It is time for school directors to adopt a new position on the charter school movement. The association’s current position dates back to 2004 and the debate has evolved considerably since that time.
A variety of legislative and citizen-led efforts over the past 15 years have sought to explicitly permit charter schools in Washington state. Districts now have the ability to partner with outside organizations to run schools, but the pressure to do more is mounting. Supporters are calling for an initiative directly to voters, a legislative referendum for a public vote, or a new law passed by the legislature.
Several organizations are leading and financing this current charter school movement. These include Washington Stand for Children, the League of Education Voters, Democrats for Education Reform, Excellent Schools Now, the Partnership for Learning, The Boeing Company, Microsoft, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Both President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have given unprecedented attention to charter schools, characterizing them as “one of the most profound changes in education.” (Duncan 2009)
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