Delivering on the Promise: How Missouri Can Grow Excellent, Accountable Public Charter Schools

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The report is a clear analysis of Missouri's charter school sector. It offers recommendations to improve the quality of schools by creating rigorous approval systems that will allow for accountable, high-performing public charter schools. Report author Nelson Smith, senior advisor, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, examines the development and status of Missouri's public charter school sector using the following indicators: academic performance, policy environment, finance and support. The report also takes a pronounced stance on the need to close Missouri's lowest-performing public charter schools that are not increasing student achievement. Missouri's current charter law limits chartering to Kansas City and St. Louis. There are families in the state's suburban and rural districts that need and want other public-school options. Two options have been suggested as steps toward the kind of statewide charter law now found in 39 other states. They include limiting new growth to unaccredited districts and allowing charters at least in the immediate school districts around St. Louis and Kansas City. 

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