Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

The Track Records Of The Companies Tapped For Indiana Interventions

    Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

    Charter Schools USA president and CEO Jon Hage speaks to a meeting in Indianapolis ahead as part of preparations for his company's takeover of Manual High School in July.

    A nationwide report released Friday shows the number of companies founded to run schools on a for-profit basis has nearly doubled in the past decade, and the number of students enrolled in the schools these companies run has almost tripled.

    But the report — from the National Education Policy Center — also offers insights on the past performance of the two biggest companies tapped to take over five “failing” Indiana schools.

    Combined, three-quarters of the schools run by Edison Learning and Charter Schools USA did not meet their yearly federal progress goal, the report finds.

    On the other hand, all but one of the schools Charter Schools USA operates received an A or a B under the state of Florida’s rating system.

    From the report:

    • Of the 22 schools Charter Schools USA operates (all in the state of Florida), 2 schools made adequate yearly progress, or AYP, under the No Child Left Behind act.
    • 12 Charter Schools USA schools received an A from the state of Florida, seven schools received a B, one school received a C, and two others were not rated.
    • Of the 49 schools Edison Learning operates in 17 states, 15 schools made AYP.

    As the report’s authors point out, only one other for-profit school company, had a lower percentage of schools make AYP than Charter Schools USA — White Hat Management, about which our friends at StateImpact Ohio have written a lot.

    That said, it’s likely roughly half of all U.S. public schools also failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress, leading many to question whether it’s reasonable to hold schools to AYP goals.

    In state information about Charter Schools USA, Indiana education officials highlight other areas in which they say Charter Schools USA performs well. Schools the company manages “with both high-poverty and high-minority rates outperform neighborhood schools,” one state document reads.

    Indiana education officials selected three outside companies to lead takeovers of five schools where — state officials believe — test scores haven’t improved enough or at all in the past six years.

    Charter Schools USA will lead takeovers at Indianapolis’ Emmerich Manual and T.C. Howe High Schools, along with Emma Donna Middle School. Edison Learning will assume control of Gary’s Roosevelt High School in July.

    EdPower, an Indianapolis-based organization that will take over Arlington High School in Indianapolis, was not included in the National Education Policy Center’s report.


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