Achieving Excellence at Scale: State Support for High-Performing Charter School Expansion

National Governors Association
April 2009

This issue brief provides a concise yet informative look at how governors can help replicate some of America's high-performing charter schools (KIPP, YES Prep, Green Dot, etc.). The authors find four main barriers to replication: state caps; cumbersome reporting requirements; discrepancies between charter and district school funding; and limited access to physical facilities. They recommend that governors looking to expand charter schools address these obstacles by establishing concrete measures of charter-school quality (obviously including student achievement) and shoring up reporting systems and governance requirements to balance strong oversight with necessary flexibility for the schools. They also urge governors to widen charters' access to facilities, appoint a specific governing body to further expansion, and rectify funding disparities. Each admonition is helpfully peppered with tangible lessons various states that have already attempted to expand high-performing charters. Although much of this brief is old news for charter aficionados, it's a great primer for governors; kudos to the NGA for wading into this topic. You can find it here.

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