One of the most important reasons to support charter schools, free public schools that operate outside the public school district, is quality. The promise of charter schools is if they do not perform, do not administer prudently, do not respond to their sponsors, they can be closed.
That is why I believe that the state Board of Education, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and the courts have acted correctly in denying the charter renewal of the Paideia Academies.
Over nine years, the two Paideia campuses did not provide a high quality option for our students. According to the 2010 report by Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 93 percent of the children read below grade level. That same year, less than 5 percent were proficient or advanced in mathematics. That is simply unacceptable.
This week's news that Paideia has finally recognized they cannot continue is good news. But it is very late for families whose children have now lost 5 or more days of school, and may now lose more looking for alternatives.
No law stops the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from contacting parents about their options. This communication to the more than five hundred families enrolled in Paidea would have been helpful earlier this summer, but it is not too late.