I have just read an interesting comment from one "LaborLawyer" on the fine educational blog Eduwonk. It was written in response to a summary of the findings of a recent national study on charter management organizations.
The comment focuses on inherent advantages unscrupulous charter schools abuse with regard to "skimming the cream" (as usual this metaphor regards students and their families as mindless inanimate objects waiting to get picked up) and credible expulsion threats. Also predictable is the comment's failure to recognize traditional public schools' inherent advantages with regard to capital facilities and operating budgets. But, coupled with an interesting PBS segment on the effects of Indiana's new voucher law, issues of admission, exclusion, and expulsion are once more rising into consciousness, whether in the contexts of public, chartered, or private schools.
As one still working on starting a school, and reluctantly admitting that we had better focus on opening our first school as an independent school still demonstrating the effectiveness and potential of the charter it will operate under, these issues are seen in a new light. And a first principle I would like to lay down in this regard is this one: our school's charter and practices should be entirely consistent with best regulatory practices worldwide in these matters, so as to encourage those policies and regulations to come into existence in jurisdictions all over the developed world.