Replication ≠ Excellence

A week ago Friday, it was announced that Success Academies was given $8.5M by hedge fund manager John Paulson to continue its expansion. It’s a number that we, in the independent charter sector, can scarcely fathom. Most of us survive hand to mouth, almost entirely by per-pupil funding with occasional boosts from SSF, CSP and other government grants. It’s certainly not because we eschew private sector money. Au contraire: please bring it on! But that kind of capital infusion, whether from philanthropy or from the investment world, generally seeks some kind of leverage. Funders love growth and our goals have always been modest. Most of us are educators first and foremost and have not set our

There Is No “Charter Movement”

This blog post originally appeared on Dirk Tillotson’s Silent Majority blog As a member of the so-called “charter movement,” I have to tell you: there is no such thing. Seriously, the “charter movement” is a movement in the same way a bowel movement is a movement (anyone with a capable infrastructure, some inputs, and a little luck can have one). And this “movement” really shares nothing in common with any social or political movement of our time. So when critics or advocates of the “charter movement” emerge, the broad brush betrays either a lack of understanding or deliberate red herring-ism, and in either case it stagnates us in a meaningless debate about something that does not exist. Wik

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