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I have been a parent and board member in one of the best charter high schools in the country, Greenville Technical Charter High School in Greenville, SC. The charter model offers some hope for reforming underperforming schools in that tremendous energy invested by faculty and staff members, parents, and community volunteers in that particular school can bring about real change. It isn't easy and it isn't free of the politics that have crippled school districts across the country. Conversion schools will have a harder time overcoming the politics and the "we always did it this way" thinking.
I'm also a retired public school teacher from our local district. I always encourage new start-up groups to use at-will employement; no school can afford the cost of poor teachers or teachers. And, in a state like South Carolina, where charters operate with about half the funds of district schools, charter schools can't even consider keeping teachers who refuse to commit to the innovation and change that the charter pursues.