Pioneer has always taken the view that the state should close failing schools (including charter schools). They should also take corrective action including perhaps closure when schools prove incapable of living up to fiduciary basics like handling money and reporting results honestly.
Some charter supporters have urged us to come out and support shutting Hughes down. Some are worried about the bad PR for charters. I am of a different view. If the facts demonstrate failure (academic or fiduciary), then, yes, by all means close it. But I know enough from all the work we do in Springfield and our other cities that you don’t jump to conclusions from Boston. The Hughes case is way beyond a “misunderstanding.” But will it require closure? Or is remediation (including punishments, firing and reconstitution of the board) possible?
It looks worse and worse for the school, but let’s wait a few more days for all the facts to come out. Jamie Vaznis and the Globe gives the department of ed’s line, and Jack Flynn of the Springfield Republican covers both sides of the story. More information needed.
Two points are worth making:
(1) There is no benefit to the kids in the school for this to happen. But having the story out there carries one benefit to those across the state who care about good schools. Charter schools are accountable, and this stuff comes out and there is action the state can take.
(2) Before the Guv shut the independent accountability office, dozens and dozens of district schools were cited each year for likely cheating to bump up MCAS scores. Did they merit a single news story? Did they get shut down? Were they subject to real corrective action?
😉 You know the answer to that one. That’s worth a story. Perhaps Jamie Vaznis or Jack Flynn will write it some day…