Local News

Commission to Recommend No Charter School Cap, Increased Standards

Posted November 14, 2007

— A Blue Ribbon commission charged with recommending ways to improve North Carolina charter schools says the state needs more of them.

After six months of study, the commission also suggests getting tougher on performance requirements. They are proposed standards nearly 30 percent of current charter schools are not meeting.

Data shared with the Blue Ribbon Commission on Charter Schools suggests more than half of the state's charter schools have below-average growth.

"When we have a large percentage of schools performing below median, that is not acceptable," said Jack Moyer, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's director of charter schools."

Schools falling below median public school standards in a school year would have a year to turn their grades around or close, under the commission's recommendations.

Despite the numbers, the commission also recommends doing away with the current state cap, which allows no more than 100 schools. Instead, six new charter schools would be allowed to open each year.

High-performing schools and charter schools that are a first in the county would not be count against the state's total number of schools.

"We would love to see more charter schools, because we know the frustration of the families we have to turn away," said Mary Griffin, administrator of Magellan Charter School in Raleigh.

The commission is expected to meet again Dec. 19 to finish finalizing its recommendations before it takes them to the North Carolina Board of Education for consideration.


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  • 68_polara Nov 15, 2007

    When someone lives in a location that has only below average schools and are down right dangerous a charter school can be a saving grace. I know I live in such an area.

  • LuvMyLife Nov 15, 2007

    Had my daughter in a charter school in Raleigh for exactly 1 month before I took her out and put her back into public school. This charter school in particular was a waste of time and money.

  • bill0 Nov 15, 2007

    I love how some people think charter schools are some magic bullet. I'm personally in favor of more academic choices, but lets not lose sight of the big picture. Charter Schools perform no better than regular schools. That is the fact. There is no getting around it. If your kid is going to go to an above average school, he/she is better off than going to the "average" charter school. If you kid is going to go to a below average school, then he/she is better off at the "average" charter school. You are just as likely to end up in a bad charter school than a bad public school. The only real educational benefit to charter schools on average is that they can be a refuge for kids who would otherwise have to go to a bad school. Unfortunately, the kids who need this benefit most probably won't get it because they are the ones with parents who are uninvolved with their education and have minimal expectations.

  • mvnull Nov 15, 2007

    whatelseisnew, say the state has obligations for $X billion. If they give you are rebate on your taxes (tax credit), this means they will have to increase the taxes on everyone else.

    I am glad to see, though, that some posters (such as whatelseisnew) seem to be OK with the US government supporting madrasas.

    That does bring up the point about standards. Tax rebates from college have to be expenses at accredited schools (which many Christian colleges are not). Same for high schools? That's a lot of expense right there, and most likely Christian schools would not be accredited. So, what have you really gained?

  • superman Nov 15, 2007

    Appears to me that the fox is asking for more chickens in the hen house. What would you expect a committee to recommend that was set up to study charter schools? The group is just self serving. Charter schools and home schooling is not even a close alternative to public or private schools.

  • beenc2 Nov 14, 2007

    I have often wondered why people say we're unionized...there is NO TEACHER'S UNION IN THIS STATE. Other states do have teacher unions, but not here. There is a lobbying group called NCAE that you can pay dues for to keep your lobbyists in Raleigh, but there are no collective bargaining agreements, no union negotiations, etc; so when people say there is a "teacher's union" in this state they are wrong. A special interest group/lobby is NOT a union!

  • NCTeacher Nov 14, 2007


    Teachers in NC are not union. There is no union for teachers here- it does not exist. If it did, we would actually be drawing a decent paycheck and seeing some of those excellent benefits that everyone talks about.

  • NCTeacher Nov 14, 2007


    How much tougher would you like for us to make the public school standards. We are gradually increasing to where we are supposed to have 100% of our students make a 3 or 4 on the EOG tests by a certain year (which is quickly approaching). I would LOVE to see you come into ym classroom and make all 56 of my 6th grade students proficient by the end of the school year when some of them came to me only being proficient at 2nd or 3rd grade math.

    Really, what will the public ask for next? I am given students who cannot remember how to spell their own last name, have trouble with one and 2 digit multiplication and division, and struggle with the concept of decimals.

    I am expected to teach them character education, give up instructional time for countless assemblies and modify each and every assignment in a different way for every one of them.

    And you think the standards should be RAISED? I don't think they should be lowered, but are you mental?

  • nepatterson Nov 14, 2007

    Charter schools are not a panacea for an educational system that is failing largely due to a lack of parental involvement and concern and a culture that values entertainment and celebrity over education. Open more charter schools and all you will have left in public schools are kids whose parents are incapable of assisting in their education. It is the reason so many public schools struggle now. The teachers and the resources are not the problem.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 14, 2007

    You are correct in that the State is obligated to provide equality in the facilities. As you very well know, state wide that already does not exist. If the kind of system could evolve in the way I talked about it my hope would be that this would provide a lot of relief to the stresses on the School system. I am a harsh critic, but I do realize many of the woes that exist today are not the fault of just the system. Relieving the overcrowind I think would be a good start. Consider this from the numbers I used earlier. If the state spent 5000 per for 10000 children and then had to only cover 5000 children an option certainly could be to spend 10000 per child. Facilities, no easy answer there. Counties provide the funding for the school buildings and as we all know the money available from county to county is widely different. So it has been nice chatting and thank you for a very civil discussion.