This paper was prepared for the AEI "Common Core Meets the Reform Agenda" Conference, March 25, 2013.
The ongoing tension between the largely decentralized charter school movement and national and state movements toward centralized standards and accountability systems raises many questions for charter schools as Common Core implementation is deployed: Will the Common Core implementation have any effect on the freedoms with which charter schools operate? Will the sector leaders see it as a threat or an opportunity? Are charter schools sufficiently informed about Common Core? And, do they have sufficient resources to provide teachers with the necessary professional development to adjust their instruction?
In the coming years, the charter sector will demonstrate whether it will create powerful new approaches to preparing schools to meet the standards or struggle to do its part and be left behind. The authors conclude with a set of recommendations to spark a national discussion about possible points of action for charter support organizations and other leaders in the sector. Central to those recommendations is a call for state and national charter sector leaders to take a more proactive role in the implementation decisions that are speeding toward them.