Some days my brain gets stretched with really big questions. Many of these I cannot answer. Today I had to consider the following:
* What is the proper role for an authorizer in regard to charter school governance beyond approving the bylaws and getting an annual report of who is on the board and their contact information? Should the authorizer require the charter board to meet certain goals? What if they don't meet the goals, but the school is still doing well academically? Would their ever be a situation where a charter school is doing well academically, but doesn't measure up in regard to finances or governance and would warrant revocation?
* Will parents of students who don't make it in to a Core Knowledge charter school still be willing to have their children tested annually for about an hour in order to participate in the control group used in the Core Knowledge charter school study CDE and partners will be conducting in the next five years? What would be enough of an incentive? A book for their child? Test results?
* What should be included in a pre-opening checklist for a new charter school to use after approval, but before the first day of school? Should items that are optional in a charter school application (i.e. board bylaws, governing board policies, etc.) be included even though they may have already been provided to the authorizer in the application? When should a new charter school be told they must delay a year because they're not meeting pre-opening requirements?
* How many individual charter schools can one governing board effectively govern before the quality diminishes? Should each of the charter schools have individual charters or one charter contract with the board to operate multiple sites? What criteria evaluates autonomy for each of the different sites?
I love discussing issues such as these with individuals who know the detailed pros and cons. Today was one of those days where I spent time with top-quality people engaged in meaty discussions relevant to charter schools. Not that we figured out the answers, but we definitely figured out the questions!