The criminal background check requirement, whatever you think about it, is the law. If you run a school, you are bound to follow it. Whining about how hard it is to go get fingerprinted (really?) is not only lame; it's dismissive of the obligations schools have as leading civic institutions to maintain the social order.Many parents fear the impact of the funding losses on the traditional schools, concerns heightened by the fact that charter schools don’t have to explain anything to the public about their curriculum, their spending decisions, or anything else. Charter-school trustees are typically appointed, not publicly elected. While charter schools must continue to meet certain state standards, there remains a remarkable absence of public scrutiny over the expenditure of significant amounts of taxpayer money. And residents have no say over the establishment of a charter school in their midst; its creation is not subject to a public vote, although some lawmakers are supporting legislation to change that.Given that climate, it is not unreasonable to suggest that some charter-school trustees may well feel less bound by state regulations on such requirements as background checks than their school-board colleagues, whether or not the law says they are. And that is a problem.
Further: we have no evidence that giving charters a different set of regulations is doing anything to help student achievement. And we won't know until ACTING Commissioner Cerf releases the report he promised 316 days ago.
There should be a moratorium on any new charter schools until the Cerf report is released and properly vetted.