Great Perspective on Charter Schools
Re “Enrollment Off in Big Districts, Forcing Layoffs” (front page, July 24):
The trend of declining enrollments in large urban school districts has existed for years. What’s new is the availability of charter public schools, which give families public educational choices they didn’t have a generation ago.
Few can dispute that all parents should be able to enroll their children in a high-quality public school. Good charters provide that choice. But charter status doesn’t automatically mean excellence; many are superb, some are not.
The authorizing bodies that approve and monitor charters have an essential role in seeing that they provide a quality education, treat all students fairly and spend tax dollars appropriately.
With strong and smart oversight, charters are more likely to be excellent, and parents are more likely to be able to choose a school that’s best for their children — a mission that all of us in public education can share.
Chicago, July 24, 2012
The writer is chief executive of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.