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Category Archive for 'Accountability'

This week House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and ranking Democratic Representative Miller (D-CA) introduced HR 10—the Success and Opportunities through Quality Charter Schools Act—to reauthorize the federal Charter School Program for another five years. NACSA president and CEO Greg Richmond announced NACSA’s strong support for this important legislation during a congressional visit to […]

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Guest Post: Lisa Graham Keegan, Chair, NACSA Board of Directors Public charter schools were created specifically to advance achievement. They reflect the vision, the skills and the heart of the team that founds them.  They are intentional schools, schools built to order, to meet a need known but not met, a possibility understood but not […]

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Just over a year ago, NACSA announced an ambitious goal to provide better schools to one million children over five years. We called it our One Million Lives campaign because we knew that, if authorizers could approve 2000 new schools through quality processes and close 1000 persistently failing schools, we would help one million children […]

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Last week Education Next published an article entitled “Choosing the Right Growth Measure” that compares three types of growth models and claims that the “best” model is a two-step value-added model (VAM) that fully controls for student characteristics (e.g., race, gender, free or reduced-price lunch eligibility, English-language-learner status, special education status). The authors claim that […]

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The oversight of charter schools has changed dramatically from the beginning of the movement.  States and authorizers are applying increasingly sophisticated tools to assess the performance of the schools they oversee.  A key concept that helps authorizers do their jobs well is differentiation.  This concept informs the increasing use of Performance Frameworks.  Under a differentiated […]

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Guest Post:  Kevin Hall, President & CEO, Charter School Growth Fund As we navigate our decisions in our daily lives, we know that having the ability to make good choices is fundamentally critical to achieving our goals. In K-12 for far too long, we have not provided all parents and students in our country with the […]

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The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently released a set of draft priorities that would be used in future competitions under the Charter Schools Programs’ (CSP) to award grants under the National Leadership Activities Grant Program.  NACSA and a group of leaders from authorizers, state agencies, and other stakeholders submitted group letters that supported the […]

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Implementation of the Common Core State Standards will present an array of new challenges everywhere they are adopted. The biggest challenge for charter school authorizers will be maintaining strong accountability for school performance during the transition to the new standards and accompanying assessments. Holding schools accountable for their performance is already one of the most […]

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At the heart of the charter school concept is the idea that schools, like all organizations, are most effective when they have the flexibility necessary to be captains of their destiny and when there is real accountability for failure. When charter schools are given autonomy over their time, people, and money, with it comes great […]

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Ensuring students with disabilities (SWD) enjoy equal access to charter schools and are well served in them is tricky, but that doesn’t mean we should not try some easy fixes along the way.  Recent activity in Los Angeles illustrates both tricky and easy initiatives – and the promises of both.  The district has a long-standing […]

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Anecdotes Aren’t Enough

Out today, NACSA’s new roadmap for authorizers who oversee schools that serve kids in dire straits. The title says it all: Anecdotes Aren’t Enough: An Evidence Based Approach to Accountability for Alternative Charter Schools. The report is a joint effort, reflecting the input and deliberations of a 16-member working group including authorizers, charter operators, and […]

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Special education service coordination and accountability are often areas where charter schools and their authorizers experience conflict and tension. And too often school districts and charters end up fighting over resources and control rather than focusing on how they can work together to promote the best interests of kids. A partnership between Los Angeles Unified […]

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A recent story in the Columbus Dispatch detailed the creative ways that low-performing charter schools in Ohio are avoiding closure. According to the report, “some schools have avoided the state’s charter-closing laws after enrolling more students with disabilities, which exempted them. Others were closed by their sponsors for poor performance only to find a new […]

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The Fordham Institute released a trio of essays this week discussing how to evaluate schools.  Michael Petrilli started it out by criticizing the use of “proficiency” and making a case for why “growth” is superior.  Checker Finn countered with a defense of proficiency.  He argued that, in the end, what you know or can do […]

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Interesting, fascinating, and different – those are all words we say in polite conversation when we hear about something that happened, but we have yet to decide if we think it was good or bad.  This week the U.S. Department of Education issued a waiver to a group of California districts that I think is […]

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A story this weekend in the New York Times describes the lives of two young women attending Carroll Academy, an Alternative Education Campus (AEC) in Tennessee that serves kids who are kicked out of their traditional school.  Carroll Academy is not a charter school.  Nevertheless, the story is important reading for charter school authorizers. Even […]

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Last week, The Oregonian published an op-ed by NACSA president and CEO, Greg Richmond, arguing that the best way to improve the state’s charter schools is to strengthen accountability for their performance. Greg offered three strategies to do that: First, state law should clearly specify the performance levels charter schools must achieve in order to stay open. […]

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When people talk about “market accountability” for charter schools, they’re usually referring to parents; you have to keep attracting “customers” in the form of parents and students, or you close. But because they are so often denied public facilities funding, many charters must look to a different kind of market – and to the bankers […]

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The new CREDO study on charter school performance was released two weeks ago, and it continues to make a big splash. It included great news about the strength of charter performance in producing better results overall in reading and closing the achievement gap for African-American and Hispanic students. While it was the primary focus of […]

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The latest study by CREDO on charter school performance has generated a predictable wave of commentary and coverage.  Like previous work from Macke Raymond and her colleagues at CREDO, there is a lot of interesting information in the full study.  The next few weeks will bring a series of commentaries that examine different slices of […]

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