Tens of thousands of Missouri parents entrust their children to charter public schools. They expect and deserve an education of the highest quality. They expect that their children will learn to read and write and think for themselves. They want schools in which their children learn the cornerstones of good citizenship and the skills and knowledge they’ll need to succeed in life. In short, parents expect charter schools to prepare their children to pursue their dreams.
The State of Missouri also has placed its trust in charter schools to spend tax dollars wisely and honestly, to achieve educational standards that exceed their peers, and to help develop a workforce that will be an economic engine for Missouri now and in the future.
Every child in Missouri deserves a high-quality education regardless of race, ethnicity, address or income. This is the promise of public education and a foundational principal of the American dream. Unfortunately, a significant gap exists in Missouri between the number of high-quality school seats and the number of Missouri children who seek a high-quality public education. The gap is especially evident for low-income students. It constitutes a real barrier as they strive to achieve the American dream.
Missouri needs more high-quality public schools — traditional and charter. It needs exceptional principals leading passionate teachers who have the belief that every child can learn and the ability, persistence and creativity to prove it. We need administrators and school boards that put principals, teachers, parents and students in a position to succeed by creating high-performing, autonomous, innovative, and publicly accountable schools. We need opportunities for parents to be involved and assurances for taxpayers that public schools are working. Finally, we need better processes to close or turn-around failing schools.
Missouri’s charter public schools gladly accept this remarkable responsibility because we believe in our children and we want the very best for them. Missouri’s charter public schools also understand that because this work is so important, we must hold ourselves accountable for its success.
Toward this end, the non-profit Missouri Charter Public Schools Association (MCPSA) — the primary resource and voice of the state’s charter school sector — has adopted a “Commitment to Quality” which articulates MCPSA’s determination to dedicate itself and its resources to the expansion of high quality public schools in Missouri and the fulfillment of the foundational promise that every child deserves an excellent education. MCPSA commits to the following:
- We will use the strongest educational and financial standards as part of a proven evaluation system.
- We will work for the renewal, expansion, and replication of quality charter public schools.
- We will provide persistently low-performing charter schools with targeted technical assistance to produce significant improvement.
- We will provide families with the information needed to make the best educational choices for their children and to help them when they transfer into a charter public school.
- We will provide technical expertise and public support to create the next generation of high-performing, autonomous, innovative, publicly accountable charter schools.
- We will make everyone aware of the success, innovations, and best practices in Missouri charter public schools so those best practices can be replicated.
- We will advocate on behalf of parents and children for changes in state regulations and laws so Missouri makes progress faster towards providing a quality public education for all of its students.
- We will do what is best for Missouri children without regard to politics or other adult issues that risk diverting our State’s attention away from our collective central mission.
We make this public commitment because an excellent education is a prerequisite for every child in Missouri to succeed in a competitive global economy and to achieve his or her dreams. All of us working in public education must hold ourselves accountable for providing our children with this foundation.
Missouri Charter Public School Association