Local News

Commission to Recommend No Charter School Cap, Increased Standards

Posted November 14, 2007 2:15 p.m. EST
Updated November 14, 2007 8:47 p.m. EST

— 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.