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Tuesday, 25th September 2007

Smart Charter School Caps

Smart Charter School Caps
Source: Education Sector
From press release:

Today, 25 states and the District of Columbia limit the growth of charter schools in some fashion. Some states place restrictions on those who can authorize or oversee charter schools; others limit the number of charter schools allowed to open. Yet, by primarily focusing on quantity, charter school caps do not always address the greater concern of quality.

In this new Education Sector Idea at Work, Co-director Andrew J. Rotherham offers an innovative solution to managing both the growth and quality of charter schools: "Smart Charter School Caps." Smart charter caps allow for deliberate capacity-driven growth of charter schools, direct new resources to high-quality schools, and work within today's political reality, where charter schools remain a leading-edge reform.

Statutory caps as they exist now are too blunt a policy instrument to sufficiently ensure the quality of new charter schools, argues Rotherham. They fail to differentiate between strong schools and weak schools and between successful charter authorizers and those with poor track records. Fifteen years of charter schooling experience offers policymakers clear lessons and the opportunity to design more effective policies, including the reform of arbitrary charter caps.

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