Performance Contracting

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Charter Schools and English Language Learners What Authorizers Need to Know

Charter school authorizers are responsible for protecting student and public interests. This responsibility requires authorizers to hold schools accountable for fulfilling fundamental public education obligations to all students, including providing equal access and appropriate services to students whose native language is not English. English Language Learners (ELLs) have rights that are protected by federal and state laws. Authorizers are responsible for ensuring that charter schools uphold these rights.

Charter Schools and English Language Learners: What Authorizers Need to Know (Infographic)

Charter school authorizers are responsible for protecting student and public interests. This responsibility requires authorizers to hold schools accountable for fulfilling fundamental public education obligations to all students, including providing equal access and appropriate services to students whose native language is not English. English Language Learners (ELLs) have rights that are protected by federal and state laws. Authorizers are responsible for ensuring that charter schools uphold these rights.

Authorizers, Charter Schools and AYP Accountability

This NCLB Policy Brief examines authorizer obligations in NCLB implementation. Those new to the authorizing role will gain understanding of how “typical” authorizing responsibilities intersect with NCLB accountability. Furthermore, experienced authorizers can use this Brief to spot-check whether their practices are in fact fulfilling the various NCLB-related obligations for which they are responsible.

Topics of interest include: accountability, law and policy

Anecdotes Aren’t Enough: An Evidence-Based Approach to Accountability for Alternative Charter Schools (Webinar Presentation)

Authorizers are challenged to hold each alternative charter school accountable for its performance. NACSA convened a working group of uthorizers, operators, and researchers to define the parameters of good practice when it comes to evaluating alternative charter schools. The group’s findings are presented in NACSA’s new report, Anecdotes Aren’t Enough: An Evidence-Based Approach to Accountability for Alternative Charter Schools.

This presentation is from a webinar panel discussion with working group members Ernie Silva, Director of External Affairs for SIATech (California); Naomi DeVeaux, Deputy Director of D.C. Public Charter School Board; and Nelson Smith, Senior Advisor for NACSA. The panelists discuss NACSA’s new report, Anecdotes Aren’t Enough: An Evidence-Based Approach to Accountability for Alternative Charter Schools and the implications of its findings for authorizers, schools, and policy-makers.

Want to learn more on this topic prior to the webinar? Read Anecdotes Aren’t Enough: An Evidence-Based Approach to Accountability for Alternative Charter Schools and share our summary of recommendations with your staff, colleagues, and board members.

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Anecdotes Aren’t Enough: An Evidence-Based Approach to Accountability for Alternative Charter Schools

Authorizers are challenged to hold each alternative charter school accountable for its performance. NACSA convened a working group of authorizers, operators, and researchers to define the parameters of good practice when it comes to evaluating alternative charter schools. The group’s findings are presented in this new report from NACSA.

Alignment for Change in Hawaii

This case study is one in a series that explores local progress on charter school authorizing in various corners of our country. We’ll dig into what was needed, how it happened, and why it matters to the ultimate quest we all share: creating and sustaining great public schools for all U.S. children.

The series starts in our nation’s most far-flung locale: Hawaii.

Accountability 2.0: Next Generation Performance, Delivery, and Design

Richard Wenning, former associate commissioner at the Colorado Department of Education and a creator of the Colorado Growth Model, which has become a model for many states, conducted a webinar for authorizers …

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Accountability in Action: A Comprehensive Guide to Charter School Closure

This Comprehensive Guide to Charter School Closure is designed to assist the staff and board members of authorizing agencies as they address the wide array of challenges involved in any closure decision. It draws directly upon the successful experiences of other authorizers across the country and includes useful information on performance management, decision-making, and stakeholder communication, as well as practical tools to successfully manage a charter school closure.

Accountability in Action: A Comprehensive Guide to Charter School Closure

This Comprehensive Guide to Charter School Closure is designed to assist the staff and board members of authorizing agencies as they address the wide array of challenges involved in any closure decision. It draws directly upon the successful experiences of other authorizers across the country and includes useful information on performance management, decision-making, and stakeholder communication, as well as practical tools to successfully manage a charter school closure.

The Terms of the Deal: A Quality Charter School Contract Defined

A contract is about commitment and responsibility. It is about the commitment that two or more parties make and the responsibility to deliver on those commitments. When school developers and authorizers turn …

Steering the Course for Success: Authorizers and Effective Charter School Governance

Researcher Gary Gruber has stated, “No other singular variable is more important for the health and vitality of a school than the way that it is governed. Teacher competencies, student achievement, parental …

Resource Toolkit for Working with Education Service Providers

This document is a tool for authorizers who are working with education service providers. Topics covered include: roles, responsibilities and relationships; the charter application stage; reviewing school management contracts; and, sample documents.

Charter School Contracts

The charter school concept was first introduced in 1991 when the Minnesota Legislature passed the nation’s first charter school law. As of this writing in 2009, 40 states and the District of …

Charter School Performance Accountability

Charter schools are public schools that operate under performance contracts with an authorizing agency. These schools receive operating autonomy in exchange for meeting clear, objective, and measurable performance outcomes. Schools that fail …

Charter School Authorizers and Oversight: Where is the Line Between Effectively Holding Schools Accountable and Overregulation?

The basic charter school bargain—freedom in exchange for accountability—presents unique challenges to authorizers. Authorizers must walk a tightrope of sorts, respecting each charter school’s independence and distinct mission, while holding every school …

Core Performance Framework and Guidance – March 2013

The Core Performance Framework and Guidance, which offers academic, financial and organizational performance frameworks—each with indicators, measures, targets and ratings; detailed explanation of each framework; guidance on customization of the frameworks; and …

Good to Govern: Evaluating the Capacity of Charter School Founding Boards

Much of the ultimate success of a charter school hinges on the board’s ability to govern effectively. In fact, it can be argued that no other single factor is more important to …

Navigating Special Education in Charter Schools Part I: Understanding Legal Roles and Responsibilities

Special education entails the provision of an array of specialized services and supports designed to help students with disabilities access the general education curriculum in a manner equivalent to their non-disabled peers. …

Navigating Special Education in Charter Schools Part II: The Authorizers’ Role in Ensuring Quality Special Education Programs

What ought authorizers do to ensure that the charter schools they approve provide a quality education to students with disabilities who enroll in their school? That is the question many authorizers wrestle …

Quality Authorizing for Online and Blended-Learning Charter Schools

Online and blended learning have grown dramatically in K-12 education in the past dozen years, creating countless new opportunities for students and educators, and, in many cases, demonstrating improved student outcomes.

Replicating Quality: Executive Summary

The Charter School Sector continues to expand as parents seek high-quality public education options. In 2012-2013, the sector served more than 2.3 million students in nearly 6,000 schools. If recent growth trends …

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Steadying the Three-Legged Stool: Authorizers, Charter Schools, and Education Service Providers

In carrying out their work, authorizers typically work to achieve steadiness in a two-party accountability relationship with a charter school. Introducing a third-party service provider adds complexity to the relationship, but need …

Square Pegs: Charter Authorizers in Non-Charter Agencies

In a 1985 Newsweek interview, Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs described the team that created the Macintosh as “a group of people going in essence back to the garage, but in a …

Successfully Authorizing Blended Charter Schools

Blended charter schools (sometimes called “hybrid charter schools”) provide student instruction at least in part at supervised brick and- mortar locations, and at least in part through digital learning.1 In 2009–2010, 142 …

Viewpoint: Differentiated Charter Authorizing Strategies for Innovation, Scale, and Quality

A maturing charter sector still operates on first-generation laws designed to launch a few experimental schools. However, the charter sector has moved beyond this initial launch stage of its development. The new focus on scaling quality and the growth of managed networks has placed particular demands on old policies, practices, and authorizing capabilities. Growth in online and blended learning, interest in high-level STEM, and conversions and turnaround are additional new pressures on the one-size-fits-some process. States should update authorizing laws to incorporate multiple pathways and new capacities that reflect the realities of the charter landscape, and take advantage of emerging opportunities to add quality educational options.