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New Orleans, Indiana, Nevada Top Charter and School Choice Rankings

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New Orleans has been ranked the number one city for school choice overall, while Indiana and Nevada tied for the top spot on a separate ranking of state charter school oversight policies. 

Those are the findings from two new reports—the first released Wednesday by the Fordham Institute and Columbia's Teachers College, the second was put out Tuesday by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.

Fordham's report ranked 30 cities based on how friendly they are to all forms of school choice, including charters schools, magnet schools, vouchers, and other forms of private school choice, and even inter-district choice.

Each city was assessed based on the political support, policy environment, and quality and quantity of school options available. New Orleans, Washington D.C., and Denver rounded out the top three (with Indianapolis coming in fourth), while Pittsburgh, Austin, and Albany, N.Y. brought up the rear, ranking the worst cities for school choice.

Full report: America's Best (And Worst) Cities for School Choice, by Priscilla Wohlstetter & Dara Zeehandelaar

In its second annual report on charter school oversight policies, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers ranked Indiana and Nevada as having the strongest oversight policies according to a set of standards that NACSA has developed.

The top spot would have been split three ways by Washington state, had the state's high court not ruled charter schools unconstitutional in September.

Ohio, which has been blasted by both pro- and anti-charter advocates for weak governance policies but passed legislation revamping its charter law in November, came in third. NACSA acknowledges in the report that its ranking system is not an exact science:

"Ohio is illustrative of the complex dynamic between policy and implementation. The state scores very well on our rubric; however, there have been problems putting the policies into practice," the report says. 

Maryland, Virginia, and Kansas round out the bottom three states in NACSA's ranking.

Full report: On the Road to Better Accessibility, Autonomy, and Accountability

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