Conversations concerning authorization of charter schools typically include the question, “Do students at charter schools out-perform their counterparts at public non-charter schools?” It's certainly a fair place to begin a discussion of this issue. A report released this week in Georgia suggests they do not, although the report contained enough good news to buoy charter school advocates in the state.

Stateline Midwest ~ March 2013

Charter school enrollment is growing every year, and some states in the Midwest are a big part of this trend.

The U.S. Department of Education released progress report information for the 12 states that received Race to the Top funding in 2010.  The specific summaries highlight the reform efforts and initiatives each state is implementing along with challenges along the way.  Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Tennessee developed aggressive plans for statewide reform and secured funding for the work.

Educators and policymakers realize that all of America’s students need a high-quality education to prepare them for college and careers. 2012 promises to be another busy year in  transformational strategies in education. In order to ensure a world-class education, leaders will likely address these top five issues facing states and territories (“the states”) this year.

The Obama administration is taking steps to engage the states in a new dialogue to address issues facing education in the U.S. today. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a former Chicago school superintendent is leading the charge to spark reform in the nation’s schools. He’s open to anything that will address underperforming schools and close the achievement gap, and that includes altering the way education funding is awarded as well as supporting changes states are already making. “My only goal is success,” he said. Capitol Ideas visited with Duncan about the issues.

Suggested State Legislation: 2007 Wisconsin Act 222 defines a virtual charter school as a charter school that provides an online learning program. The Act exempts for a limited time people who teach in virtual charter schools from having a teaching license or permit issued by the state department of public instruction. However, it requires that beginning July 1, 2013, no person may teach an online course in a public or charter school unless he or she has completed a professional development program, approved by state department of public instruction, that is designed to prepare a teacher for online teaching.