Charter schooling introduced many important innovations. It showed how we could have school choice inside of public education; how nonprofits could run public schools; how great public schools can be replicated or expanded. But we’ve never made full use of one of the charter schooling’s most important contributions: contract-based accountability. A charter school negotiates performance contracts with an authorizer. That contract lays out exactly what the school will accomplish. In exchange, the school then gets freedom from a wide array of rules. Now, if the charter school succeeds, its contract will be renewed. But if it fails to meet its performance goals, the school will be closed and replaced. The new federal education law encourages states to create accountability systems that are new. So why not apply contract-based accountability to all public schools in a city, including those run by the traditional school district? This is the way for all of the city’s schools – charter schools and district schools – to have equal operational freedom and be held equally accountable. To learn more about my take on charter school accountability, check the links in the description below. Also, let us know what other topics you want AEI scholars to cover in 60 seconds.