It is currently School Choice Week—a week to celebrate the opportunities that public charter schools provide to families and students. Instead, NewsWorks reports, a Delaware state representative has introduced a bill to
slow the growth of charter schools in his state by calling for a complete moratorium on charter schools in Delaware’s biggest city, Wilmington. It’s true that Delaware has had to close a few charter schools in the past few years due to low performance. That said, Rep. Potter says he introduced his bill as a response to the “over-proliferation of charters” disrupting local school feeding patterns—not as a response to charter school performance. Rather than introducing an arbitrary cap on the expansion of charter schools, Delaware should be ensuring that the accountability and quality provisions in place are continuing to work as planned. In addition to accountability and transparency, charter schools and local school districts need to be working together to identify what is best for Delaware kids—by helping them find the best fit for each student and family. Charter schools exist to provide a better alternative for students—with only 42 percent of Delaware’s fourth-graders proficient or better in math, and only 38 percent of them proficient or better in reading, Delaware should weigh alternatives. Charters can provide those to families.
Valentina Payne joined Bellwether Education Partners in 2021 as chief of staff to Andy Rotherham on the External Relations team. Prior to Bellwether, she spent seven years at brightbeam, where she most recently served as its chief growth officer, overseeing operations, finance, fundraising, and strategic growth of the organization.