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When a Wildlife Rehab Center Regulates Charter Schools: Inside the Wild World of Charter Regulation

[El proyecto de Charter Schools es uno sumamente vago e incoherente en cuestiones fiscales, y por ende en el funcionamiento mismo, ya que ni siquiera privatiza correctamente las instituciones. Es un cheque en blanco donde se privatizan las ganancias de los contratos pero socializan al estado las pérdidas de los préstamos/inversiones por unas facilidades decadentes y currículos incoherentes hechos casi al momento; son escuelas sin logística cuyo único fin es planchar contratos en un mundo como el teatro de lo absurdo. Para Puerto Rico, este tipo de proyecto significó la desintegración y la poca integridad que le restaba al sistema de Educación Pública Puertorriquencis]

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Escuela Washington Irving (Adjuntas, P.R.)

Charter school “authorizers” are charged with making sure schools can be trusted with kids and with public money. Problem is, many lack the tools to do the job. Nestled in the woods of central Minnesota, near a large lake, is a nature sanctuary called the Audubon Center of the North Woods. The nonprofit rehabilitates birds. It hosts retreats and conferences. It’s home to a North American porcupine named Spike as well as several birds of prey, frogs, and snakes used to educate the center’s visitors.

It’s also Minnesota’s largest regulator of charter schools, overseeing 32 of them.

Charter schools are taxpayer-funded, privately run schools freed from many of the rules that apply to traditional public schools. 

What’s less widely understood is that there are few hard-and-fast rules for how the regulators charged with overseeing charter schools are supposed to do the job. Many are making it up as they go along.

Known as “authorizers,” charter regulators have the power to decide which charter schools should be allowed to open and which are performing so badly they ought to close. They’re supposed to vet charter schools, making sure the schools are giving kids a good education and spending public money responsibly.

But many of these gatekeepers are woefully inexperienced, under-resourced, confused about their mission or even compromised by conflicts of interest. And while some charter schools are overseen by state education agencies or school districts, others are regulated by entities for which overseeing charters is a side job, such as private colleges and nonprofits like the Audubon wildlife rehabilitation center.

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