While charter opponents complain about charter expansion and quality issues, some of which are warranted, folks inside the charter community note that it's much harder to get approval for a charter school than it used to be -- especially if you're not part of a charter network, or wired with connections to the Board or to City Hall. After an unsuccessful bid to open up in Rogers Park -- due in part to UNO rather than Rogers Park opposition -- the folks behind the Orange School charter proposal are trying again this year and crossing their fingers for better luck.
What's TOS all about? "The Orange School is a new public charter elementary school for children in grades K-8 coming to your area, offering a unique learning approach with 3 distinguishing features: Arts-based Curriculum, Interdisciplinary Education, and Social Responsibility."
I haven't seen the application and don't know if TOS has it all together, but I'm struck by the lack of quality options for parents in Rogers Park and the absence in Chicago of any of the socioeconomically diverse charter schools that are beginning to provide options for parents in other big city districts where the magnet and selective enrollment options are few.
Disclosure: I know co-founder Ari Frede through the Old Town Music School and a handful of mutual friends.