National Alliance Statement on CREDO School Closure Report
Washington, D.C.—National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees today released the following statement in response to Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) report on school closures across public district and public charter schools:
“Closing a public school is not a decision to be made lightly. It’s an incomplete turnaround strategy if not coupled with an expansion of quality public school options. As CREDO’s new study of closures reveals, students can experience a mixed bag of outcomes when their school closes—with some students able to access a better school and others stuck in a system without a better alternative.
“When a school has been consistently failing at its #1 job—educating students—it should close, period. For any child stuck in a failing school, each day is an injustice.
“In many cases, charter schools have provided the quality option when a neighborhood school has closed. In some cases, low-performing charter schools have needed to close, and the relative speed with which charters can be closed minimizes the damage a failing school can do.
“Just as closing a school is difficult but sometimes necessary, so, too, is expanding quality public school options—creating new schools and growing schools that are working. Again and again, public schools—charter and district—have shown that better is possible, when naysayers said it wasn’t. Those are the schools we should all be looking to as models.
“Charter schools have an important role to play in growing access to great public schools, alongside district and magnet schools. Every family deserves multiple high-quality options to choose from within their community—so that if a school does close, it does not also close the door on a student’s opportunities.
“Given what the study describes as ‘widespread’ failure of school improvement strategies over the last fifteen years, this study provides further evidence that more of the same won’t produce better results. Students in chronically low performing schools may be better served if states close their failing schools, while at the same time investing in opening new and expanding high quality charter schools with their school improvement funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act.”
About Public Charter Schools
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.