Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Charter School Laws

Todd Ziebarth

Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws analyzes the country’s 41 state charter laws and scores how well each supports charter school quality and growth based on the 20 essential components from the NAPCS’s model charter school law. This report captures state legislation affecting the charter school movement in the last year, including moves states made to be more competitive under the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top program.   Overall, the charter movement gained more than it lost across the country in 2010, but the road ahead remains long. The biggest task is to create more supportive policy environment —particularly in providing funding equity, increasing facilities support and strengthening authorizing environments. The movement will need to fight new and more intense battles in state capitals across the country in 2011 and beyond. We hope this report, and the model law it is based upon, are useful tools to charter school supporters in this critical work. In October 2010, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers gave the Alliance its 2010 Award for Excellence in Advancing Knowledge. At the time of its release, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan praised the Alliance’s work —a statement that was highlighted in the Washington Post’s exclusive coverage of the report’s inaugural release. Throughout the year, charter school supporters used the report’s results to advocate successfully for policy changes in several states. Read the NAPCS’ June 2009 release, A New Model Law for Supporting the Growth of High-Quality Public Charter Schools. Download a PDF version of the report’s press release here.