Based on 20 years of experience in other states, the nine members of the recently appointed State Charter School Commission are in for hard work, long hours and difficult deliberations.
Whether or not charter schools in Washington produce quality outcomes for students will depend on these commission members and the school districts that will approve and oversee the schools. The commission will have to develop rigorous and thoughtful policies for how charter school applications will be screened and how schools will be monitored once they are up and running.
This is pioneering work. Historically, when it comes to schools, government has overseen adherence to rules and regulations, not monitored performance – which is an entirely different challenge.