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ERIC Number: ED544287
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Charter School Performance Accountability. Policy Guide
Lin, Margaret
National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NJ1)
Charter schools emerged in the early 1990s as a strategy for improving student learning and increasing quality educational options, often for underserved students and communities. The charter school idea centers on the promise of increased autonomy for accountability for results. Thus, the charter movement has helped to lead the charge--and has provided valuable models and lessons--for greater accountability in public education. Performance accountability for charter schools means accountability for both academic and operational performance, focusing on objective outcomes rather than inputs. It includes, but goes beyond, legal and regulatory compliance. In a well-designed statewide accountability system for charter schools, the state establishes minimum standards and essential elements to guide charter school evaluation generally, while enabling authorizers to develop the details of the contract in conjunction with the schools they oversee. Operational accountability for charter schools includes both financial management and legal compliance. State charter school laws should (and most do) explicitly state that financial mismanagement or material violation of applicable laws is grounds for revoking or not renewing a contract. These domains are generally straightforward for authorizers to assess through objective means such as regular financial audits and compliance audits. In contrast, academic accountability is often inadequately addressed in state charter school laws, and thus thornier for authorizers to enforce. Policymakers can improve state law and policy to help authorizers make educational judgments that are grounded in sound data, firmly defensible, and less vulnerable to endless debate and controversy. This policy guide provides background on charter school performance accountability, key considerations for policymakers in structuring sound performance accountability for charter schools, and recommendations and best practices for state policy on performance accountability. A list of resources is included. (Contains 7 endnotes.)
National Association of Charter School Authorizers. 105 West Adams Street Suite 3500, Chicago, IL 60603. Tel: 312-376-2300; Fax: 312-376-2400; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association of Charter School Authorizers