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Category Archive for 'Quality Authorizing'

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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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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Last week, a judge in Washington State held that, with two exceptions, the state’s new charter school law did not violate the state constitution. The case will no doubt continue on appeal but for now the decision means that charters can move forward in the Evergreen State. Nineteen applications have been received by the Charter School […]

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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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The end of the government shut down and the threat of a default are over for now.  Analysts and pundits are sharing their summaries of what happened, and offering competing bets for what the recent events will mean for the future of our parties and our politics.  In terms of the big cleavages in America, […]

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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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Diane Ravitch’s book is out. As expected, it repeats criticisms of charter schools and demonizes education reformers. She tends to use a broad brush, making conclusions about the motivations of charter supporters, as if they were all the same and each were absurdly motivated by a desire to harm public education. She also takes examples […]

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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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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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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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Yesterday, the SUNY Charter Schools Institute hosted a seminar for authorizers and charter school leaders on the laws governing school discipline. In New York, as in most states, charter schools have broad discretion to implement the discipline policy that was approved as part of their charter application. In some states, charter schools are subject to […]

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Staying Immersed

There is a really interesting thing going on in Washington, D.C.’s charter sector. The Public Charter School Board (PCSB) is moving toward approval of a new charter middle/high school (DC International or “DCI”) that will serve students from five different elementary charters that all have language immersion programs. The PCSB will pull this off through […]

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Earlier this week my friend Checker Finn wrote a short, barbed blog saying in effect that charter folks shouldn’t brag too hard about outperforming dismal neighborhood schools when so many of our students remain far below acceptable levels of proficiency. Good point, well aligned with our One Million Lives campaign, and a useful tonic for […]

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Charter schools may look different from state to state, but one common denominator is that each charter school has an entity that is charged with defining school autonomies and holding the school accountable.  But what do we call this entity: sponsor or authorizer? When the idea of charter schools was first conceived, Minnesota legislators focused […]

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