January 28, 2014 Today the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) released their 5th annual ranking of state charter school laws. Once again, California is among the top ten states with the strongest charter laws in the nation. The report ranked California ninth out of 43 states, including the District of Columbia, that have charter school laws. You can read the California press release issued by NAPCS below, including a quote from Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association. The full report is available here: Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2014
New National Rankings Find California Charter School Laws Rank in Top Ten in Nation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - California's charter school laws are among the top ten in terms of quality in the nation, according to an annual state-by-state ranking of charter school law quality released today by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. The report ranked California ninth out of 43 states, including the District of Columbia, that have charter school laws.
Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws ranks each of the country's state charter school laws. Each law receives a score based on 20 essential components from the National Alliance's model law on metrics such as quality and accountability, equitable access to funding and facilities, and no caps on charter school growth.
"This year's rankings reflect the advances we've seen in so many states over the past year," said National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees. "This annual ranking is an important barometer for measuring changes in charter school policy. States are increasingly aware of the impact their charter school law has on providing students access to high-quality public school options and we are encouraged to see so many improving their laws."
The report concludes that there is still room for California to improve its charters laws, recommending that state policymakers focus on strengthening authorizer accountability; beefing up requirements for performance-based charter contracts; and, enacting statutory guidelines for relationships between charter schools and educational service providers.
"We are heartened to see that, once again, California is among the top ten states with the strongest charter laws in the nation. We agree that improving the authorizing structure in California, including finding ways to introduce higher levels of authorizer accountability, would be a benefit to the movement in our state. We look forward to engaging with lawmakers about how best to keep California as a clear leader in terms of crafting and implementing effective charter school policy," said Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association.
California's 2014 ranking slipped two places since last year, when it was ranked seventh. The report noted that this drop had more to do with aggressive changes made in other states than with any steps backward in this state.
In 2013, 12 states made improvements that led to an increase in their scores in the report, including partially or entirely removing caps on the number of charter schools allowed, strengthening authorizing processes and improving support for charter school funding and facilities.
"Despite these many improvements, there is still work to be done," continued Rees. "As the highest-ranked state, Minnesota still only received 75 percent of the total points. We hope these rankings will continue to encourage lawmakers to improve their laws and support better environments for charter schools in each of their states."
One of every 20 American children now attends public charter schools. More than 6,000 schools are teaching more than 2.5 million children. Eight states still remain without a charter school law: Alabama, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia.
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.