The Charter School Growth and Replication study released last week by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) has important implications for charter authorizers. The study’s key findings–that charter school performance is established early in the school’s first term and does not change over time and that performance is consistent among a charter management organization’s multiple schools–emphasize the need for authorizers to pay close attention to the performance of an operator’s existing schools when considering whether to authorize replication.
In response to the study NACSA CEO and President Greg Richmond said,“if we get data that shows that a charter school is failing, we shouldn’t give that school ten or fifteen more years to fail. We should close it. And if an existing, successful charter school would like to open another school, we need to make sure they have that opportunity by removing the financial and legal barriers that get in their way.
“This study reinforces the essence of our One Million Lives campaign. There are still far too many children in America that are not getting a good education. We need to have the courage to act quickly and decisively to give more children the chance to attend a good school and we now have better data to support those actions. We need to approve only strong proposals for new charter schools, replicate those existing charter schools that are doing well, and have the integrity to close the hundreds of charter schools in this country that are failing our children.”