This editorial about the Association ran in The Seattle Times on Sunday, July 7.
SKEPTICS and proponents of charter schools have a new ally. The Charter Schools Association sees the potential of innovative nontraditional public schools, but is smartly branding itself as an incubator for quality efforts and a watchdog ensuring those efforts yield results.
Created by the League of Education Voters with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the association has the independence, the resources and the policy experience to hold both sides accountable.
Charter schools in Washington must be authorized by the statewide Charter School Commission or started by districts permitted through the state Board of Education.
All ought to embrace the nurturing and oversight role of the charter association. Adie Simmons, the former state education ombudsman, is one of the organization’s leaders. Three public-school principals are on board to help design charter schools.
Many charter opponents have never been inside one. The association took education leaders to high-performing schools in Denver. It is reaching out to national charter operators, such as Green Dot and the Summit Public Schools network, to find what works and bring it to Washington.