Initiative 1240 would give Washington the best charter school law in the country
I received a call from Jerry Cornfield, reporter and political columnist at The Everett Herald, with a research request about Initiative 1240, the ballot measure to allow charter schools in Washington. He asked a good question: “How does Initiative 1240 compare with the model for high-quality charter schools developed by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools?”
I conducted a systematic comparison of the national high-quality model with provisions of Initiative 1240 and sent him my findings. He also says the National Alliance, as he puts it, “...calibrated how Initiative 1240 stacked up against the final product.”
The result? Initiative 1240 contains some or all of 19 of the 20 essential components of a high-quality charter school law. The details are reported in the Herald article, here.
The only component that is missing is that Initiative 1240 would cap the number of allowed charter schools at 40, in our system of 2,345 public schools, while many states have higher caps or no limit at all. Still, charter schools that do open in Washington, like all public schools, would be tuition-free and open to all students.
One of the ironic advantages of being one of the last states to consider charter schools is we get to learn from the experience of others. As a result we have access to the latest advances and best practices in education reform. If Initiative 1240 passes, Washington will have the best charter school law in the country, and we will jump from a being a backwater state to the leading edge of education reform.