After years of paying taxes in a school district that failed them, the Normandy community deserves quality schools that will address the needs of each individual student. Charter schools will do just that.
Statistics show that charter schools help urban students. One recent study found that charter high school enrollment increased the probability of graduating within five years by 7 to 11 percentage points. Another working paper looked at students six years after being admitted into a charter school. Lottery winners (those who were admitted into the school) scored higher on national math and reading achievement tests than non-lottery winners. The study also found that female lottery winners were 12.1 percent less likely to report unplanned pregnancies.
While there is evidence supporting the implementation of charter schools, the Missouri State School Board voted Monday to give Normandy Schools Collaborative a non-accredited status. Now, it is unclear whether charter schools will be allowed to open due to uncertainties regarding the state’s charter law.
According to the Missouri Charter Public School Association (MCPSA), the following questions must be answered:
1. With a non-accreditation status, could the new Normandy Schools Collaborative Board sponsor, or partner with a current sponsor, establishing a quality charter public school in Normandy?
2. Could an existing accredited school district choose to sponsor, or partner with a current sponsor, establishing a charter public school in Normandy?
Although the answers to these questions are unclear, it is clear that charter schools provide another option to a community that is desperate for choice. I hope for the sake of Normandy parents whose only "choice" is Normandy Schools Collaborative, these questions are answered sooner than later.