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Charter School Management

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Mark Foster

on 26 April 2014

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Transcript of Charter School Management

Source: http://dashboard.publiccharters.org/dashboard/schools/page/mgmt/year/2011
3 Ways Charters Are Run
The Effects of Management-Type on Charter School Success
Some More Stats
• In 2011, 32.5% of all U.S. charter schools were run by EMO's or CMO's, 67.5% were freestanding.
They're Growing...
• In 2013, there were approximately 6,000 charter schools operating in the U.S., an increase of 500 schools from 2012 (despite the fact that 150 charter schools from 2012 closed down)
Source: http://dashboard.publiccharters.org/dashboard/schools/page/overview/year/2013
• The growth of for-profit charters has leveled off, whereas the growth of non-profit charters has continued to grow steadily.

• As for-profit companies are afforded fewer and fewer opportunities to manage schools, they are increasingly becoming involved in supplemental services such as tutoring or remedial help services.
Source: http://dashboard.publiccharters.org/dashboard/schools/page/mgmt/year/2011
Average student enrollment (2010):
• 42% of all students attending charter schools attended a school that was run by a CMO or an EMO
A charter school that is not associated with a management company.
(Charter Management Organization)
A charter school that is run by a
(Education Management Organization)
A charter school that is run by a
Currently in New York State:
209 charter schools
79,128 students
So Who Performs Better?
But Size Matters...
Why the Difference?
A Parallel to Heathcare
Source: http://dashboard.publiccharters.org/dashboard/schools/page/mgmt/year/2011
*EMOs have been banned in New York since 2010*
Another Economics Theory...
But They Can't Cut This...
Large for-profit schools with national and regional ambitions must advance themselves through
brand identity
in order to penetrate their markets, ultimately
using resources for promotion rather than instruction.
Blurred Lines
• In 2013, it is estimated that 2.3 million students in the U.S. attended charter schools, a 13.5% increase from 2012
CEO of
, the richest EMO in Florida.
Controls more than $115 million of South Florida real estate that is exempt from property taxes as "public" schools.
More interested in making profit
Disconnected from local community
"The behaviors of a few for-profits suggested they may be
more interested in getting contracts than serving a community"

This inability to meet local community needs may be one reason
EMOs and CMOs struggle more
As # of schools increases, connection to local community weakens
Our argument:
-Matt Candler, founder of 4.0 Schools in New Orleans
(In 2007, 50% of all network (not freestanding) charter schools were managed by for-profit companies. By 2010, that percentage had dropped to 37%.)
Property Rights Theory
In a nutshell: For-profit organizations will have lower quality outcomes than not-for-profit organizations
...because for-profit entities are more likely to cut corners and limit services to increase profits
(and non-profit organizations have a much smaller incentive to increase profits by sacrificing quality)
Labor Theory
Since labor wages make up 80% (or more) of a school's budget,
personnel cuts
often make up the majority of cost-cuts. To save money, for-profit schools are more likely to...
Use more part-time teachers
Use more inexperienced teachers
Increase class sizes
Shorten school days
Substitute computers for labor
RESULT: Reduced student learning outcomes
Even "non-profit" schools might still be making a profit...
Thanks to lobbyists, charter school legislation can stipulate that charter schools must be non-profit entities, but leave
allowing charters to "contract with" for-profit companies to manage and operate the schools.
Some for-profit groups actually establish their own non-profit schools which, in turn, pay them
"contract" fees
Fernando Zulueta
CEO of
Building Hope
, a non-profit organization that provides technical and financial assistance to high quality public charter schools in Florida and other states
S. Joe Bruno
Some anecdotal evidence: The Players
What about charter schools in Rochester?
Prepared by the SUNY Charter Schools Institute 7/2012
New York State ELA Assessment (2012)
12 charter schools currently in Monroe County
New York State Math Assessment (2012)
Prepared by the SUNY Charter Schools Institute 7/2012
Casual observations:
- School's age loosely correlates with performance on state assessments
- The 2 schools with the best test performance have the lowest percentage of black students
- The school with the highest percentage of students who are FRPL eligible has some of the lowest test scores
School Info from 2011-2012 School Year
8 are freestanding schools
4 are managed by the CMO Uncommon Schools
Remember, for-profit EMOs are banned in New York State.
Data collected from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
• 11 of the 12 schools are in the Rochester City School District (1 is in the Greece Central School District)
Highlights/General conclusions
For-profit EMOs = bad idea?

Large EMOs and CMOs = bad idea?

Local control is important:
Greater transparency
Closer connection to community

Be wary of even supposedly "non-profit" management companies

Student population matters

Are standardized test scores and AYP data really the best way to determine who is successful?
Charter schools clearly aren't going away any time soon... so how can we make them the most successful and meet the needs of students?
The Future of Charters in Rochester
E3 Rochester
, a new CMO created by

Joe Klein
(CEO of Klein Steel) is working with PUC Schools (a CMO located in Los Angeles) and the Noble Network of Charter Schools (a CMO located in Chicago) to open more charters in Rochester.
The Changing Landscape of Education in Rochester...
• By working with other well-known CMO's, E3 Rochester will be able to open schools

much more quickly
than individual charter school creators.

• Klein, a former board member of True North Rochester Preparatory Charter School, and a self-described "avid supporter of public schools," believes that the problems in the RCSD are nearly intractable.

• Advocates of charter schools believe that Rochester is a "ripe market" for charter schools because so many RCSD schools are failing
e.g. Edison Learning
Some theories
Carnoy & McEwan (2000)
Schooling system in Chile (where for-profit and non-profit schools have existed side-by-side for 20+ years)
For-profit schools did use these strategies:
hired more part-time teachers
paid lower salaries
enlarged class sizes
Slightly lower student learning outcomes

From website: "A non-profit organization, Building Hope supports the expansion of academically successful schools with the capacity to grow their enrollments in order to catalyze change across their local public education systems."

High school (all boys)
School leaders from Cleveland and NYC
Middle school
PUC has had many successful schools in Los Angeles
"PUC plans to open
nine more schools
in Rochester"
High school
Partnering with RIT
"Rochester Prep hopes eventually to serve about 2,300 students in grades K-12, about
one in 12
of all students in the city."
Elementary school
Same founder as School of the Arts
Rochester Charter Schools Opening in Fall 2014
Joe Klein
Full transcript