St. Louis Public Radio News
4:09 pm
Thu June 5, 2003

Charter School Survey Gives Missouri C+

St. Louis, MO – A national educational research firm says the organizations that oversee Missouri's 26 charter schools are doing an average job, but that the state's support for charter schools is weak.

The study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute gives charter school authorizers in Missouri a C+ for such things as how thorough their contracts are with charter schools and how accountable they are for student achievement. Universities oversee most of the state's charter schools. Lead study author Louann Bierlein Palmer says Missouri is doing better than other states that rely on local school boards as authorizers.

"There needs to be a little bit more accountability on behalf of the authorizers themselves," Bierlein said. "But for the most part, I wouldn't view it as necessarily bad for Missouri."

The state of Missouri received a D+ because of policy issues mainly relatingto underfunding.