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Monthly Archive for February, 2013

A new report from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University (CREDO) “found that the typical student in a Massachusetts charter school gains more learning in a year than his or her district school peer, amounting to about one and a half more months of learning per year in reading and two and […]

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NACSA’s president and CEO, Greg Richmond, issued the following statement regarding the KIPP Middle Schools: Impacts on Achievement and Other Outcomes study released yesterday by Mathematica Policy Research: “Today’s Mathematica Policy Research study on the positive results produced by KIPP charter schools is welcome news for the many children in America who don’t have the opportunity to attend a […]

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Mathematica Policy Research, a nonpartisan research firm, has released a new study of KIPP middle schools. The study, funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, found that “The average impact of KIPP on student achievement is positive, statistically significant, and educationally substantial.” According to the authors, the study found that KIPP middle schools have positive and statistically significant impacts on […]

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This morning, the Charter School Committee of the Board of Trustees of The State University of New York (SUNY), the governing body of the SUNY Charter Schools Institute decided to renew the charter of U.F.T. Charter School for a two-year probationary period during which the school must meet performance standards or automatically lose their contract to operate the […]

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Eastern Michigan University’s Charter Schools Office Director Malverne Winborne weighs in on the recent report commissioned by the Michigan State Board of Education comparing the performance of authorizer portfolios across the state. Winborne claims that the report is flawed because it doesn’t account for the fact that even low-performing schools may be outperforming their local districts […]

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“Postcard from the Statehouse” will provide occasional updates on the travels of NACSA’s Policy Team as they advocate for strong authorizer policies across the country. Greetings from Texas!  Yesterday, the Senate Education Committee heard testimony on SB 2, a newly introduced bill that would improve oversight of–and access–to high quality charter schools.  NACSA President and CEO Greg […]

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No Exit?

Imagine if you were in a contractual relationship with a service provider, and the provider told you that you couldn’t end the contract.  A recent case in Florida illustrates why NACSA recommends that the contractual relationships between charter school boards and their service providers clearly address important issues like how and when either party might act to […]

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By design, charter schools are supposed to be open to all students. The idea is that rather than gaining admission based on their zip code or test scores, charter school students are selected at random from all who are interested. A recent story by Reuters’ Stephanie Simon described a variety of practices some charter schools […]

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It is always disappointing when charter schools that are not meeting their performance expectations fight efforts to hold them accountable. We shouldn’t forget, though, that some charter schools will live up to their promises and accept accountability for their performance. The Washington Examiner reports: “The District’s only all-boys public school plans to close at the end of […]

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The charter promise is not, “We will give you a charter to run a public school and flexibility from many of the rules and regulations constraining traditional schools.  But if you fail to achieve what you promise to achieve we will insist that you submit a plan that outlines what you might do about it […]

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Rick Hess’s new book, Cage-Busting Leadership is out. Quality charter school authorizing often involves a lot of cage-busting. The vast majority of authorizers work in school districts–systems that are set up in ways that make charter schools a real threat. To do their jobs well, authorizers often have to challenge long standing myths that have […]

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In the second post of a two-part series, Scott Pearson, Executive Director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, addresses another big question raised in Emma Brown’s recent article on charter school growth in the nation’s capital: joint planning. Pearson says that “everyone in the city, from residents to public officials, supports the idea of more joint education planning.” But, […]

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Silver Bullets and Unicorns

Silver bullets and unicorns have three important characteristics in common. 1.) They don’t exist; 2) No one older than 16 believes that they exist; and 3) anyone claiming that someone else believes that they exist is only propping up a straw man to be easily knocked down. It is odd, then, that David Kirp chose […]

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Guest Post from Rob Kimball, Sr. Director of Operations & Policy, Grand Valley State University Charter Schools Office Regardless of the size of an authorizer’s portfolio, a laser-like focus on school performance is critical to the practice of charter school authorizing. Grand Valley State University (GVSU)* authorizes 52 charter schools across Michigan serving nearly 25,000 students. With a […]

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Scott Pearson, Executive Director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, has a new two-part blog post up about the questions raised in Emma Brown’s recent article on charter school growth in the nation’s capital. In the first post, Pearson argues that the sky isn’t falling for D.C. Public Schools and notes that contrary to popular […]

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Today, the Detroit Free Press covers an important new report submitted to the Michigan Board of Education. The report ranks, for the first time, the state’s 11 largest authorizers “based on student achievement, student growth over time, authorizer improvement over time, and achievement gaps across all five tested subjects (mathematics, reading, science, social studies, and writing), as well as the graduation rate  for […]

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Last month, the charter schools office at Ball State University announced that it was revoking the charters of seven of its lowest performing schools for failure to meet the performance expectations outlined in the schools’ performance contracts. Sadly, rather than accept responsibility for their failure and the consequences that they agreed to when they opened, […]

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The Fordham Institute’s Adam Emerson emphasizes the critical role that new schools must play in the transformation of one million lives. The One Million Lives Campaign launched in the fall by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers has captured popular (and media) attention, mostly for its call to shutter the worst-performing charter schools. But that’s only half of its purpose. […]

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As part of its annual Call for Quality Options, the Louisiana Department of Education has launched a new interactive information center to accompany the various ways in which the department is seeking to attract and evaluate proposals from new providers.   The dashboard displays information geographically and provides parish-level detail about academic performance, opportunities for […]

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Do struggling charter schools need a “mercy rule“? As in Little League baseball, sometimes things start out so badly for one team that you just need to step in and stop the game early. The latest study by Macke Raymond and her colleagues at CREDO prompted this question for me. I recommend reading the whole […]

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