Washington State’s Charter Public School Law Receives Perfect Score in New Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Contact: Cynara Lilly at (206) 915-7821

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) Ranks Washington First in the Country on the Strength of its Charter Law


SEATTLE, Wash. – Washington ranks first in the country when it comes to state policies that promote a strong charter school sector, according to a new report out today from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA).

The report, On the Road to Better Charter Schools, provides an analysis of current charter school oversight policies across the nation. Each state is scored against eight known best practices in school accountability and authorizer quality that help to ensure a consistent, high-performing charter sector. 

Washington’s charter school law, reinstated last year with bipartisan support from the state’s legislature, received a perfect score.

“NACSA’s recognition of the strength of our charter law serves as validation for the tireless efforts of thousands of parents and students that fought so hard for these schools in Olympia last winter,” said WA Charters CEO Tom Franta. “Through their efforts, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were compelled to create a charter law that recognizes and upholds the basic tenets of the accountability bargain – schools should be given autonomy to meet the individual needs of their students and held meaningfully accountable for improving student outcomes in their community.  Simply stated, this law creates more high quality public school options across the state.”

The NACSA report comes on the heels of the Department of Education’s award of $6.9M to Washington state charter schools, a signal of the federal government’s confidence in the state’s growing charter sector. 

“Washington is a national model for how to get charter school policies right,” said John Hedstrom, Vice President of Policy for NACSA. “Its law strikes the right balance that gives charter schools the freedom they need to thrive, while ensuring these schools meet a high bar and are good schools for students and taxpayers.” 

The report details the state’s strengths in school accountability, including required annual performance reports and a standard for charter school renewal. It also details the state’s policies to ensure the organizations responsible for opening and monitoring charter schools adhere to professional authorizing standards, including evaluations and sanctions.

With all of NACSA’s recommended policies in law, Washington educators are well-positioned to do the hard work of creating and sustaining great public schools. Despite this, quality school options are yet again threatened by a new lawsuit filed by charter school opponents in the state.

See NACSA’s WA State Policy Detail here. 

About Washington’s Public Charter Schools
Charter schools are a type of public school, approved and overseen by a state or district authorizer. Like all public schools, they do not charge tuition, they are open to all students, and they are publicly funded. However, charter public schools are held more accountable for showing improved student achievement. In exchange for greater accountability, teachers and principals are given more flexibility to customize their teaching methods and curriculum to improve student learning.

Washington’s charter public schools are helping to close the education equity gap. A majority of charter public school students in Washington are students of color, as compared to 43 percent statewide, and a majority of charter public school students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, as compared to 45 percent statewide.

In some communities, traditional public schools are meeting the needs of local students. But in other communities – particularly communities of color that struggle with poverty – they are not. In Washington, African American, Latino and Native American students are scoring between 15-20 percent lower on state assessments. According to 2015-16 mid-year and end-of-year assessment results, students at Washington’s charter public schools are making impressive gains in reading and math.

###

Recent Updates

Filter by topic

The day has arrived! Tacoma's charter public school tour is at 10:30AM. Send any last minute questions to bbrod@stand.org and we'll see you there! ... See MoreSee Less

**Reminder: Tomorrow is the Tacoma charter public schools tour! Please RSVP and send any questions to bbrod@stand.org. ... See MoreSee Less

We are looking for talented leaders interested in starting new quality charter public schools! Check out this video and learn more today, at: wacharters.org/startaschool/ ... See MoreSee Less

Tacoma's charter public school tours are coming up on March 11th - Don't forget to RSVP! ... See MoreSee Less

Washington State Charter Schools Association updated their profile picture. ... See MoreSee Less

Learn more about Tacoma's charter public school options at our school tours Saturday, March 11th. Be sure to RSVP and send any questions to Brooke Brod at bbrod@stand.org. ... See MoreSee Less

Calling all elementary, middle or high school families in Tacoma! SOAR Academy, Destiny Charter Middle School and Summit Public Schools - Washington Olympus are co-hosting an amazing tour event for families to explore Tacoma's innovative, personalized public school options! ... See MoreSee Less

We are excited to announce our tour of Tacoma's charter public schools on March 11th. Save the date and RSVP to learn more about your public school options in Tacoma. ... See MoreSee Less

It’s never too early to start thinking about school enrollment for Fall 2017! Washington is home to some incredible charter public schools, and next week families in Tacoma will have an opportunity to learn more about the leading schools in their area. For students and parents looking for exceptional options in personalized learning and academic enrichment, this is a perfect place to start.

On Saturday, March 11, WA Charters will host an evening tour of SOAR Academy, Summit Olympus, and Destiny Middle School so that parents and kids interested in learning about great public school options can explore each school building, meet with school teachers and leaders, and hear from current charter families and students about their experience.

The tour promises a close-up look at the amazing programs and opportunities provided by schools that are paving the way for student achievement. These schools are tuition-free and academically rigorous, prioritizing the personal educational needs of all students so that they can reach their full potential. It’s going to be a great evening, and we hope to see you there.

Schedule:
10:30a – 11:30a Tour SOAR Academy, 2136 M.L.K. Jr Way, Tacoma, WA 98405

11:45a – 12:45p Tour Summit Olympus, 409 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma 98421

1:00p – 2:00p Tour Destiny Middle School, 1301 E. 34th Street, Tacoma WA 98404

To RSVP or for more information, please email Brooke Brod at bbrod@stand.org.
... See MoreSee Less

Join Impact Public Schools for their first community meeting at the SeaTac Community Center. It's a great chance to ask questions, share community needs, and learn more about an awesome new model! ... See MoreSee Less