Thursday, December 03, 2009

Coming Attractions in Education -- Replication!


Two of the (four schools slated to be closed in NYC), Frederick Douglass Academy III and KAPPA II, are in school networks that sprang up in order to replicate already existent successful schools. Schools in the KAPPA network — there are seven of them — are modeled after the KIPP charter schools. Frederick Douglass Academy III, which according to the proposal would lose its middle school grades and keep its high school, is designed to replicate the original Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem.

On one hand, you have to give them some measure of credit for at least following though on the rhetoric about being quicker to close unsuccessful charter schools. OTOH, I tend to think this will be harder on the generic "charter school" brand than they may appreciate. Nobody wants to take a chance on sending their kid to a school that will closed. If charters come to be seen as ephemeral, it will be a big problem for them. People are justifiably risk-averse with their children.

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