Phi Beta Cons

De-Cap the Charters

The No Child Left Behind Act is up for reauthorization, and U.S. Education secretary Spellings to her credit has proposed critical amendment language, namely, that local officials be permitted to reopen a failing school as a charter irregardless of a state’s charter cap.


Nelson Smith reports on this in The Wall Street Journal, in the broader context of how NCLB can generate fine, new schools where they are most needed throughout the country.


Among the important points Smith makes is that the local school board ought “not be the only game in town. In states where universities and state boards can approve charter schools, they too should be able to override restrictive caps.” (“Magna Charters,” 2-26-07)


As one who has long served on the SUNY Charter Schools Committee, I applaud Spellings for her leadership on this issue.