WASHINGTON, D.C. Today the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released the following statement in response to the Annenberg Institute's report, "Public Accountability for Charter Schools:"
Strong and meaningful oversight and accountability of public charter schools is critical to the health of the charter school movement. While the Annenberg Institute's recent report raises some challenges in this area facing the movement, their recommendations for dealing with them largely miss the mark in balancing oversight and accountability with the flexibility and autonomy that has allowed public charter schools to deliver remarkable results. Instead, the report provides largely unsupported suggestions for additional regulatory burdens on charter schools.
"The report also fails to recognize the enormous success of the thousands of public charter schools across the country that have provided disadvantaged students with a high-quality education. We must ensure that in our push for greater accountability, we do not create rules and regulations that prevent public charter schools from having the flexibility and freedom that has led to their success. Research has demonstrated that additional autonomy can lead to better outcomes.
Though there are some suggestions in the report that align closely with the National Alliance's Model Public Charter School Law recommendations, too many of the other recommendations go down the path of regulating charter schools to the point where we are re-centralizing control of our schools in school districts that are too often hostile to charters and turning charters into copy-cats of district schools. States that adopt these recommendations will halt charter school growth, shutting the door to the opportunities that many families and students wish they had in attending a high-quality public charter school.
While we must root out bad actors and hold schools accountable for unacceptable practices, we must not punish the public charter schools that are providing an excellent education. For years the National Alliance has pushed states to strengthen public charter school laws to ensure the highest levels of transparency and oversight and we will remain steadfast in these efforts going forward."
About Public Charter Schools
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, all but one independent research study has found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at www.publiccharters.org.