A little over a week ago, this story about a charter school in Oakland, CA that changed grades and transcripts made the rounds of the edu blogs. Well, Darren at Right on the Left Coast notes that the school's governning board voted to close the school.This move was done by the school's management, not by the local school board or chartering authority, although it is highly likely that the school's charter would have been pulled.
When people talk about accountability in education, this is one aspect of that accountability. The school alledgedly undertook some shady practices and rather than face the long term consequences of damaging their students futures because of the inevitable questions about the accuracy of its documents, it decided to face the short term consequences of angering parents and students by closing.
In the end, the shady practices may be been the work on one or two people. But that doesn't matter, the cloud of public scandal would have followed these students even if their grades were on the level.
One thing that is important to note--had this occured at a traditional public school, the school would continue operating--possibly as before, with only one or two people getting sacked. Charters can be closed if they are failures--traditional public schools can't. Think about that when you consider whether charters are a good thing or not.