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Press Releases / Statements


NACSA Lauds South Carolina’s Strong Stance on Charter Quality

Releases statement on signing of bill to improve accountability for state’s charters

June 13, 2014

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) congratulated the state of South Carolina for taking a notable step in improving the overall quality of the state’s charter school sector. In a statement released today, NACSA president and CEO Greg Richmond lauded Governor Nikki Haley for her signature of South Carolina’s revised charter law and the demonstration of her personal commitment to high quality education options for Palmetto state families.

South Carolina legislators introduced bill H3853 in direct response to the National Association of Charter School Authorizers’ (NACSA) One Million Lives campaign, which has a goal to get one million students into better schools by 2017.

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New Report Highlights Growth and Maturation of Charter School Authorizing

NACSA releases findings from it sixth annual authorizing survey

May 8, 2014

In the midst of National Charter School Week, a new report by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) finds that the number of charter school authorizing agencies continues to expand, reaching more than 1000 active authorizing organizations for the first time. In The State of Charter School Authorizing 2013 NACSA provides its sixth annual report on the findings of its survey of the authorizer sector.

“The number of charter schools throughout the country continues to steadily increase and so does the number of agencies approving and monitoring those schools,” said Greg Richmond, president and CEO of NACSA. “We are seeing more educational opportunities for students and families, which is good, but we are also seeing a lot of variation in the quality of schools and their oversight. We would rather see consistently high standards and performance for all.”

This year’s survey findings illustrate considerable diversity among charter school authorizers. Of the 1045 authorizing entities nationwide, half oversee just one school. In contrast, the nation’s single largest authorizer, the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, oversees 517 charter campuses. The impact of the work of the largest authorizers is underscored by the fact that the 104 largest authorizers oversee 72 percent of the nation’s charter schools.

One of the report’s key findings indicates that the size of an authorizer’s portfolio is directly related to its adoption of key practices to ensure quality. To support stronger performance regardless of size, NACSA has outlined 12 practices essential to authorizing. This year’s report shows gains in five of 12 practices, with the largest increase coming in the number of authorizers that report conducting interviews of charter school applicants prior to approval.

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NACSA CEO Selected as Pahara-Aspen Fellow

NACSA’s President and CEO Greg Richmond has been selected to participate in the Summer 2014 cohort of the highly selective Pahara-Aspen Education Fellows Program.

The Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship is a two-year, cohort-based program that identifies innovative leaders in the educational excellence and equity movement, facilitates their dynamic growth, and strengthens their collective efforts to dramatically improve public schools for low-income children and communities.

Richmond is joined in the cohort by 23 other education leaders including NACSA Board of Director member Hanna Skandera, Secretary of Education of the New Mexico Public Education Department and National Advisory Board member Jed Wallace, President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Charter Schools Association.

Read the full announcement here.

NACSA Lauds Tennessee's Strong Stance on Charter Quality

Releases statement on signing of bill to close failing charter schools

April 17, 2014

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) congratulated the state of Tennessee for taking a notable step in improving the overall quality of the state’s charter school sector. In a statement released Thursday, NACSA president and CEO Greg Richmond lauded Governor Bill Haslam for his signature of Tennessee’s revised charter law.

According to Richmond, “As Tennessee’s charter school sector continues to grow it will be able to grow with an improved focus on high-quality education options for families. We are confident that with a strong law, strong authorizers and a strong infrastructure of support, great schools will be allowed to flourish in the state and poor performers will be forced to close. The environment for making great things happen in the Tennessee charter sector is enhanced by today’s action that indicates failure will not be tolerated.”

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NACSA Applauds Bipartisan Congressional Vote on Charter School Quality

Releases statement following 36-3 committee approval of Charter School Bill

April 8, 2014

With today’s overwhelming bipartisan approval of the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charters Act (H.R. 10) by the full House Education and the Workforce Committee, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) released the following statement:

“We were delighted to see this important legislation pass with such strong bipartisan support. Key elements of the bill speak to the committee’s commitment to both real growth of successful school models and real public accountability for quality in the charter sector. We hope this is a favorable sign for the ongoing consensus that can be built around meeting the needs of all the nation’s children. The success of our One Million Lives campaign to bring better educational opportunities for one million children by the end of 2017 relies on this continued focus on quality. We commend Reps. John Kline (R-MN) and George Miller (D-CA) on their leadership and perseverance in bringing about this strong outcome and we thank Reps. Luke Messer (R-IN) and Jared Polis (D-CO) for their tireless efforts to build bipartisan support.”

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NACSA Announces Support for U.S. House Quality Charter Schools Bill

Provisions to Strengthen Authorizing a Key Component of the Bipartisan Legislation

April 1, 2014

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) has announced its strong support for new legislation that focuses on both the growth and the quality of the charter school sector. The organization’s support for the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (HR 10) was announced Monday during a congressional visit to Global Academy Charter School in Minneapolis by one of the Act’s primary authors, U.S. Representative John Kline (R-MN). Kline was accompanied by committee member Representative Luke Messer (R-IN) and NACSA president and CEO Greg Richmond.

Kline, Chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, along with ranking Democratic Representative George Miller (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan legislation Tuesday with the intent of both expanding and strengthening the federal Charter School Program (CSP). In its announcement, NACSA noted the Act’s specific provisions to support the continued growth of the charter sector both among successful networks of charter schools and by stand-alone charter schools launched by educators, parents and communities.

“The federal CSP program is a primary driver for growth in the sector, but more importantly, it is a primary lever for improved quality. Growth without quality is not our objective.” said Greg Richmond, NACSA president and CEO. “Quality is our objective and the Act contains strong provisions to promote quality and accountability among charter schools.”

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NACSA Selects Third Cohort for Leaders Program

March 18, 2014

The success of the charter school sector depends on having strong authorizers capable of managing a portfolio of high-performing schools and ensuring that every charter school provides an outstanding education to its students. In 2012, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) launched its Leaders Program to assist in strengthening the skills and advancing the profession of those entrusted with approving, monitoring, and renewing charter schools. Today, the organization is pleased to announce the selection of the third cohort of this highly-selective and rigorous program.

“Strong authorizing is the proven means to create and expand high-performing charter schools across the county,” said NACSA President and CEO Greg Richmond. “This program provides leaders and emerging leaders of authorizing agencies with the leadership, management and authorizing expertise necessary to make that happen.”

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NACSA Chair Keegan Testifies before House Ed Committee

Discusses Significant Progress toward One Million Lives

March 12, 2014

The fact that more than 230,000 students are attending better schools in 2013 because of the actions of charter school authorizers across the country was the focus of Congressional testimony today by Lisa Graham Keegan, chair of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). 

Keegan was among those testifying this morning before the House Education and Workforce Committee in a hearing entitled “Raising the Bar: The Role of Charter Schools in K-12 Education.”

Keegan testified, “So we know what is possible, but we are far from the moment that every individual student has access to an exceptional school. Creating and sustaining only excellent schools must be our focus. And much of the knowledge we now possess about how to do that has been gained in two decades of work on public charter schools.”


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Strong Authorizing Practices Produced Better Schools for 230,000 Students in 2013

NACSA Reports Significant Progress toward One Million Lives

March 3, 2014

More than 230,000 students are attending better schools in 2013 because of the actions of charter school authorizers across the country, according to the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA).  Authorizers – the agencies that approve, monitor and hold accountable charter schools – approved an estimated 491 new charter schools using rigorous review processes and closed 206 charter schools that were persistently failing.  When taken together, approximately 232,000 students from these 697 schools were attending better schools in 2013.

The announcement came Tuesday in conjunction with the release of a progress report on the organization’s One Million Lives campaign. In November 2012, NACSA set out an ambitious five-year campaign to help ensure that by 2017 one million of the nation’s children would attend better schools that would prepare them for success throughout their lives.

According to NACSA Board Chair Lisa Graham Keegan, “This progress is not automatic,” Keegan said. “By engaging authorizers to open only high-quality schools, and to make the very tough decisions to close failing charter schools, we can get one million more children into 3,000 high-performing schools over five years.” Keegan will discuss the results from the first year of NACSA’s One Million Lives campaign in testimony before the U.S. House of Representative’s Education and the Workforce Committee next week.

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NACSA and CSGF release replication recommendations for excellent charters

National Association of Charter School Authorizers and the Charter School Growth Fund release recommendations for successful replication of high-performing charter schools

Identifying and multiplying excellent charter schools can increase access to better schools for the nation’s children

01/27/2014

State policies must change to differentiate and grow high-performing charter schools and weed out the low performers according to a report released today by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) and the Charter School Growth Fund (CSGF). The report, called Replicating Quality: Policy Recommendations to Support the Replication and Growth of High-Performing Charter Schools and Networks,” calls on legislators, authorizers, and other policymakers to build a policy environment that encourages the creation of more great schools based on successful models. The report’s release coincides with National School Choice Week, the nation's largest celebration of educational opportunity and effective education options for children.

“Ensuring that all children have access to high-quality education is the single most important issue of our time,” said Greg Richmond, NACSA president and CEO. “However, school choice only works if parents and students have good choices. We can create and multiply better schools for children by replicating excellence, not mediocrity.”

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