Brian Carpenter has written several monographs about charter school governance that I highly recommend. They're at: http://www.nationalcharterschools.org/monographs.php
Brian recommends the John Carver Policy Governance model and that's where he and I differ. I've spoken with Brian about this. I believe in policy governance, or what I call "Carver-lite." By this I mean I think charter school boards should not get involved in the day-to-day operations and should govern through policy--putting their specifics on how to implement the vision--in writing. Brian Carpenter, however, espouses Policy Governance, which means the Carver model. The Carver model, in use by some school districts in the state, limits the powers of the board, which could include the type of information available to the board. Some education leaders in Colorado have attributed at least part of the financial mess the St. Vrain Valley School District was in a few years ago to the limitations imposed on them by the Carver model. In Carver, the board receives limited information through reports delivered by the chief administrator on a predetermined time table.
It may be possible for some charter school boards to effectively use the Carver model. In order to do so, however, would require a lot of training, very little board turnover, and a strong administrator. In other words, everything should be going very well. My experience is that charter school board members often have little prior board experience, there is difficulty in finding people to serve on the governing board, and when there are problems with the administrator, the Carver model simply doesn't work.
With "Carver-lite" or the policy governance (small 'p' and small 'g') model, the board states its values in written policies. These policies should include a clear description of what each board member's role is, and is not, especially in contrast to the administrator's role. With this model the board can ask for additional information, not routinely provided by the administrator. Further, if problems develop with the administrator, the board's hands are not tied.
If a charter school board is considering adopting the Carver model, they should conduct their own research and know what they're getting in to. The board should make sure they have the resources for ongoing training and technical support to make it work.