State Charter Systems Given Rankings
“Health of the Charter Sector”
The District of Columbia and Louisiana have the "healthiest" charter school systems, while Oregon and Nevada have the weakest sectors, according to a report released last week by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
The inaugural edition of the report ranks 26 states based on the levels of growth, quality, and innovation in their charter sectors. The NAPCS already ranks states annually based on its view of the strength of their charter laws, but this is the first time the Washington-based advocacy organization has judged states on their implementation of the laws.
To be ranked, a state had to meet two criteria: At least 1 percent of its public school population had to be enrolled in charter schools, and the state must have participated in the 2013 Center for Research on Education Outcomes' National Charter School Study. That study enabled the state-to-state comparisons.
Factors that helped distinguish the District of Columbia were:
• The city's charter schools served a higher percentage of racial- and ethnic-minority students than Washington's regular schools.
• Charter students showed greater academic growth than peers in schools run by the school system.
• A significant proportion of charters reported using one of several innovative practices tracked by the organization, such as extended days or a year-round calendar.
• The rate of charter closures was high enough to prove that the city shuts down poorly performing schools, but low enough to show it has adequate authorizing standards.
Vol. 34, Issue 07, Page 5