Measuring Up to the Model

Published February 20, 2018

From the introduction:

The year 2017 proved to be a historic one for public charter school policy wins across the country. Kentucky became the 44th state (along with the District of Columbia) to enact a charter school law. Colorado and Florida required districts to share locally raised dollars with charter school students for the first time in those states, echoing changes made in Utah in 2016. Tennessee and Texas created new funding streams to specifically support charter school facility costs, the first time either state had done so.

Wisconsin gave statewide authorizing ability to the Office of Educational Opportunity at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, any University of Wisconsin Chancellor, and any technical college district board. And Illinois and Washington overhauled their public school funding systems in ways that will provide more equitable funding for their states’ students, including those in charter schools.

At a time when we are seeing an increasing amount of pushback from long-time opponents, it is notable that charter school supporters achieved these gamechanging policy victories. We don’t want to minimize the threats we are facing. We need to take them very seriously. At the same time, though, we are achieving some major policy wins for students across the country. We should not lose sight of this progress.

This year’s edition of Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws takes into account these important policy wins. As this annual effort continues to evolve, we periodically refine our methodology to reflect what we are learning. This year’s edition takes these refinements into account as well.

We must continue pushing hard for more high-quality charter schools, particularly for those students who most need such options. We also must keep advocating for the public policies that will best support the creation and operation of such schools. We hope this report continue to serve as a helpful resource for those engaged in this critical work