August 23, 2016

William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058,
Daniel J. Quinn, (517) 203-2940,

Exploring the Research Behind Charter School Accountability

EAST LANSING, Mich. (Aug. 23, 2016) — A new concise brief released today explores the research behind the elements of charter school accountability, including: (1) academic performance; (2) equal opportunity and non-discrimination; (3) financial solvency and stability; (4) and safety.

In Regulating Charter Schools, William J. Mathis, managing director of the National Education Policy Center, examines tensions found within the charter school debate. Despite the premise of market-based accountability, charter schools are not sufficiently being held accountable or regulated.

Mathis explains, “There is no perfect amount of regulation or deregulation, but we need to be regularly reassessing the situation and responding to clear problems.”

In this brief, the tenth in a series of concise research summaries, Mathis raises concern for the rapid growth of charter schools, which has been accompanied by charges of corruption, fiscal exploitation, weak academic performance, and increased segregation.

Mathis says that charter schools should not be excepted from the requirement that public money comes with reporting, transparency, and guidelines for spending and business practices.

Regulating Charter Schools is part of Research-Based Options for Policymaking, a compilation of short policy briefs that takes important policy issues and identifies policies supported by research. Each section focuses on a different issue, with recommendations to policymakers based on sound scholarship.

The compendium is produced by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) and is funded in part by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

Find the concise brief on the web:

The brief can also be found on the NEPC website:

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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

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