90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Grading Charter Schools

With Mike Pesca in for Tom Ashbrook

Do charter schools make the grade? A closer look at their mixed report card, and accountability.

In this April 13, 2011 photo, children take part in a music class at the Mott Haven Academy Charter School, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP)

In this April 13, 2011 photo, children take part in a music class at the Mott Haven Academy Charter School, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP)

The promise of charter schools has clearly not been fully realized. There are successes, to be sure. But the question is: What to do with the failures?  At least a third of charter schools do worse than the public schools they replace.

Yet the rate of closure ; a new study reveals that only 6 percent of charters weren’t renewed.  Failing schools stay open despite evidence- wasn’t this why charter schools came about in the first place?

This hour, On Point: re-charting the waters for charter schools.

-Mike Pesca

Guests

Christopher Lubienski, Professor of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois. He’s also the co-editor of The Charter School Experiment: Expectations, Evidence, and Implications.

Greg Richmond, CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizer.

Charlene Reid, principal of the Bronx Charter School for Excellence, which is a National Blue Ribbon nominee.

From The Reading List

LA Times “In the second effort to use the “parent trigger,” a landmark state law giving parents unprecedented power to force sweeping changes at low-performing schools, proponents turned in signatures last month representing 70% of Desert Trail’s 665 students to convert to a charter. Those campuses are mostly nonunion, publicly financed but independently run.”

The New York Times
“The charter school movement has expanded over the last 20 years largely on this promise: If exempted from some state regulations, charters could outperform traditional public schools because they have flexibility and can be more readily tailored to the needs of students. Another selling point is that these schools are supposed to be periodically reviewed when they renew their operating permits — and easily shut down if they fail.”

New York Daily News “Emotional students and teachers packed up years’ worth of belongings as their beloved school, St. Augustine, closed its doors forever last June. A charter school moved into the building.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 26, 2015
This Feb. 20, 2015 photo shows an arrangement of peanuts in New York. (AP)

New breakthroughs on peanut allergies – treatment and prevention. And a question: are we too clean for our own good? Plus: did giant gerbils from Asia really bring the bubonic plague to Europe?

Feb 26, 2015
Humanist chaplain Bart Campolo, center, a former Evangelical Christian youth minister, and his wife, Marty, right, mingle with students as they wait for the start of a forum at the University of Southern California, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP)

More Americans are turning away from religion. We’ll look at how to live a moral life without it.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 25, 2015
Patricia Arquette accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for “Boyhood” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP)

Actress Patricia Arquette called for wage equality for women in her passionate Oscar acceptance speech. We’ll dig in to the gender wage gap now.

 
Feb 25, 2015
A crowd and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. listen as President Barack Obama speaks at AARP in Washington, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. President Barack Obama says too few Americans approaching retirement have saved enough to have peace of mind during their later years. (AP)

President Obama is calling for tougher rules on brokers who manage retirement savings. We’ll look at what that could mean for your retirement.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Two Congressmen Weigh In On DHS Funding
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland present their views on the ongoing Congressional budget fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. (Spoiler: They do not agree on a resolution of the crisis).

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February
Friday, Feb 20, 2015

We explain what happened with the old podcast feed this week and last, share some other Oscar categories and reminisce about the golden days of Double Rainbows and Honey Badgers who just don’t care.

More »
Comment
 
The 87th Academy Awards, As Heard On On Point
Thursday, Feb 19, 2015

Want the inside scoop on who will win big on Sunday’s 87th Academy Awards? (Look elsewhere, sorry). But we’ve got great shows on some of the year’s best movies, all right here.

More »
Comment