Great blog. I'm glad you mention the regulatory environment. Two thoughts.
1. You mention charter school growth in the USA, and one thing that has helped is philanthropic investment in various institutions -- state and national charter school associations, along with a few think tanks -- that help tell the general charter school story to government officials.
I.e., it's not just KIPP, ARK, and Uncommon that tell their own story -- regulators would be skeptical. It's third party scholars and advocates.
At the Harvard conference this weekend about social enterprise, that topic arose -- is it possible to imagine a philanthropically funded "SWAT team" that would fly around to inform regulators about the potential of private schools to help them achieve their goals?
2. Because parent demand for Bridge is so high, and because of support from institutions like IFC, Bridge actually increased from the 134 academies (in 2013) to 259 (in 2014). That's in part because unlike top charter schools like KIPP (which rely on unusual teachers, recent college grads of Harvard and Stanford and the like), networks like Bridge look to hire teachers from the local community, and give them the tools and training to succeed.
Best, Mike Goldstein, Bridge International Academies