A charter school makes a promise to its community that it will do a better job educating children if it is held accountable by an engaged sponsor, rather than by a bureaucracy. If a charter school breaks that promise, it should be closed.
In the decade or so since the Missouri General Assembly first authorized charter schools, more than two dozen charter schools have opened in the City of St. Louis. Several have closed. More should.
Most charter schools do at least as good a job as most of the schools of the St. Louis Public School District. Some charter schools do much better than the district schools. Some district schools do better than charter schools ' and better than other public schools in the state. Engaged parents can generally find good, free educations for their children in the City of St. Louis.
But, it is also true that parents expecting all charter schools to do better than any district schools can be disappointed to discover in some charter schools the same sorts of problems they thought they had left behind at failed district schools.
Over the past couple of years, my office has been studying the performance of the charter schools in the City of St. Louis. I have shared my strong concerns about some schools' poor academic performance, lack of effective governance, opaque finances, and lack of safety with their managers and sponsors. The schools have not substantially improved.
From here on out, I will be naming names.