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Choice of Schools--Charter SchoolsSelected Research & Readings (Additional Resources)
 
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Closing Low-Performing Schools and Reopening Them as Charter Schools: The Role of the State MS Word PDF - This paper suggests that states consider incorporating into their broader restructuring efforts an option that allows policymakers and administrators – selectively and wisely – to close down chronically low-performing schools and reopen them as charter schools. It explores the challenges and potential benefits of this option, as well as the roles that states can play in its implementation. (Todd Ziebarth, Education Commission of the States, September 2004)...

Guest Column: Assessing the Performance of Charter Schools MS Word - The authors look at how research is proceeding in directions that will ultimately provide much stronger evidence about the effects of charter Schools. (Ron Zimmer and Brian Gill of RAND, Education Commission of the States, November 2004)...

Stimulating the Supply of New Choices for Families in Light of NCLB: The Role of the State MS Word PDF - Under No Child Left Behind, districts cannot use capacity problems as an excuse for not providing seats for students who wish to transfer. For these districts, and the states that oversee their progress, it is vitally important to look at stimulating the supply of new choices so that interested families can exercise their rights to transfer. This policy brief sketches out the roles that states can play in the process. (Bryan C. Hassel and Lucy Steiner, ECS, September 2004)...

Charter Schools and the Teaching Quality Provisions of No Child Left Behind MS Word - Will No Child Left Behind (NCLB) crimp the flexibility at the heart of the charter school model? This paper defines the NCLB requirement for "highly qualified" teachers and what the charter school community must do to meet this challenge. The paper also lists questions that have generated plenty of quandaries for those trying to interpret the law as it pertains to this requirement. (Nelson Smith, Education Commission of the States, August 2003)...

Two Years and Counting: Charter Schools Under No Child Left Behind MS Word - In the two years since its enactment, NCLB has brought both satisfaction and apprehension to charter schools. On the one hand, NCLB largely adopts the high-stakes charter model as an accountability framework for all public schools. At the same time, NCLB has complicated the accountability relationship between charter schools and their authorizers. This paper looks at how NCLB has begun affecting the American charter school community, and points toward both the promising and worrisome signs on the horizon. (Nelson Smith, Education Commission of the States, December 2003)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Charter Schools MS Word PDF - Charter schools continue to provoke questions and debate as policymakers' questions intensify about the impacts of such schools. This issue briefly reviews research findings from recent reports, but key questions remain unanswered. (Todd Ziebarth, The Progress of Education Reform 1999-2001, vol. 3, no. 2, Education Commission of the States, November-December 2001)...

The State of Charter School Authorizing 2011 (Fourth Annual Report) - NACSA seeks to document and analyze the progression of charter school authorizing practices through its annual authorizer survey. This annual report provides an overview of the policies, practices, and characteristics of the nation’s largest charter school authorizers, as well as a sampling of smaller authorizing entities. It also builds upon the data presented in previous reports on NACSA’s authorizer survey. (National Association of Charter School Authorizers, 2012) ...

A Growing Movement: America's Largest Charter School Communities - This report demonstrates that in areas where families have a choice, a growing number of them are choosing public charter schools over the traditional public schools available to them. Consequently, the public education landscape is shifting in many major cities. Today, a record number of school districts—six—have at least 30 percent of their public school students enrolled in public charter schools. Additionally, 18 school districts have 20 percent or more of their public school students enrolled in charter schools, eleven more than when the report was first printed six years ago. (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, October 2011)...

A Growing Movement: America's Largest Charter School Communities - Public charter schools have been part of America's public education system for 18 years and the number of these unique public schools is growing more each year. But what does this growth mean? Annually, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools tries to answer that question by examining the growing student enrollment in public charter schools. This report describes the communities having the highest percentage of public school students enrolled in charter schools. The public education landscape is gradually shifting in many major cities. (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, November 2010)...

Principles and Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing - The principles and standards set forth in this report are aimed at ensuring quality in the public charter school sector. The areas the principles and standards address include agency capacity, the application process, performance contracting, ongoing oversight and evaluation, and renewal decisionmaking. (National Association of Charter School Authorizers, 2009)...

Charter School Autonomy: A Half-Broken Promise - Charter founders have opened schools across the country on the basis of freedom from restrictions typically placed on public schools in exchange for strong results-based accountability. Yet there appears to have been no appraisal of the autonomy. This study begins to fill in that gap via a national review of charter school autonomy extended by charter laws in 26 states that are home to more than 90% of America's charter schools and oversee nearly half of the country's current crop of charter schools. The study grades actual autonomy at no better than a C+ and indicates the most common restrictions and the most common freedoms. (Dana Brinson and Jacob Rosch, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, April 2010)...

Growing Pains: Scaling Up the Nation's Best Charter Schools - The last decade has seen a tremendous boom in charter schools. Charter management organizations (CMOs) have played an increasingly important role in sate and national efforts to bring reform to the toughest educational environments. But they have expanded more slowly and required more resources than supporters had hoped. Education Sector proposes a series of recommendations. (Education Sector, November 2009)...

The State of Charter School Authorizing: 2009--A Report on NACSA's Authorizer Survey - As the charter school sector continues to grow and evolve, the role of authorizers also evalues. The collection and analysis of data on authorizer characteristics and practices will empower the entire charter sector to develop and improve. (National Association of Charter School Authorizers, August 2009)...

A Framework for Operational Quality - The Consensus Panel recommends three essential indicators of charter school operational quality: (1) financial performance and sustainability; (2) board performance and stewardship; and (3) parent and community engagement. This report is the framework built around these essential indicators and associated measures and metrics. (Consensus Panel on Charter School Operational Quality, Charter School Quality Consortium, May 2009)...

Charter Schools in SREB States: A Call for Accountability - Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) urges five steps to ensure charter school quality: (1) Foster research about charter students’ performance – whether it’s improving year to year and if it can be measured beyond math/reading scores; (2) fully support and adequately fund K-12 statewide data systems of all students; (3) ensure authorizing agencies impose policies and practices that correspond to high-quality charters; (4) ensure authorizing agencies perform consistent oversight, but (5) provide charters with sufficient freedom to try new educational ideas. (Jeffrey Grove, SREB, October 2008)...

Hopes, Fears and Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2006 - This report examines the consequences of charter school expansion from the perspective of several leading players in the national debate. Three chapters are devoted to the ongoing discussions about measuring the performance and accountability of charter schools. (Robin J. Lake and Paul T. Hill, editors, National Charter School Research Project, University of Washington, December 2006)...

Trends in the Use of School Choice: 1993 to 2003 - This report examines trends that focus on the use of and users of public schools (assigned and chosen), private schools and homeschoolers between 1993 and 2003. The report also presents data on parental perceptions of public school choice availability and associations between the public and private school types children were enrolled in and parental satisfaction with and involvement in the schools. (Peter Tice, Christopher Chapman, Daniel Princiotta, and Stacey Bielick, National Center for Education Statistics, November 2006) ...

The Future of Charter Schools and Teachers Unions--Results of a Symposium - Charter schools and teachers unions have battled in state legislatures, the courts and the media. This report summarizes the opinions expressed at a meeting of local state, and national leaders from both the charter school and teachers union communities convened to begin to answer questions such as: (1) Will on-the-ground experiences change charter schools or unions? and (2) Will existing conflicts only spread, or will direct experience lead to some moderation within each party? (Paul T. Hill, Lydia Rainey and Andrew J. Rotherham, Center for Reinventing Public Education, October 2006) ...

High-Quality Charter Schools at Scale in Big Cities: Results of a Symposium - The charter school movement is more than 15 years old, yet charter schools serve just 3% of all American students. This report examines the barriers charter schools face and provides recommendations for creating a more hospitable environment. For example, the report argues for building a coordinated infrastructure to support quality charter schools. (James Harvey and Lydia Rainey, National Charter School Research Project, June 2006) ...

Charter Schools Against the Odds: An Assessment of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education - This report argues that state laws and policies have stacked the deck against them by limiting the number of charter schools allowed in a state, forbidding for-profit firms from holding charters, forcing them to pay rent out of operating funds, and many other ways. The report explains how these policies can be amended to level the playing field and give charter schools a fairer chance to succeed. (Paul Hill, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs and the Center on Reinventing Public Education, 2006)...

Charter Schools and Race: A Lost Opportunity for Integrated Education - This report examines charter schools’ impact on desegregation, finding that African American students enroll in disproportionately high numbers and attend minority-dominated schools at much higher rates than in noncharter public schools. The authors argue charter schools have the potential to create integrated schools, and efforts should be made to improve the racial balance. Recommendations include supplying full information to all families, providing free transportation for students and eliminating admissions screening. The authors list charter school desegregation legislation for a number of states, along with charter school enrollment figures starting on page 22. Page 33 contains a chart illustrating white isolation and exposure to African American students in select states. (Erica Frankenberg and Chungmei Lee, The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, July 2003)...

Charter School Funding Issues - This article raises four current issues in the funding of regular public schools and shows how these issues carry over to the funding of charter schools. It also explores four additional issues that have arisen in the funding of charter schools that go to the core identity of charter schools and the nature of the students they enroll. (Stephen Sugarman, Education Policy Analysis Archives, August 2002)...

Challenge and Opportunity: The Impact of Charter Schools on School Districts - This 2001 report, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, found that every school district in the study, which examined 49 school districts in five states, reported impacts from charter schools and made changes in school district operations, in the school district educational system or in both areas. In addition, the authors identified factors related to state law and local conditions that influenced how charter schools affected school districts and how school districts responded to charter schools. (RPP International, U.S. Department of Education, 2001) ...

An Evaluation of the Michigan Charter School Initiative: Performance, Accountability and Impact - In this study of Michigan's charter schools, the authors conclude that, after nearly five years of operation, (1) the state's charter schools are producing few and limited innovations; (2) few schools are implementing comprehensive accountability plans; and (3) the extensive involvement of education management organizations is creating new "pseudo" school districts in which decision are made from great distances rather than at the school level. (Jerry Horn and Gary Miron, Western Michigan University, 2000)...

The State of Charter Schools 2000 - This report, the fourth in a series, provides descriptive information on charter schools that were operating in the 1998-99 school year. One of the major findings of the report is that students in charter schools across the nation have similar demographic characteristics to students in all public schools. Charter schools in some states, however, serve significantly higher percentages of minority or economically disadvantaged students. (RPP International, U.S. Department of Education, January 2000)...

Venturesome Capital: State Charter School Finance Systems - This report, the first of the National Charter School Finance Study, examines the laws, regulations and state practices governing charter school finance during the 1998-99 school year in 23 states and two cities. In addition to describing finance laws and practices, this report includes an estimation of the actual dollar amounts that states allocate to charter schools based on the types of students enrolled, and numerous other factors central to charter school funding. (F. Howard Nelson, Edward Muir and Rachel Drown, U.S. Department of Education, 2000)...

The Charter School Roadmap - This publication, which was co-produced by ECS and the National Conference of State Legislatures, guides policymakers through the major policy areas they need to examine in their initial consideration of charter schools or in their reevaluation of existing charter school legislation. Each section briefly outlines an important policy issue and includes a few examples of how states are addressing it. (U.S. Department of Education, September 1998)...


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