Arkansas 2016 State Policy Detail
BETTER STRUCTURES, BETTER AUTHORIZING
Arkansas’s Charter Authorizing Panel (CAP) is composed of top staff from the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE). The CAP should be given true authorizing power, with the Arkansas State Board of Education moving to a more conventional appeals role, or the state should create an Independent Chartering Board to focus solely on authorizing high-quality charter schools.
- Endorse professional standards for charter school authorizing.
- Establish an autonomous Independent Chartering Board that includes members outside the ADE. An Independent Chartering Board could focus solely on authorizing high-quality charter schools
- Codify the use of performance frameworks by the authorizer. The CAP is moving toward the use of this performance tool as a matter of practice, and codification will ensure that the practice continues in perpetuity. Performance frameworks set academic, financial, and organizational performance expectations for each charter school.
- Require the authorizer to issue annual public reports on the academic performance of its portfolio of charter schools.
- Establish authorizer evaluations on an as-needed or self-evaluative basis. Authorizer self-evaluations require authorizers to reflect on their practices and outcomes and identify areas for improvement.