WE STAND BEHIND A BETTER EDUCATION

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

Authorizer Voices: Access is More than Choice

Our work in public education is riddled with buzzwords, often with multiple meanings. We asked a group of authorizers at the 2016 NACSA Leadership Conference to talk with us about access, a core tenant of good authorizing. In Authorizer Voices: Access is More than Choice, we share snippets of the many and varied answers to “How do you define access?”

Listen as they weigh in, then challenge yourself to come up with your own definition of access.

Authorizer Survey on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

What do authorizers share in common with the students and communities they serve? In collaboration with Bellwether Education Partners, NACSA surveyed the field to learn more about just who is authorizing our nation’s charter schools. Among authorizers overseeing 10 or more schools, we asked leaders (i.e., day-to-day heads of authorizing offices) and select staff about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here are five key findings.

Read our five key findings→

About Authorizers and Authorizing

ONE MILLION LIVES

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.

What spoke to me was that these were the public’s schools, not just public schools, and that communities had a right to determine what was going on in those buildings, based on their wants and needs. The one-size-fits-all didn’t work. It didn’t work for me; it certainly wasn’t going to work in the future, because the world is so different.”

Robbyn Wahby, Founding Executive Director, Missouri Charter Public School Commission

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12 ESSENTIAL PRACTICES

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.

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PRINCIPLES & STANDARDS

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.

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