WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today introduced the Charter School Quality Act of 2011, which aims to improve charter school quality through more rigorous charter school authorizing standards and practices.  Joining Sen. Landrieu in sponsoring this legislation are Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Thomas Carper, D-Del., Christopher Coons, D-Del., R

ichard Durbin, D-Ill., Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn

. Additionally, this bill is endorsed by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS).

“Public charter schools are increasingly contributing to Louisiana’s innovative educational landscape,” Sen. Landrieu said.  “As the charter school movement grows in Louisiana and throughout the United States, we must place a high priority on the quality – not just the quantity – of charter schools.  The Charter School Quality Act raises the bar for charter school authorizing standards and practices to ensure that charter schools are not simply offering students and parents another choice – but an excellent choice.”
“We applaud Senator Landrieu for her continued commitment to high-quality public charter schools and high-quality charter school oversight practices,” said NAPCS president and CEO, Peter C. Groff.  “We look forward to working with Congress and the charter school sector to share the innovations and best practices developed in the charter school sector, including authorizer policies, with all who seek to improve public education in America.”

The Charter School Quality Act
provides a critical focus on quality control for the charter school sector.  It amends the federal Public Charter Schools Program, authorized in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, to strengthen charter school quality by prioritizing that states ensure their charter school authorizers follow standards reflecting research-based best practices; evaluate the effectiveness of their charter school authorizers; and require that student academic achievement be a primary factor in charter school approval, renewal, and revocation decisions.
Additionally, this legislation establishes a new national competitive grant program for high-quality public charter schools, authorizers, and nonprofit charter support organizations to disseminate leading edge innovations and best practices to other schools, authorizers, and States.