Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Public Administration

First Committee Member

Dr. Anna Lukemeyer - Chair

Second Committee Member

Dr. Lee Bernick

Third Committee Member

Dr. Karen Layne

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. James Crawford

Number of Pages



America’s public education system has become one of the most hotly debated issues in the country. Poor student performance and failing schools have forced many to identify ways to reform the current system through measures such as school-based management, performancebased incentive programs and opportunities for parental choice. As a result, charter schools have become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional public schools. In addition, there have been many questions surrounding the “autonomy for accountability” tradeoff characteristic of the charter school concept. In an effort to contribute to the discussion of charter school accountability and efforts to hold charter schools accountable for student performance, the purpose of this paper is to evaluate Nevada’s current charter school legislation and identify ways that it can be improved to assist charter schools in developing an effective balance between autonomy and accountability. Research for this paper was conducted through an extensive review of the current literature concerning charter schools, charter school laws, and charter school accountability. Based on the research, five criteria for effective charter school accountability legislation are established and used to analyze Nevada’s charter schools law. These findings and recommendations are then presented at the end of this paper. As does every report on charter schools, this paper takes into account the fact that the charter school movement and research concerning charter school accountability are still relatively young and continuously evolving, particular in Nevada, where the oldest charter school is only in its fourth year of operation. However, it is the goal of this paper to add to the current literature and provide recommendations that will both strengthen Nevada’s charter school law and contribute to the overall effort to improve the quality of the American education system.


Academic achievement; Charter schools; Education reform; Low-income students


Education | Education Policy | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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