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Texas ranks 25th

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By Annette White
The Daily Tribune
March 27th, 2015

The Center for Education Reform released their education scorecards for 2015 last week, with Texas earning a C grade.

According to a statement from the CER, only one-third of the 42 states and the District of Columbia that have charter school laws earned above-average scores for implementing a strong policy environment.

“It is abundantly clear that little to no progress has been made over the past year in most states. While Texas’ law has had minor improvements over the last few years, the automatic closure law enacted to close underperforming charters has had some unintended consequences. Charter school growth does continue at a steady, nearly linear pace nationally, especially in states with charter laws graded ‘A’ or ‘B,’ but an even more accelerated pace would allow charter schools to play a more central role in addressing the demands and needs of our nation’s students,” Kara Kerwin, president of CER, said in the statement.

According to the scorecards, only four states and D.C. earned As, with D.C. holding on to the number one seat for seven years in a row. Eight states earned Bs, 19 earned Cs, and 11 earned Ds or Fs.

“Strong charter laws feature independent, multiple authorizers, few limits on expansion, equitable funding, and high levels of school autonomy,” Alison Consoletti Zgainer, CER executive vice president and the report’s lead editor, said. “Many states that appear to have all of the critical components of a strong law struggle with the implementation of key provisions, which is why the rankings over the past few years have shown little variance and have remained relatively stagnant.”

Kerwin also stated in the press release that the lack of progress made in statehouses across the country can be traced to a lack of political will leading up to a major mid-term election. She said the biggest culprit, however, was a lack of information and a growing body of misinformation.

According to the release, the CER has studied and evaluated charter school laws based on their construction and implementation since 1996.