Authors: David Skinner
Summer 2007
Publication:
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

In the 2006–07 academic year, Indianapolis mayor Bart Peterson oversaw 16 charter schools serving 3,870 students. Peterson is currently the only mayor in the nation running a charter school authorizer out of his office and has proven himself willing to be judged by the results. The charter school office issues an annual report on its schools that, in its candor and analytical sophistication, rivals just about any report out there. But what makes the mayor’s experiment far more interesting than, say, improvements in the city’s bus service, is that his charter schools are achieving results—in some cases, great results—with seriously disadvantaged kids. The Indianapolis experience shows that government, when ably led, can adapt and usher in its own set of reforms.