NACSA is an independent voice for effective charter school policy and thoughtful charter authorizing practices that lead to more great public schools.

For Charter Schools, Look Back to Look Ahead

NACSA_icons_red_speechbubbleThe nation’s first charter school law was passed in Minnesota on June 4, 1991. NACSA’s president and CEO Greg Richmond weighs in on whether, 25 years later, charter schools have lived up to their original mission in Education Week’s OpEducation blog.

Discover why in order for every charter to be a great school, we must continue to focus on three of the principles that were at the core of our nation’s first charter school law.

Read the piece at Education Week

New Report Recommends Reforms to Address Significant Underperformance by Full-Time Virtual Charter Public Schools


In a joint paper released this week, NACSA, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now (50CAN) provide specific policy recommendations to help states better hold full-time virtual charter schools accountable for student results. While the report notes that some students do well in a full-time virtual charter school environment, too many of these schools are not providing a quality educational program to the vast majority of their students, while enrolling too many who are simply not a good fit for attending a fully online school.

Read More →

About Authorizers and Authorizing


NACSA’s One Million Lives campaign is dedicated to providing one million more children the chance to attend a great school that will prepare them for success throughout their lives.

We recently asked leaders in authorizing to tell us why they do this important work.

I think I’m mostly motivated by recognizing that I don’t have the answer. I don’t know what the best choice is at any given moment for a school, for a family, or for a student, but what I know is that I’m there to support the schools.

Gregg Stevens, Deputy Director and General Counsel, State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia.

Read More→


Since the start of the charter movement, authorizing practices have evolved. We know what practices are critical to fostering high-performing charter schools. We recognize our duties to ensure the autonomy of the schools we oversee, to protect the rights of students and the public, and to close schools that are not living up to our expectations.

Authorizers play a vital role within the charter school community. By implementing these 12 Essential Practices, they help pave the way for every charter to be a great educational option for children.

Read More→


The Principles & Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing, first established in 2004, reflect the lessons learned by experienced authorizers. This foundational resource for NACSA has been used to guide authorizing practices across the country and is referenced in state statutes. It focuses on the ends that authorizers should aim to attain in creating and upholding high expectations for the schools they charter while recognizing there are many means of getting there.

The Principles articulate a set of beliefs about quality charter school authorizing. The Standards identify core authorizer responsibilities and describe how the principles are upheld within each responsibility. Consult this resource often as a guide to understanding and fulfilling the critical responsibilities of charter school authorizers.

Read More→