Fortunately, they won't have to fight it all over town (yet), just in some areas. (More on the burgeoning just up on Ednotes.)
I came across "chartering" for the first time on the website called the New York City Charter School Center. The Core Functions of the Center is one chilly little list and as disconnected from the education of a child than anything I've ever come across.
The Center will provide leadership, oversee quality assurance and serve as a facilitator and resource for:
- New charter school leadership development
- Student performance evaluation, assessment and data management modeling
- Information, support services, solutions and systems to ensure continued charter school development through successful operations
- Real estate/facility support
- Startup, technical assistance, information sharing and fundraising grants resource development
- Networking between charter schools and allied organizations to increase support
- Communications to promote and advocate for effective charter school models and systemic education reform
The "Mission" is "to increase the number of high-quality charter schools and thereby improve public education in New York City" — as if one had to do anything with the other.
And the "Founding Principles" is just robo-speak:
Charter schools provide the greatest promise for the improvement of public education, in their own right, and as a model for school district reform.
Chartering makes high student achievement possible because it requires schools to be accountable for results while providing them with the autonomy and flexibility to achieve results.
Autonomy and accountability are preconditions for high student achievement but alone are not enough to achieve it. Structural reforms must be married to skilled and dedicated leaders, teachers and governing boards, who can use the autonomy granted them wisely and well.
Charter schools and chartering are a spur and a model for education reform at the district level; chartering can provide districts with a road map to institutional change and such change will be more long lasting and profound where charters are part of the larger reform efforts.
Charter schools fulfill their promise to the fullest when they not only succeed academically but when they involve parents and the community in which they are rooted as partners in that success.
I'd rather my kids be "schooled" than "chartered." The first implies learning something, the other throws them into a business model.