If you have not taken time to read our major charter school debate with UK professors Wayne Lewis and Martin Solomon, you owe it to yourself and Kentucky’s children to take some time to do so. The professors provide a good introduction into the issues of establishing charter schools in Kentucky from the viewpoint of both a strong proponent of charters and a sharp critic of these school choice options for parents.
Now that the professors have weighed in, I’m adding more to the discussion. I already posted several blogs on the fact that charter schools are public – NOT private – schools and, at least in states with the kind of solid charter school laws we’d like to see in Kentucky, they are highly accountable.
I also talked a bit about the fact that some charter schools have failed. There are a variety of reasons why, but one that didn’t get mentioned in the debate is important to understand. When charter schools started, one of the goals was to use them as a sort of education laboratory to finally learn some solid things about what really does work for students. Such research was badly needed, and it still is today. But, whenever we do research, we have to accept the reality that some things just don’t work out.