Thoughtful Review’ Crucial for Decisions on Charters


Student Well-Being Webinar After-School Learning Top Priority: Academics or Fun?
Join our expert panel to discuss how after-school programs and schools can work together to help students recover from pandemic-related learning loss.
Budget & Finance Webinar Leverage New Funding Sources with Data-Informed Practices
Address the whole child using data-informed practices, gain valuable insights, and learn strategies that can benefit your district.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
ChatGPT & Education: 8 Ways AI Improves Student Outcomes
Revolutionize student success! Don't miss our expert-led webinar demonstrating practical ways AI tools will elevate learning experiences.
Content provided by Inzata

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Opinion White Parents Say They Want Diverse Schools, But Will They Send Their Kids?
Racial stereotypes and reluctance to be in a racial minority are part of the calculus of how white parents choose schools.
Kathleen Hayes & Cassandra Kaczocha
5 min read
Conceptual image of two circles of influence, with one much bigger than the other.
ajijchan/iStock/Getty and Laura Baker/EdWeek
School Choice & Charters Do Vouchers and ESAs Take Money From Public Schools? How States Fund School Choice
Republican state lawmakers have ramped up programs that dedicate public funds for parents to spend on their children’s private education.
7 min read
Illustration of a large hand inserting a coin into the top of a stack of books
School Choice & Charters Opinion What Is an Education Savings Account, and Why Does It Matter?
ESAs shift us from a system of “school” choice to “educational” choice, opening the door to a system that offers more customizable options.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters GOP Lawmakers Tout Choice as a Way Out of Failing Schools
Republicans in the U.S. House are using their majority to push for policies that would send public funds to private schools.
4 min read
Artistic image of multiple paths leading to a school building.
Laura Baker/Education Week via Canva