State laws and charter authorizing standards have not kept up with the explosive growth of charter schools in the last two decades. AISR's 2014 report Public Accountability for Charter Schools: Standards and Policy Recommendations for Effective Oversight, offers seven standards, each with a set of policy recommendations, designed to to ensure that there is a level playing field between traditional public schools and public charter schools and that charters are fully transparent and accountable to the communities they serve.
"School governance should be representative and transparent" is one of those standards. Whose Schools? examines charter school governance in Massachusetts in light of this standard and its recommendations, with the goal of informing the conversation as the state considers lifting the cap on charter school expansion in fall 2016.
The original report, published in March 2016, was updated on October 5, 2016. Information from school websites and some sources have been updated to reflect changes over those six months; some terms have been expanded and clarified; author's bios have been added; and finding #5 regarding board residency has been modified.