NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED560191
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 42
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Charter Restarts in School Reform: Honoring Our Commitments to Students and Public Accountability
Doyle, Daniela; Field, Tim
Public Impact
Charter school boards enter into a critical bargain: autonomy for accountability. Compared with their traditional district counterparts, they operate with relative freedom in curriculum, hiring, budgeting, and other operational decisions. In exchange, they are held accountable for student performance in ways that traditional district schools are not: If they fail to meet the expectations set in their charter, they may be closed. Closing a school--which dissolves the charter and charter organization, liquidates its assets, and requires that students reenroll elsewhere--can be a difficult choice, especially when the students have few or no high-quality school options available. Closing the charter could result in sending students to schools that may be only marginally better, or sometimes even worse. The sector needs a pathway to create high-quality seats for these students while still holding the adults in the building accountable for low performance. This report explores a variation on school closure--charter school "restarts." Charter school restarts represent a relatively new strategy for intervening in charter schools when performance does not meet expectations--not just as a last-ditch effort to avoid closure, but as a proactive strategy that responsible boards and authorizers can initiate when the conditions are right. This report: (1) takes a closer look at how restarts fit within the larger context of charter school quality and accountability, and when a restart might be a viable option for charter authorizers and boards to pursue; (2) describes how charter restarts have played out at five schools--Henry Ford Academy: Power House High in Chicago; Harriet Tubman in New Orleans; Paul Robeson in Trenton, New Jersey; Harlem Day in New York; and Hardy Williams in Philadelphia. These examples draw on more than a dozen interviews with current and former charter operators, board members, and authorizers to identify trends, decision points, and lessons learned; and (3) offers recommendations for board members and charter authorizers interested in pursuing a restart strategy, drawing on lessons learned from the school profiles and discussions with leaders in the field.
Public Impact. 504 Dogwood Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. Tel: 919-240-7955; Fax: 919-928-8473; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Public Impact; NewSchools Venture Fund
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; Illinois; Louisiana; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania