NACSA | About Us
The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is dedicated to improving the quality of public education by improving the performance of charter school authorizers. We are the oldest national organization devoted exclusively to strengthening charter schools by developing outstanding authorizers.
Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that provide new options to students and their families. They operate independently from school districts, but are overseen by an entity called an authorizer. Authorizers are entities charged by law to approve new schools; oversee ongoing performance; and evaluate the performance of public charter schools. Authorizers use these tools to create conditions that improve student outcomes.
The growth of charter schools over the last 15 years is a testimony to parents' desire for more public school options that can produce results for their children. Thousands of charter schools now enroll more than one million students across the nation; 300-400 new schools open every year, and most of them have waiting lists.
Experience shows that strong authorizing standards and practices lead to greater numbers of high quality charter schools. NACSA provides training, consulting, and policy guidance to authorizers and education leaders interested in further increasing the number of high quality charter schools. Our Principles and Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing has become the gold standard for excellent authorizing practices.
NACSA members represent some of the largest and most innovative school systems and authorizers in the country. We are supported by partners who recognize the need for standards and accountability in charter school authorizing practices including, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, The Robertson Foundation, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
NACSA is led by a Board of Directors comprised of a revered group of education advocates who have been on the front lines of the reform movement and who represent a diverse portfolio of educational institutions, districts, school boards, and non-profits. In addition, our National Advisory Board includes esteemed education reform leaders and experts.
From our Fund for Authorizing Excellence, to our work re-building public education in New Orleans, NACSA is at the forefront of innovation and improvement. Working in concert with our influential education partners and members across the country, we strive to provide every child with excellent education opportunities.
NACSA will foster high-quality authorizing environments that result in a greater number of charter schools that meet and exceed state standards.