California 2016 State Policy Detail
PATCHWORK STATE RIPE FOR REFORM
NACSA calls on California to improve its authorizing practices by implementing the top-to-bottom policy recommendations outlined in NACSA’s recent policy paper Time to Modernize Charter Authorizing in California.
NOTEWORTHY IN 2016
SCORE INCREASE: +2
- Reports on Performance (+2). The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) annual report, part of a new state accountability mechanism implemented during the last three years, requires each charter school to report on its progress on meeting the academic goals in its charter agreement.
- Expand options for high-quality authorizing. Consider a hybrid state/local approach or regional authorizing bodies. An improved authorizing structure should guarantee that every authorizer wants to be in the business and has the capacity and commitment to do the job correctly.
- Reinforce authorizer professionalism. Adopt national industry standards for quality charter authorizing and require authorizers to meet them. Increase transparency through annual reports on high-stakes decisions.
- Strengthen school-level accountability. Give authorizers and charter schools the tools needed to create clear agreement on performance expectations and commitments—including a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for each charter school and renewal decisions based on performance, not promises.
- Strengthen state oversight and support. Develop a quality control office to support the State Board of Education’s oversight functions. Increase the range of technical support needed for strengthening authorizers’ professional practices.