Independent (!) Charter School RFP: Madison OR Milwaukee (!)

University of Wisconsin System Office of Educational Opportunity, via a kind email:

As home to the nation’s first public kindergarten, Wisconsin has a proud history of visionary educators incubating innovative educational opportunities for students, families, and their communities.

The Office of Educational Opportunity is proud to be a partner in the Badger State’s living legacy of educational innovations. Our role is to connect students, families, professional educators, and community leaders with an opportunity to create a school that meets their needs and interests.

If you have an idea for a school, then we invite you to review and respond to our Request for Proposal (RFP). Details about how we will score applications are provided in the linked rubrics, but for us to “green light” any proposal, it must provide access to new educational innovations, incubate existing educational practices in new ways, and/or increase educational equity.

Selection Process

The Office of Educational Opportunity will begin seeking proposals for public charter schools in Madison and Milwaukee on August 2, 2017.

Phase 1 submissions will be scored on a rolling basis using the reviewer guide shared below.

Applicants with approved Phase 1 applications will be invited to submit a Phase II application (Phase II applications that are submitted without an approved Phase 1 will be returned to the applicant without being reviewed).

The School Selection Committee will score Phase 2 submissions using the reviewer guide provided below. The Committee will make authorization recommendations to OEO’s Director.

Applicants who receive a recommendation for authorization from the School Selection Committee may commence contract negotiations with OEO’s Director – subject to the Director accepting the Committee’s recommendation for authorization.

If mutually agreeable contract terms are reached, then the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents must approve of the contract for any school to be officially authorized by OEO.

Some history on (aborted) independent charter schools in Madison, including:

the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter School and

the Studio School.

2009: “An emphasis on adult employment“.

Unfortunately, Madison continues to support a non diverse K-12 Governance model, this despite spending far more per student than most districts and tolerating long term, disastrous reading results.

Much more on Gary Bennett’s office of Educational Opportunity.

The RFP respondents need not conform to Madison or Milwaukee’s legacy organization structure – that is, they would be a “non instrumentality” school.

This is positive. I hope and pray that we see interesting proposals and schools.