Not one of the 2021 charter schools in the 2021 cohort has met academic standards. The District’s Charter Schools Office, however, has recommended all for 5-year renewals. This represents a cost to the district of approximately $ $484, 053, 891.
Most of the schools in this cohort failed to meet most of the conditions they agreed to in their previous renewal agreements. That should come as no surprise. As then-CSO Director DawnLynne Kacer told the School Reform Commission in 2017, there are no formal consequences for failing to meet conditions. With this year’s recommendations, we see that there are also no consequences for not meeting conditions included in a legal surrender agreement clause.
None of the seven Renaissance charters in the 2021 cohort meets academic standards. APPS cited District reporting in our 2020 analysis of the Renaissance charters in concluding that none of the operators came close to keeping their promise to turn around the neighborhood public schools: The companies awarded contracts to manage those schools promised to “effect dramatic change” at “chronically underperforming schools”. The District, over the past ten years, has spent hundreds of millions on Renaissance schools while getting very little in return. Although the Initiative stipulated that “Renaissance Schools will be granted greater autonomy in exchange for increased accountability”, there has actually been less accountability, as seen by the repeated renewals of Renaissance charters that fail to meet basic standards, let alone surpass District performance.
Note: All academic data taken from most recent CSO renewal evaluations, District school profiles and District SPRs. All CEO salary/compensation data from 2018 and 2019 IRS Form 990s. Projected costs of operating of charter schools based on 2021 District budget information.
This report was written by Lisa Haver, Karel Kilimnik, Deborah Grill, Diane Payne and Ilene Poses.
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