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Report Release: What States Can Teach Each Other About Charter Schooling
But the success—or failure—of charter schooling is not simply a matter of chance. As a new Education Sector report shows, variances in state laws and a state's political, regulatory, and educational climate significantly influence the long-term success of a state's charter school sector.
In "A Sum Greater Than the Parts: What States Can Teach Each Other About Charter Schooling," Education Sector Co-director Andrew J. Rotherham and former Senior Policy Analyst Sara Mead examine 12 states' experiences with charter schooling. They use these case studies to identify the legislative and regulatory changes needed to ensure the quality and growth of a state's charter sector, including:
- Establishing high-quality "professional" authorizers that are committed to charter school quality and have authorizing as their core mission;
- Relying on effective authorizing rather than regulation to ensure charter school quality;
- Using public oversight and accountability for both charter schools and authorizers;
- Ensuring ample, high-quality student-performance data for both charter and traditional public schools;
- Refraining from placing absolute caps on the number of charter schools that can open within the state. Any limits on the number of charter schools that can open should be quality-sensitive;
- Providing equitable funding for charter schools, including start-up and facilities funding; and
- Creating incentives to help proven charter school models scale rapidly in underserved communities.
This Education Sector report draws on a series of 12 studies that analyze charter schooling in eight states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Texas—and four cities—Indianapolis, New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. These reports were published by the Progressive Policy Institute and Education Sector over the last five years.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation provided funding for this report. The findings and conclusions are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the foundation.
Education Sector is an independent education policy think tank devoted to developing innovative solutions to the nation’s most pressing educational problems. We are nonprofit and nonpartisan, both a dependable source of sound thinking on policy and an honest broker of evidence in key education debates throughout the