For the first time, Indiana’s strong charter school laws earned a perfect score in a national ranking of charter school policies out today from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA).
The report, “On the Road to Better Accessibility, Autonomy, and Accountability,” provides an analysis of current charter school oversight policies across the nation. Each state is scored against eight nationally-recommended policies create the foundation from which to build and sustain better public schools.
“Indiana’s smart charter policies are a model of how to build a foundation for charter schools focused on quality,” said Christina Ricordati, Policy Analyst for NACSA. “The laws give charters the freedom they need to innovate and thrive, while still ensuring that strong accountability and oversight mechanisms are in place to protect against fraud and abuse.”
Indiana has been strengthening its charter laws since 2011. With legislation passed earlier this year, Indiana now has all of NACSA’s recommended policies in law.
“The Hoosier charter community is dedicated to creating great schools for each and every child in the state,” said State Representative Robert Behning, who also chairs the House Education Committee. “It is rewarding to see our hard work recognized on a national level and know we’ve set the stage for great schools today and in the future.”
The report highlights changes to state law in the past year to create accountability for the groups that approve and oversee charter schools, known as authorizers. The new law puts in place an application process conducted by the State Board of Education to help make sure only the institutions with the capacity and commitment to open great schools are allowed to do so. To be granted the authority to open schools, new authorizers must demonstrate their commitment to quality authorizing practices and charter school accountability.
“For children to access quality schools, we need quality authorizers who hold charter schools accountable to a rigorous standard of performance,” said Kristin Hines, Director of the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation. “Indiana now has policies in place that treat authorizing as the profession it is, which will greatly benefit schools and the families they serve.”
To view Indiana’s full analysis or to read the full report, visit www.qualitycharters.org.
The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is an independent voice for effective charter school policy and thoughtful charter authorizing practices that lead to more great public schools. Our research, policy, and consultation work advances excellence and accountability in the charter school sector. With authorizers and other partners, we have built the gold standard for charter school authorizing. Through smart charter school growth, these authorizers will give hundreds of thousands of children an opportunity for a better education each year. More at www.qualitycharters.org