Blog

    5 million reasons to support effective charters, close failing ones.

    Texas public schools educate 5 million students.

    Texas doesn’t need more charters. It needs more high-performing charter schools. Acting swiftly to close failing charter schools protects Texas students and families while creating more opportunities for high-performing charter schools to serve students.

    Why Can’t TEA Close Failing Charter Schools?

    It takes too long to revoke a charter for poor performance, putting students and taxpayers at risk. TEA does not act to revoke a charter until after four years of Academically Unacceptable performance. Because a charter is considered to be a property right, charter revocations typically take 2-3 additional years, during which time students are left in a poor performing school. In one case, TEA has been working to revoke a charter for 12 years!

    TEA lacks the authority to suspend charter operations for imminent insolvency before a school term begins. If a charter runs out of funds during the academic year, it puts students and families at risk of disruption, displacement and loss of academic progress.

    TEA lacks clear standards for charter renewal. As a result, poorly-run charter schools are often allowed to continue to operate despite chronic performance problems.

    TEA lacks the authority to address poor governance by charter schools. TEA does not have the authority to reconstitute a charter school board that is failing to carry out its obligations, or to address nepotism or conflicts of interest

    According to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission:

    • The percentage of charter school campuses rated Academically Unacceptable was nearly twice that of traditional public schools (11.2% vs. 5.9%).
    • Charter schools educate 3% of the student population in Texas, but account for 25% of the TEA’s workload.
    • The percentage of charter school operators failing state financial accountability standards in 2012 was more than six times that of public school districts (13.1% vs. 2%).
    • Charter school campuses represent 71% of the campuses with sanctions but only 17% of total public school campuses.
    • Out of a total of 482 charter school campuses for 2010-2011, 54 were rated Academically Unacceptable. According to the Sunset Commission, many charters have been rated Academically Unacceptable for multiple, non-consecutive years, with 53 charters rated Academically Unacceptable for 3 or more years and one charter campus rated Academically Unacceptable for a total of 7 years.

    TAKE ACTION

    Here’s what the Texas legislature can do to keep public schools strong:


    • Strengthen charter schools and charter school enforcement by adopting key recommendations of Texas Sunset Advisory Commission staff:
      • Require the Commissioner to revoke charters for failure to meet fiscal or accountability standards for three years in a row;
      • Give the Commissioner authority to suspend operations and revoke charter if the school is about to become insolvent;
      • Strengthen the charter renewal process so that Commissioner has clear authority to not renew a charter for accountability, fiscal, governance or other failure to comply with terms of charter; and
      • Strengthen charter schools governance by authorizing the Commissioner to reconstitute charter boards, applying nepotism and conflict of interest standards.
    • Issue a five-year provisional license to new charter applicants so that those that fail to perform adequately can be shut down without lengthy lawsuits.
    • Maintain existing TEA standards that allow high-performing charters to open new campuses without obtaining a new charter (referred to as “replication”).
    • Oppose significant expansion of the current cap on the number of charters until significant progress is made in revoking poor performing charters.

    Download Issue Brief

    NextPrevious
    • Clark1

      Navigating the Transition to Blended Learning

      As blended learning gains more ground in public education, educators may need help navigating the concept to determine what kind of model fits best in their schools. Heather Staker, one of the world’s foremost authorities on blended learning, discusses strategies for implementing blended learning and tells us what she believes is a key fact school leaders will have to consider to have blended learning be a success.

      Read More

    • Top-5-District-Sites

      Winners of Blended Learning Initiative Announced

      After nearly a year of planning, workshopping, and healthy competing, four Texas school districts and one public charter school have been chosen as demonstration sites for the Raise Your Hand Texas Raising Blended Learners initiative.

      Read More

    • Letty-Roman2

      Transforming a School Through Grit and Grace

      When Letty Roman, a Raise Your Hand Texas program alumna, took on the job of principal at Smith Elementary School in Magnolia ISD, she found herself in the middle of a roiling quagmire. The school was struggling with challenging demographics, lackluster academic status, a stagnant staff culture, and a poor reputation. Add to that the area around Smith Elementary had been rezoned bringing to the school families and students from an affluent area. This created the perfect storm. Grit, grace, and Principal Roman’s bold actions were integral to Smith Elementary adapting to challenging growth.

      Read More

    • ReinventingPublicEducation

      Blueprint for Public Education Success Focus of 8th Annual Leadership Symposium

      The 8th Annual Raise Your Hand Texas® Leadership Symposium was a real success! Last week, hundreds of our alums made their way to at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa for networking, plenary sessions, a keynote delivered by TEA Commissioner Mike Morath, delicious dining, and great entertainment. This year, the conversations centered around reinventing public education.

      Read More

    • RWImage14.1

      High School Robotics Team Wins Gold, Develops STEM Skill Set

      Meet the Robowranglers, an award winning robotics team at Greenville High School in the Greenville Independent School District. Sure, they design and build robots with cool names like Viper and Batman & Robin that do awesome things like shoot frisbees and stack bins six feet high. But while they’re building robots to play games, the members of this crew are also getting some serious STEM training and a major head start in college or career.

      Read More

    • Blended Learning Workshop-featured-1

      Top 10 Workshop for the Win

      Ten teams gathered in Austin last week for a spirited two-day workshop led by some of the country’s leading blended learning experts. Right now, using the advice and insight they received, those teams are perfecting their plans and polishing their final pitches.

      Read More

    • Experience 4

      Share Your Public School Choice Story

      How is your district or school transforming to better meet the needs of each student? We want to hear about it. Connect with us, share your story and perhaps our camera crew will pay you a visit.

      Read More

    • art supplies

      Experience the “Art” of STEAM

      Charging full steam ahead with the idea of adding art into the established set of STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math) disciplines makes for more well-rounded students, some say. Plano ISD’s Academy High School is the district’s first school of choice where leaders have fully bought into the idea. The movement is called STEAM and it’s a quarter of what makes this remarkable campus so unique.

      Read More

    MENU MENU