When regulating charter schools, proceed with caution

Below is an excerpt from an article published by Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Written by Lisa Graham Keegan.


In my home state of Arizona, our students have benefitted from an emphasis on different aspects of choice and accountability at different times and for different reasons. Usually, changes are made in reaction to whatever policies were most recently in place.

Nevertheless, I agree with and applaud recent comments from Checker Finn regarding the need for publicly transparent and sound information about school quality. Over the past decade, we have found Arizona’s A–F school grades—which rely heavily on academic growth—to be critically important to authorizers, board members, legislators, and hopefully also parents. These ratings inform choices and inform the opening and closures of schools. In other words, Arizona is not a “live and let lousy live” charter school state, and our state assessments and the National Assessments of Education Progress prove it, as recounted here by Dr. Matt Ladner.

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