Listen to Hitting Left with guest Matt Farmer

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Will charter operators "authorize" themselves?

That's the question my brother Fred is asking after reading Catalyst's account of the Illinois State Board's latest proposal. The proposed new plan would create new charter school authorizers apart from the state's school districts. The hope is that the move will attract desperately-needed RTTT money to Illinois. But the question of conflict of interests is bound to arise over who the authorizers would be under the new set up. In states like Ohio, you have private operators or charter cheerleaders doubling as authorizers. The result, the worst charter schools in the nation.

Several existing charter authorizing groups receive their funding directly from the very charter operators whose schools they are evaluating, including KIPP, White Hat, Civitas and others. More on that later.

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