Assessing the Increasing Strength of Charter Laws Between 2010 and 2013
Todd Ziebarth and Louann Bierlein Palmer
Since it was founded in 2005, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has advocated for high-quality public charter school laws.
With the support of a working group of individuals with deep expertise in public charter school law, NAPCS released a model charter law in 2009, whose 20 essential components are focused on creating and supporting high quality public charter schools by guaranteeing charter school rights and freedoms and requiring best charter school authorizing practices.
We then undertook an extensive review of all existing state charter laws in comparison to the model law and issued annual state charter laws rankings reports in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Each year, we sought input on the rankings reports from a variety of charter stakeholders and made adjustments to the reports’ scoring rubrics as needed. In the rankings reports, we reported where scores changed as a result of policy change, but we also noted where changes occurred as a result of adjustments in our scoring rubrics. This special report is designed to sync up the ratings from the multiple reports so that rating changes over time are solely the result of changes in policy, not from changes to our scoring rubrics.
To accurately compare state laws over time, our first step was to re-score all of our state analyses within the 2010, 2011, and 2012 rankings reports based on the revised rubrics used for the 2013 rankings report. With these new analyses in hand, we can better gauge annual changes that have been made to state charter laws. In this special report, we examine three questions:
How many states received a higher score in our annual rankings report between 2010 and 2013?
How many states earned a higher percentage of the total available points in our annual rankings report between 2010 and 2013?
How many states made policy improvements for each one of the model law’s 20 components between 2010 and 2013?