Massachusetts 2016 State Policy Detail
STRONG SECTOR SHOULD MAKE ROOM TO GROW
Massachusetts has one of the highest-performing charter sectors in the country, but its charter law severely restricts future charter school growth and expansion. Policies must be changed to allow new, high-quality schools to grow where they are needed.
- Remove or significantly reform the charter school cap system. Though a 2016 ballot initiative to allow new charter school growth was unsuccessful, policymakers should revisit the charter cap issue next session.
- Require all charter school annual reports to be published in one location on a consolidated website, such as the Department of Education’s charter school website. Currently, these reports are available on individual school websites and also available to the public by request to the Department of Education, but they are not easily accessible in a single, consolidated location. This minor change would make it easier to access performance information for every charter school and would qualify for full points.
- Codify the expectation that the authorizer follows professional standards for authorizing. In practice, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education uses practices consistent with much of NACSA’s Principles & Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing. However, nothing in state policy ensures it will continue to do so in perpetuity.