Sunday, November 25, 2012

Is Chancellor Handersons angling for a charter power grab?

In today's Quick Hits there is a link to a short WAMU piece about Chancellor Kaya Henderson and charter schools. The interesting graf is
Currently D.C.'s Public Charter School Board is the only entity that can authorize a charter school opening. Henderson says if she had that authority, DCPS-authorized charter schools would retain their independence, but also benefit from DCPS's large system.
The benefits listed in the article include savings with suppliers, curricula generation and school locations.

A bit of history: From 1996 to 2006 the DC Board of Education had the ability to approve and provide oversite to charter schools in the District.  The Board gave up that ability voluntarily, making the independent DC Public Charter School Board the lone authorizer of public charter schools.  The BOE chartered fewer schools than the independent board, and their schools on average reported worse academic performance and more of their schools had governance issues. In 2007, with Adrian Fenty's election to the mayorship the DC Council voted to give they Mayor's office direct control over DCPS and codifying DCPCSB as the only authorizer of charter schools.

So, what does Chancellor Henderson want?  A second authorizing board that DCPS controls reminiscent of the old BOE charter board? That may benefit any DCPS charted schools with sharing contracts and curricula, but would do nothing to coordinate public and charter school placement, keeping charters from "cannibalizing" public schools.  That would require complete control of charter schools going forward.  Is that Chancellor Henderson's end game?


KN Modi said...
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Mari said...

Looks like it. There are easier ways to do what she claims she wants to do without endangering charter's independence.