We shouldn't allow mediocre charter schools

March 01, 2010

The Sun's Feb. 26 article "Mediocre charter schools in cross hairs" brings to mind the response computer programmers sometimes give to complaints about unconventional, unexpected outcomes in their software: "It's a feature, not a bug." In the spirit of the techno geeks who have brought us one-click shopping, online drivers license renewal, Internet dating and endless other marvels of the digital age, it can be said that closing a charter school based on inadequate performance is a feature, not a bug.

On the one hand, given the experience and expertise of the charter school operator at Rayner Browne Academy, it is surprising that the school system recommended termination (and we hope that the superintendent, the charter operator and the school board will work out their disagreements about the evaluative process). On the other hand, public charter school advocates fully support the determination of Baltimore City school superintendent Andres Alonso to hold all schools in the system accountable.

No less than with mediocre commercial airline pilots, mediocre brain surgeons, mediocre online dating services and mediocre district-run schools, we say "to the cross hairs!"

David Borinsky, Baltimore

The writer is president of the Maryland Charter School Network.

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