ERIC Number: ED412595
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Charter School Innovations: Keys to Effective Charter Reform. Policy Study 228.
Charter schools represent the fastest growing reform movement in public education today. This report focuses on what has been learned so far about the range of charter schools, and how to create effective charter school policies focusing on five states with statutes that have proven effective in spurring the creation of charter schools: Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota. It has become increasingly clear that the effectiveness of charter reforms is dependent on crucial, often highly technical, features of the charter statutes. A review of the experience of charter schools over the last 5 years identifies seven key features of effective charter statutes. These are: (1) allowing charter schools to be fully independent without prescriptions for their internal management; (2) providing charter schools with a blanket waiver of statutes and regulations other than those for performance-based goals or certain health or safety, civil rights, or education and administrative certification requirements; (3) creating new independent charter-approving entities; (4) protecting the integrity of the charter-approving process from political influence; (5) establishing direct state funding of charter schools at levels equivalent to average expenditures; (6) ensuring access to capital for up-front costs; and (7) avoiding limiting provisions that do not treat charter schools as fundamental reform. Across the five focal states, an array of charter schools, using at least six distinct models, is beginning to encourage reforms in regular public schools because of the competitive pressure of nearby charter schools. An appendix contains a table of charter school reforms by state. (SLD)
Descriptors: Accountability, Charter Schools, Educational Administration, Educational Change, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Financial Support, Nontraditional Education, Public Schools, School Effectiveness, State Legislation
Reason Public Policy Institute, 3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90034 ($15).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Reason Foundation, Los Angeles, CA.