Charter Schools against the Odds: Education Experts Propose Reforms to Create Level Playing Field for Charter Schools

Charter schools allow

cities such as New York and Chicago to create new educational options

when school district bureaucracies cannot, which has led to the rise of

a strong pro-choice movement among African Americans and Hispanics in

many urban communities.

The complete text of Charter Schools against the Odds is

available online at

2. Eliminate fixed terms for charter schools, in favor of provisions

that make it clear a school’s charter is valid only as long as it

can demonstrate student learning.

4. Hill, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover

Institution and a member of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education, is

the John and Marie Corbally Professor at the University of Washington’s

Daniel J. Contributors to Charter Schools against

the Odds are John E. Amend

state laws so that the number of charter schools depends only on

the availability of competent and willing school providers.

10. More information about the

group can be found at

Charter Schools against the Odds makes the case for dramatic

policy changes that will create a level playing field for charter

schools in the face of adversarial political forces that have tilted the

field against them.

Find out what states can do: Read “10 Ways

to Level the Playing Field for Charter Schools”


7. Peterson, Brad Smith, and Nat

Torinus. Empower new authorizers, including colleges and universities,

mayors, and qualified nonprofits in states where school boards hold

a monopoly on authorizing charter schools.

8. Support is growing among the superintendents and school boards

in some of America’s largest cities, where

conventional school systems have been unable to meet the higher academic

standards set by state and federal governments. Support a multiple authorizers policy, allowing charter applicants

to avoid hostile or negligent overseers.

Yet opponents continue to tilt the playing field ever more steeply

against charter schools. A profoundly hostile

regulatory environment, however, makes it difficult for schools to

exploit these advantages; because so many obstacles are rooted in public

policy, individual schools cannot overcome them.

1. Ensure that public funds are allocated equitably so that the same

amounts are spent on educating children in charter schools as on

children in district-run schools.

STANFORD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As charter school authorizers from across the nation gather for a

meeting today in San Diego, the Hoover Institution’s

Koret Task Force on K-12 Education is releasing an important new

assessment of the state of the charter school movement. Eliminate arbitrary caps on the number of charter schools. For more information on the Hoover Institution, visit

From Charter Schools against the Odds (Education Next Books, 2006)

Paul T. Yet, despite these obstacles, charter

schools have managed to survive and turn some former opponents into

allies. On the basis of the findings in this volume, the Koret Task

Force makes a series of recommendations about how to improve policies

and practices affecting charter schools.

9. Chubb, Chester E. Charter

Schools against the Odds (Education Next Books, 2006), edited by

Paul T. If state legislatures stick with existing caps

on school numbers or support proposed legislative changes that create a

bias toward unionization, or if funding arrangements and government

authorizers’ duties are not made fairer and

more neutral, the promise that charter schools hold for reforming

American public education could be destroyed.

Against this backdrop, Charter Schools against the Odds proposes

real-world solutions that will enable the charter school movement to

achieve its full potential.

6. Eliminate bans on for-profit firms holding charters directly, in

favor of common funding and oversight provisions for all charter

schools, no matter who runs them.

The members of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education are among America’s

foremost education scholars, brought together by the Hoover Institution

with the support of the Koret Foundation. 3. Hill,

Caroline M. Protect charter schools from arbitrary denials of applications by

establishing appeal processes to a state agency or independent body

in each state.

The Hoover Institution, founded at Stanford University in 1919, is an

interdisciplinary research center for advanced study on domestic public

policy and international affairs, with an internationally renowned

archives. Hold authorizers accountable, both for creating the opportunities

for chartering and responsibly overseeing schools once chartered.

. Evans School of Public Affairs and director of the Center on

Reinventing Public Education. Hoxby, Eric Osberg, Paul E. Allow an organization holding one charter to operate multiple

schools as long as all its schools meet agreed-on performance


Charter schools have many advantages over schools run by politically

controlled bureaucracies: discretion over use of funds, ability to use

time, money, and instructional technologies in innovative ways, and

freedom to hire teachers and to compete for people of high ability by

offering attractive compensation packages. Hill, gives an authoritative analysis of current laws and

policies that are curtailing the growth of charter schools in states

around the nation.

5. Finn Jr., Paul T. Allow charter schools to employ teachers and administrators in

whatever numbers and with whatever mixtures of skill and

experience necessary to deliver the school’s instructional


10 Ways to Level the Playing Field for Charter Schools

The three greatest barriers to charter school development are poorly

crafted charter laws, inequitable funding, and the failure of many

authorizers — school districts and other government agencies that

approve charter applications and oversee schools — to take their

responsibilities seriously

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