Amid all the debate about charters and vouchers, one glaring gap remains in the reform landscape: District turnaround schools that enjoy the same autonomy as Renaissance charters. The current options are highly autonomous charters and highly prescribed District Promise Academies.
There are great District principals who have turned around chronically low-performing schools. They should be encouraged to take on similar challenges today, provided that they can also prepare successors so their current schools continue to enjoy strong leadership.
Charter schools should not enjoy a monopoly on autonomy. A District principal with a great track record in school transformation deserves the same flexibility and the same level of resources as an equally talented charter principal.
The writer is a member of the Notebook's volunteer editorial board and a veteran project manager for several Philadelphia nonprofits.