Lift for Life Academy

Charter schools as partners?

Is St. Louis moving to a “portfolio” approach to public education, as Education Secretary Arne Duncan calls New Orleans where charter schools make up over half of the public schools? Duncan said the model works as long as accountability requires the quick closing of poor performing schools.

Kelvin Adams, the new SLPS superintendent, brings a willingness to work with charter schools. In a recent interview on St. Louis on the Air on KWMU, he explained his rationale.

It’s not about charters schools or not charter schools but about what’s best for our kids.

He talked about sharing ideas about what works between charter schools and regular public schools and how they influence each other.

State Sen. Jeff Smith has been twittering about attending committee and board meetings for Confluence Academy.

At achievement subcommittee mtg for Confluence Academy, charter skl susan uchitelle and I co-founded in 2000. doing well but need 2 do bettr

At Confluence Academies board mtg. They're the charter skls I co-founded in 2000. We're abt to move into a new bldg, the stl pub library...

I haven’t focused on the charter schools, but he got me to thinking about the quality of charter schools here in St. Louis. So I thought I would do a quick mini-check. I randomly chose fifth grade comm. arts MAP scores to compare and 11th grade for the high school charter schools. Since Lift for Life only has middle school scores, I included its eighth grade MAP scores.

I can definitely see some charter schools than need some attention. Confluence, St. Louis Charter School and Lift for Life seem to be doing the best but with a lot of room left to improve. The CAN! charter school for high school drop-outs has been closed.

With KIPP coming to St. Louis to provide some upward competition for the charters and an openness to charter schools from the new SLPS superintendent, a dynamic partnership that incubates new ideas and improves education for all may be coming to the Lou.