Education

Report Card Ranks State Charter School Laws

By Alyssa Morones — March 18, 2014 1 min read

Although charter schools have been a part of the nation’s education landscape for more than 20 years, states still have a long way to go in paving the way for them to successfully educate students, finds a new report from a research and advocacy group that supports charter schools.

The Center for Education Reform released its 2014 Charter School Law Rankings and Scorecard earlier this week, grading charter school laws in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

The first charter school law was passed in 1991. Since that time, charter school popularity has grown, particularly in jurisdictions with charter school laws characterized as strong by the center. Today, the average charter school waiting list is almost 300 students long—and that number is likely to grow, according to the report. The U.S. Census predicts an influx of over 11 million school-age children over the next 20 years, many of whom will presumably be seeking spots in charters.

The organization rates charter school law on six characteristics that it says are needed for strong charter schools: independent, multiple authorizers; few limits on expansion; equitable funding, and high levels of school autonomy, according to a press release.

“These critical flexibilities and equitable resources must be codified in law, otherwise they fall prey to the whims of politicians,” said Kara Kerwin, the president of the Center for Education Reform, in the press release.

Of the 43 charter school laws studied, only five received As, though. The District of Columbia topped the list, followed by Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, and Arizona. In the organization’s explanation of the rankings details, Iit says even the highest achieving states “still have a long way to go, being 10 or more points away from a perfect score.”

There were nine Bs and 18 Cs. The remaining 11 states earned Ds and Fs.

Mississippi saw the largest jump in its score from last year’s rankings to this year’s, largely due to new legislation that increases charter schools’ autonomy.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Project Manager
United States
K12 Inc.
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
Speech Therapist - Long Term Sub
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read