ETHICS OF CHARTER SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS

The ethical behavior of a small number of charter school directors has been an issue that the Board of School Administrators (BOSA) has brought forward to the Association. Over the last few years BOSA has received a number of ethics complaints about licensed and un-licensed charter school administrators.

Given that BOSA is a licensing board, it only has jurisdiction over the ethics of licensed school administrators. BOSA has raised the question of who oversees the ethics of charter school administrators who are not licensed. In response to this, BOSA has been contemplating introducing legislation to address the ethics of unlicensed charter school administrators, as well as requirements about the education and training of charter school administrators. BOSA sees the fact that some charter school administrators lack educational administrative education/training as one of the reasons why there are ethical complaints about charter school administrators.

In the last legislative session, MACS introduced legislation to address the education/training of charter school administrators – which has been an issue on the MACS agenda for several years. 

In November one of the items on the MACS Board agenda will be the issue of the ethics and what the Association should undertake to raise the issue of ethics, especially in light of the fact that there is no body that has the authority to address ethical complaints of non-licensed personnel.

There continue to be conversations between the BOSA Executive Director and myself about ways of addressing the ethics issue, as well as the education/training issues. This summer the conversation also has included the Executive Director of the authorizer association (MACSA).  Our conversations have led to a better understanding of the issues and concerns and have brought us closer to common ground on legislation regarding ethics and education/training issues.

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REIMAGINING PUBLIC EDUCATION

Some thirty years ago in an era when public education was seen as being somewhat stuck and static the concept of chartered public schools was proposed as a way to reimagine schooling. Chartered public schools would be outcomes based and focused on innovation in programming, teaching methodologies, assessment techniques, evaluation processes, and redefining the professional development, the role and power of educators in managing the school.

Today, we are in another era where there is growing recognition that public education must address the historical barriers to an equitable and quality education for many students, while also dealing with the inequities brought upon by a pandemic. If the pandemic has demonstrated anything is that public schools and educators have the capacity to meet new challenges. The challenge ahead is a daunting one. Public education is being called upon to reimagine how it must be different to be more equitable in a post-pandemic world.

What that reimagined public education ecosystem might look like is yet to be defined. What we do know is that it will require a renewed commitment to creating and sustaining a culture of innovation and a commitment to re-empower educators to take the lead in education.

For charter schools the upcoming 30th anniversary of Minnesota’s first in the nation chartered public school law provides an opportunity to reflect on how the movement has or has not reimagined schooling. It provides a time to renew the commitment to innovation and empowering educators to lead and act to ensure that each-and-every individual student has an equitable opportunity to a quality education to achieve their potential.