Charter Laws and Flawed Research
Expediency for Expediency’s Sake
Centralized, top-down control didn’t work for traditional public schools, and it won’t work for charter schools, without turning them into highly regulated, input-focused entities that wind up exactly like public schools before the advent of education reform.
Since the charter movement’s inception, the Washington-based Center for Education Reform , which I head, has compiled data and research year after year that reinforce several key points, the major one being that great charter laws demand accountability from authorizers, applicants for charters, and the schools that are created. Great laws also permit extensive freedom from state agencies and other centralized entities that seek, by way of rule-making and “guidance,” to control outcomes.
Charter laws such as New York state’s, for example, in which the authorizer-review process is rigorous, the areas of oversight clearly but crisply spelled out, and wide latitude exists to create and re-create school programs, have resulted in exceptional results statewide while providing intervention for...
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