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How Do Charter Schools Perform?

September 4, 2015
  • Great Schools Require Support from Policymakers

    Charter schools are expected to live up to the expectations established when they were authorized. If they aren’t succeeding, their authorizer is supposed to shut them down. Eleven states have “automatic closure laws,” under which schools not meeting standards are shut down. 

    Unfortunately, some failing charter schools — like failing district schools — remain open. A Fordham University study, Are Bad Schools Immortal, found that 72% of low-performing charters remained in operation and remained low performing in five years. The same was true of 80% of district schools. 

    Nationally, it is important to ensure that students have high-quality options by establishing policies that support the creation of high-quality schools, by opening more high-quality schools, and by closing down schools that don’t meet expectations. 

    In June 2015, charter support organizations covering 95% of charter school families nationally signed onto a Commitment to Quality, promising to work toward creating more rigorous accountability and quality standards.