This morning, about 65,000 children in the Columbus City Schools district woke up, picked up their books, and headed to school.
More than 15,000 of these kids didn’t set their books down in a Columbus City Schools building. Instead, they go to one of 55 local charters, which are also publicly funded, tuition-free schools. What can we do for these children?
On Monday, the Columbus Education Commission will hear from experts and people who run charter schools. The commission has been charged by Mayor Michael Coleman to issue recommendations for all children living within the Columbus City Schools district, which includes the ones attending charters. (The agenda is posted here. Read the background materials here.)
How can you tell whether a school will be great? A Stanford University study found that the evidence shows up in the first year. Nearly 95 percent of schools that did well their first year continued to deliver strong results over time. Conversely, nearly 90 percent of charter schools that had poor ratings for their first three years years failed to improve.
What brings great charter schools to a community? Some urban areas, like Indianapolis, have created special foundations or other non-profits devoted to recruiting and supporting organizations with a proven track record in other communities.
The session starts with a brief presentation by Mark Real of KidsOhio.org on the state of charter schools in Ohio today. Ethan Gray of the Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust will offer an overview of how some cities attract top charter school organizations. Finally, the commission will talk with a panel of four representatives from top local charter schools. The panel includes:
- Andrew Boy of the United Schools Network, Columbus Collegiate Academy
- Hannah Powell Tuney of KIPP Central Ohio, and
- GG Howard, The Arts & College Preparatory Academy
- Derrick Shelton, Chief Administrative Officer of the Columbus Art and Technology Academy.
Monday’s meeting is open to the public and runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Columbus Metropolitan Library (see map). The library will provide free public parking throughout the day.
If you’d like to read more about the subjects being discussed Monday, the background materials that have been prepared for the Columbus Education Commission are available here on our website.