However, a recent article in the Hawaii Business Magazine, which features three charter schools, explains the challenges, shortfalls and successes of charter schools on our islands.
Rep. Roy Takumi, chairman of the House Education Committee, also shared his vision for the future of charter schools:
"System change is not ‘Cup o’ Noodles,’ where you put in hot water and boom! But we’re getting there and we’re going to get there. Charters have to be nurtured and encouraged. Once they get to be mature and you don’t see results, then revoke...The article mentions SB2589, which would allow charter schools to use vacant DOE facilities. The measure passed final reading on 4/28/2010. The cost of rent is one of the challenges of start-up charter schools.
“The whole point of charters was they were meant to be experiments, to have flexibility and autonomy and freedom from red tape. The feeling was that was hampering achievement of the school...
“We need to promulgate rules not just to revoke but to issue and review. One of my goals was to put some accountability into it. We want the good schools to succeed and to stop those schools that aren’t succeeding, to give someone else a chance. On average nationally, about 10 percent of charters are revoked annually. Then new charters spring up. It makes sense. These are experiments and some succeed and some don’t...
“The Board of Education is close to finalizing rules for revoking charters and in the next few months everyone will know what the rights are and what they’ll be held accountable to. If this is finally getting done, then by all means we should lift the cap. The Legislature would be very interested in lifting the cap. And we should have multiple authorizers."
Read the full article here.