For Charter School Company, Issues of Spending and Control

 

New York Times, April 23, 2010

For Charter School Company, Issues of Spending and Control

By Stephanie Strom

She said that she and her husband, who is paid $200,000 as the company's chief executive, sank $155 million into Imagine and that they were able to run schools efficiently. ''We offer a great deal for communities and for taxpayers,'' Mrs. Bakke said, ''because we're providing education at less than what a traditional school is spending.''

She says the company should be judged by its educational results, not its business and financial arrangements.

As measured by testing mandated under the No Child Left Behind law, the academic achievements of schools managed by Imagine are mixed, like those of most charter schools. But Imagine says that many students in the schools it manages enter with academic abilities below their grade level and that a better measurement of its success is the rate at which they are catching up.

 

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