South Carolina 2016 State Policy Detail
SMART POLICY ADDITIONS WILL PROTECT SECTOR
A few smart policies for authorizer accountability will help South Carolina maintain quality.
- Require all authorizers to use performance frameworks.
- Empower a state entity to conduct authorizer evaluations, as needed. As the South Carolina Public Charter School District has grown, the disparities in practice among authorizers have become more apparent. An evaluation done periodically or as needed would allow the state to identify authorizers in need of improvement based on their practices or the performance of their portfolios of charter schools.
- Focus on implementation of professional standards for charter school authorizing, especially with local school districts that may struggle to separate authorizing responsibilities from their traditional district functions.
- Consider adopting authorizer screening policies if alternative authorizers expand. Because South Carolina’s charter law allows for the potential of a large number of authorizers, the state will benefit from additional authorizer quality initiatives—for example, authorizer applications or other screening processes—such as those adopted in Minnesota or Indiana. These quality control measures help potential authorizers understand the scope of authorizing work and ensure only authorizers with a commitment to quality are allowed to authorize. These policies also help prevent authorizer-shopping activities from eroding charter school accountability, a problem in states with more than two non-LEA authorizers.