This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Karega Rausch, President and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. Dr. Rausch shares some of his background, his interest in K-12 education reform and charter public schools, and lessons from Indiana and other states that inform his work. With charter public school enrollment nearly doubling to 3.4 million students in roughly 7,700 schools and campuses across America, he talks about the states that have experienced the largest growth and those that have lagged behind. They discuss the role that single and multiple charter authorizers play in charter school expansion and performance, academic quality, and diverse pedagogical approaches. They delve into the charter policy bargain of greater school autonomy in exchange for greater accountability, and how charters are held responsible for student performance. Dr. Rausch also challenges misguided criticisms of for-profit school management companies running charter public schools, and offers thoughts on how to rebuild wider political coalitions to support charters.

Stories of the Week: EdChoice celebrates and reflects on ten years of American public opinion surveys on education. For the first time since the enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Congress is about to fully fund K-12 special education programs.