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

On the Road to Better Accessibility, Accountability, and Autonomy: State Policy Analysis

NACSA’s second annual analysis of state charter school policies across the nation, On the Road to Better Accessibility, Autonomy and Accountability, is now available.

Since the first report was published last year, 14 states have strengthened their public charter school oversight laws, regulations, and policies. Experience has shown states with NACSA’s eight recommended policies in place are better positioned to create and sustain great public schools—ultimately improving children’s lives for the better.

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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.

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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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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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