Coalition of Public Independent Charter Schools: Statement of Principles

(as referred to in my previous blog)


Coalition of Public Independent Charter Schools:
Statement of Principles

We aspire to be great community schools of choice for the families we serve.

We are united behind the original ideals of the charter school contract. We embrace our diverse communities, which include immigrants, people of color, children with disabilities, the homeless, English language learners, people of all faiths, and the LGBTQ community. We believe in the power of schools to transform the lives of young people AND in the responsibility of government to ensure that all children have adequate nutrition, shelter, health care, and educational opportunity.


We reaffirm that charter schools are public schools. All public schools should receive equitable funding.

We are committed to transparency in our practice and accountability to our students, parents, government authorizers, and the public at-large

As public institutions, our charter schools are open, welcoming, and responsive to our many stakeholders.

Autonomy & Accountability

Autonomy in exchange for accountability is the bedrock principle of charter schools.

Real accountability must be rooted in the development of the whole child, and therefore we resist pressures to judge schools or children by any one measure.

The work we do at our schools is for the greater good. We guard against any practice that subordinates the work we do to personal or corporate profit.


Because charter schools were created as laboratories of innovation, we seek out opportunities for collaboration among district, charter, and independent schools.

We seek out opportunities to learn from and exchange ideas with our colleagues.

Our workplaces are collaborative, not adversarial. We invest in our teachers so that they can invest in us.


We commit to serving students who reflect our communities and neighborhoods, particularly students with the greatest educational needs.

We actively recruit, retain, and serve the highest-need students, such as students with disabilities, English language learners, and students with challenging life circumstances.

We are determined to educate all of our students to the best of our ability, every day.


Our independence is a public trust. Autonomy provides the freedom to innovate and differentiate.

We have an obligation to research, develop, and implement new ideas, practices, and strategies.

School innovation is reinforced by use of multiple measures for evaluation. We must learn how to measure what is truly important and germane to the mission of our schools.

We share these practices, serving as a laboratory for all other public schools.

Respect for Teachers

We rely on a professional and compassionate teaching staff to model the attitudes we expect in our students. Our schools provide innovative opportunities that encourage young teachers to excel at their craft and become great educators.

Personnel evaluations and all our employment practices are fair and transparent.

Governance & Community

Strong independent boards and an engaged community are essential to school governance and student success.

Boards must be fully and demonstrably independent from service providers and must have a robust process for community input.

Decision-making involves feedback from our students, families, and the community at large.


All students have the right to a high-quality education.

Our parents, students, and caregivers choose our schools and trust that we will provide the best possible education.

We support their right to make that choice and will do everything in our power to fulfill our responsibilities.


4 Responses

  1. I do not trust this group. They sound too good to be true. Charter schools are a way to privatize public schools at their core!

  2. Deborah Meier coulldn’t be more genuine in her commitment to the original ideals of charters. Unfortunately, this document does not differentiate them from charters that do not follow these ideals by not recognizing the mammoth amount of damage those faux schools have done to public schools. They need to find some way to clearly differentiate themselves clearly from the predatory industry that has developed in and around charters. The name/label “charter” has been tainted.

    • Bob. My dilemma. You right. The money and political power behind charters is pro-voucher – full-scale privatization of all public bodies. But a great many charters were started by folks like me who weren’t offered the opportunities I was – to start a largely autonomous progressive schools in East Harlem serving low-income Black and Latin know Sa and a sprinkling of whites. Followed by many other dustrucrs in NTC. Then in Boston’s progressive super offered 25 of us a similar opportunity 200 plus years later. And darn it , we hoped that public schools would use the charter idea to invest in in-District truly public charters. It didn’t happen. What next?? I can’t view the many wonderful teachers who’ve started charters as my enemy. Suggestions fir creating a common front??

    • There are some good points but I agree – you have a point. Let’s suggest to them some stronger and clearer language. Thanks.

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