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ERIC Number: EJ868029
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec-9
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Study Casts Doubt on Strength of Charter Managers: Author Says Final Text Eased Negative Findings on CMOs
Viadero, Debra
Education Week, v29 n14 p1, 13 Dec 2009
A report from Education Sector raises questions about the ability of charter schools and charter-management organizations (CMOs) to scale up as dramatically as their supporters might hope. "The extraordinary demands of educating disadvantaged students to higher standards, the challenges of attracting the talent required to do that work, the burden of finding and financing facilities, and often aggressive opposition from the traditional public education system have made the trifecta of scale, quality, and financial sustainability hard to hit," concludes the report, "Growing Pains: Scaling Up the Nation's Best Charter Schools." As hard-hitting as the findings seem to be, the report is at the center of a controversy over whether the final text--released by the Washington think tank on Nov. 24--was watered down. The main author, Education Sector co-founder Thomas Toch, asked to have his name removed from the final product. He said in an interview that it did not fully reflect his sense of the current conditions or future prospects for CMOs. Charter schools are an important addition to the public education landscape and the best CMOs have produced great results. But the CMO movement has created only a few hundred schools in a decade, and even with more funding it would be difficult for CMOs to expand much faster without compromising the quality of their schools. In addition, the report omits some candid quotes from industry executives about the fragile economics undergirding some charter school networks and about how the credit crisis has affected the ability of charter school networks to raise money, as well as statistics showing the difficulty some CMOs have had in reducing central-office costs. Officials at Education Sector, however, denied that they had sanitized the report, one of a succession of studies the think tank has done that examine both the problems and the promise of charter schools.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A