“Chartering” Maryland’s Future

January 2015 / Abell Reports / Education
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Is there an expanded role for national Charter Management Organizations in our schools?

Over the past decade, a handful of high performing public charter schools have developed in Baltimore, but the need for high quality educational offerings, particularly for low-income students, remains high.

“Chartering” Maryland’s Future: Is There an Expanded Role for National Charter Management Organizations in Our Schools?” considers one strategy for increasing the number of high quality options: inviting high-performing Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) to open or takeover additional public charter schools.

This Abell report draws on national research, interviews with leaders of high performing CMOs, and a review of the local education landscape. It finds that there are national CMOs achieving success educating children with profiles similar to those students in Baltimore City Public Schools. Even so, based on the expansion criteria these CMO leaders identified and the intense national competition for a handful of select operators, the report concludes that attracting them to Baltimore could prove challenging.

The report calls for a deeper inquiry into whether these CMOs should be part of Maryland’s educational landscape.