The Guinn Center on Wednesday released a report on district-sponsored charter schools. Among their recommendations: Clark County and Washoe County school districts should consider transferring oversight of their underperforming charter schools to the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority or Achievement School District.
Short of that, the report recommends school boards encourage their low-performing charters to “partner with a high-performing charter management organization” (like the ones used by state-sponsored charter schools) or to “leverage community partnerships and programs” (like Jobs for America’s Graduates).
Charter schools are tuition-free schools that receive per-pupil funding from the state. They have more autonomy than traditional public schools. The majority of Nevada’s charters are sponsored and overseen by the state charter authority, a board of appointed members. A handful are sponsored and overseen by traditional public school districts like CCSD and WCSD. A few charters fall under what’s called the Achievement School District, a program created during the 2015 legislative session that takes control of low-performing public schools and converts them into charters.
Six district-sponsored charter schools were named “Rising Stars Schools,” meaning they are among the lowest-performing schools in the state. Three are part of CCSD; three are part of WCSD.
CCSD is in the process of addressing its underperforming charter schools. Earlier this month, trustees began the process of reconstituting the boards at two of those charters — Delta Academy and 100 Academy of Excellence. They voted to put the third — Rainbow Dreams Academy — onto a remediation plan.
The Guinn Center’s new report included data showing the differences in demographics between state-sponsored charter schools, district-sponsored charter schools and district public schools overall. However, it did not address those differences and how they might factor into the overall performance of district-sponsored charter schools.