Monday, November 12, 2007

To Renew The Charter Or Not To Renew The Charter...

...that is the question.

The Sacramento City Unified school board is reviewing one of its most politically charged decisions: whether it made the right call in 2003 in giving the city's namesake high school to a nonprofit group run by a retired basketball star.

Kevin Johnson's St. HOPE Corp. has asked permission to run Sacramento High as a charter school for another five years. The board will decide by the end of December whether to renew the charter, which allows St. HOPE to run the school free from many of the regulations governing traditional public schools.

The charter school's success has become a matter of great debate. Some of the teachers who bought into Johnson's vision of giving disadvantaged kids a private school-style education for free left after a couple of years. They say St. HOPE hasn't lived up to its promise.


Update, 12/22/07: St. Hope's charter was renewed by a 6-1 vote of the school board Thursday night, keeping the program alive for another 5 years.

3 comments:

allen said...

I suppose setting the same standards for the district-run high schools is out of the question.

Darren said...

I'm quite sure it is.

Matt Johnston said...

The question is two fold. Did the school succeed objectively, that is on objective criteria like test scores relative to comparable public schools? Second, did the school meet its obligations under the charter?

If the answer to either question is no, then the board should consider closing it. But if the answer to both questions is yes, the the charter should be renewed.

But will it be renewed will not be determined on objective factors, as we all know.