The Philadelphia School Reform Commission just approved five new charters. It received 39 applications.
All new charters were granted to existing operators.*
I don’t know enough about Philadelphia to weigh in on the optimal political strategy for increasing high-quality charters. Perhaps this was all that was politically feasible at the moment.
More worrisome is the implicit strategy of these approvals: only expand what already exists.
In other words: don’t allow Twitter to form; keep Facebook from going live; squash Tumblr before it begins; reject LinkedIn; no need for Instagram.
Why take risks on new organizations when you have MySpace?
*Note: nothing in this post is meant to diminish the great work of existing operators such as Mastery. Their accomplishments are irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make.