New Mexico 2016 State Policy Detail
FAILED AUTHORIZING STRUCTURE IMPEDES PROGRESS
The state must first fix a failed governing structure for its largest authorizer and then ensure policies address failing schools and failing authorizers.
- Eliminate the dual-entity authorizing relationship between the Public Education Commission (PEC) and the State Superintendent and allow one entity to serve as the authorizing body for the charter schools under its jurisdiction.
- Institute a strong renewal standard. Empower authorizers to close schools that fail to achieve the performance goals in their charter contract.
- Create a default closure provision, making closure the expected outcome for failing charter schools.
- Establish authorizer evaluations and allow sanctions for failing authorizers. The PEC is the state’s dominant authorizer, overseeing 60% of charter schools—qualifying New Mexico as a “State with Few Authorizers.” However, the state also has a large number of active school district authorizers; many oversee small portfolios of charter schools. This can make it difficult to (1) have consistently high-quality authorizing across the charter school sector and (2) enforce charter school accountability. Authorizer evaluations and, if necessary, authorizer sanctions can identify low-quality authorizers and impose consequences if they fail to meet standards of quality authorizing.