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.
Read the press release