After much debate, the revamped Charter School Leadership Council has settled on the following “common set of principles":
- Education is a cornerstone of equal opportunity. America has a moral imperative to give all children equal access to high-quality education.
- Equity requires that all parents, regardless of residence, race, wealth, or heritage, be able to choose among diverse, high-quality, publicly financed educational options for their children. To assure a supply of such schools, no entity should have an exclusive franchise on providing public education in any community.
- Charter schooling joins parental choice with society’s interest in quality public education. By combining public accountability with parental choice and educational diversity, charter schooling will stimulate widespread educational improvement.
- At the heart of a successful charter school are freedom, resources, and quality: freedom for the school to operate independently and for families to select it; human and financial resources that enable it to succeed; and the expectation that all its students will gain the skills and knowledge they need and that society expects.
- Charter laws, schools, authorizers, and organizations must be high-quality and effective. Charter leaders must be as relentless in demanding quality from themselves and their supporters as they are in combating opponents and pressing for conditions in which success is possible.
- The needs of our children, families, and communities demand that the charter movement be unified and strong.
SOURCE: The Charter School Leadership Council
A version of this article appeared in the July 28, 2004 edition of Education Week as Guiding Principles