Measuring Up


Not scored

What is the state of charter schools in Mississippi?

Under its previous public charter school law, the state allowed only up to 12 chronically low-performing schools to convert to charter status; provided weak autonomy, accountability, and funding; and required applicants to apply to the state board of education. No public charter schools opened under this law.

Under its new public charter school law, the state allows up to 15 startups and conversions per year; provides strong autonomy, accountability, and operational and categorical funding; and created a new state authorizer to be the state’s sole authorizing entity. The state’s first public charter schools are expected to open in fall 2015.

Potential areas of improvement in Mississippi’s law include addressing open enrollment, clarifying teacher certification requirements, providing charter teachers with access to the state retirement system, providing applicants in all districts with direct access to the state authorizer, and providing equitable access to capital funding and facilities.

A state’s public charter school movement had to meet two conditions to be scored and ranked in this year’s report. First, the movement had to serve at least 1 percent of the state’s public school students. Second, the state had to participate in the Center for Research on Education Outcomes’ (CREDO) 2013 National Charter School Study so that we had a measure of student academic growth data for its public charter schools in comparison to its traditional public schools. Mississippi’s charter school movement did not meet either condition. Therefore, we did not score and rank Mississippi’s public charter school movement in this year’s report.