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New Analysis Exposes Problems in State Education Laws

State Charter School Commissions Limit Quality Options

CER Press Release
Washington, D.C.
May 1, 2013

A new report from The Center for Education Reform (CER) analyzes the numerous shortcomings of state charter commissions at authorizing quality charter schools.

The report, Charter School Authorizers: The Truth About State Commissions, criticizes commissions, calling them “the new education establishment of tomorrow.”

“The evidence is clear that quality charter schools are directly correlated to quality authorizers,” the analysis said. “States with multiple, independent authorizers — independent legally and managerially from existing local and state education agencies — produce more and better opportunities for students.”

“Without these critical steps, the lawmakers today will be creating the new education establishment of tomorrow, with one set of people in power, the interest of parents and educators secondary, and the future of education behind.”

CER experts praised independent authorizers in states such as Michigan and New York, in addition to the District of Columbia.

Alison Consoletti, CER Vice President of Research and the lead author of the report said, “What we’ve seen repeatedly is the inability of state commissions to approve the same amount of quality charter schools than independent authorizers who are free from excessive oversight,” Consoletti said. “More state commissions means less opportunities to expand educational choice for parents and children.”

Since 1996 the Center has studied and evaluated charter school laws based on their construction and implementation.