The U.S. Department of Education calls for “an unapologetic commitment to quality” in the charter schools sector in a recent report.
“While many charter schools are performing at the highest levels, some struggle to provide the quality education our students deserve,” the report says. “[A]ll members of the charter sector must embrace academic excellence as the ultimate goal and maintain the commitment to accountability in exchange for flexibility.”
The report outlines six principles to “produce and maintain quality charter schools.” Among these are that charters achieve academic excellence early in their operations, that they improve performance year in and year out, and that charter authorizers address “chronic underperformance” by closing such schools and “swiftly” opening superior options.
Meanwhile, in September, the federal agency issued a separate guide on magnet schools. It provides examples of “promising strategies” and case studies to help guide efforts to build and grow magnet schools.
A version of this article appeared in the October 29, 2008 edition of Education Week