In a newly released study on Education Management Organizations (EMOs) by Miron, Urschel and Molnar (find it at http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/EMO-FP-09-10 ) there are noteworthy findings. For example: Of the schools managed by nonprofit EMOs, 60% made AYP and 40% did not. This can be compared with the schools managed by for-profit EMOs, 53% of which made AYP and 47% did not.
While I was surprised that the for-profit companies did not lag farther behind their non-profit counterpart EMOs, they do lag behind. One example of the problem presented by for-profit EMOs is their need to return profits to executives and shareholders can greatly skew the allocation of resources to school-needs. One school I am familiar with can allocate only 1% of its total revenue toward teacher training and professional development.
We have roughly 900,000 children attending public charter schools and public schools operated by EMOs (for-profit and non-profit combined). While these students are over-representative of those from poverty backgrounds–they are also those for which we must step up our academic game the fastest.
If you are affiliated with a public charter school or public schools operated by an EMO, find out how much is allocated to train and support teachers. For the work to improve, the resources must be sufficient and aligned.