CHARTERS: 10 years after first law enacted, charter schools still working out flaws

This hasn't been the 10-year anniversary Minnesota charter schools wanted: circling their wagons at the Capitol while damning their own "bad apples." Yet so it goes in the state that passed the nation's first charter school law. As of last week, another charter school teeters on disaster. Lawmakers debate what needs to be done. State, district and charter folks snipe back-and-forth over causes and remedies.

Other Charter News:

MINNESOTA: The state's leading charter school advocacy group has taken an extraordinary step and asked the board of a St. Paul charter school to step down. Of most concern to the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools are decisions by the Strategies for Success board buy a townhouse with an assessed value of $158,800 for one of the two co-directors; pay that co-director a $6,000 living allowance, and provide company vehicles for both co-directors.

TEXAS: Charter schools in the state would face much more financial accountability under a bill given preliminary approval in the state house. The bill, which would place a two-year moratorium on starting new such schools, is the result of a study that identified severe problems in some of Texas' 163 charter schools.

COLORADO: A Jefferson County, Colo., charter school must clean up its books, replace most of its governing board and notify parents of students' rights if it wants to remain open. The Jefferson County school board imposed those conditions on on Jefferson Academy, a K-12 charter school in Broomfield, Colo., serving 650 students

FLORIDA: The mismanagement and financial problems that brought down two charter schools in Duval County, Fla., are similar to the troubles that have closed other schools across the nation. The School Board voted last week to close Empowering Young Minds Academy and Rader School at the end of the school year, affecting about 530 students. (Florida Times-Union)

PENNSYLVANIA: The state's most comprehensive report on charter schools since their inception in 1997 shows mixed signs on the satisfaction of parents, teachers and students with this new kind of public school (Philadelphia Inquirer)....To review the full charter schools report from Western Michigan University, click here.

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