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Press Releases / Statements

NACSA Calls Annenberg Institute Accountability Report Disappointing, Incomplete

Highlights need for more states to set high expectations found in NACSA’s Principles & Standards

September 18, 2014

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) released the following statement in response to the recommendations in a report on authorizer accountability released yesterday by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University:

“The Annenberg Institute’s report on “Public Accountability for Charter Schools” is a disappointing entry in the important discussion of how to improve education for America’s children. Its recommendations are incomplete, judgmental, and not based on research or data. If the report’s recommendations were implemented, charter schools would become clones of traditional public schools, losing the flexibility needed to be innovative and better.

In Annenberg’s report, a significant number of important accountability standards and authorizing practices are unaddressed or superficially addressed. Throughout the report, the author repeatedly assumes the worst about charter schools and fails to acknowledge the thousands of charter schools that are working well and the millions of families who believe a charter school is the best choice for their children. The citations that the author offers in support of her recommendations are almost entirely newspaper articles and blog posts. This is surprisingly sloppy work for an institute housed at Brown University.

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National Organization Supports Stronger Standards but No Moratorium

Better Oversight Is Needed But Opposes Halt On New Charter Schools

September 18, 2014

With this morning’s announcement by Democratic state legislators in Michigan proposing a moratorium on new charter schools in the state, Greg Richmond, President and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) released the following statement:

“The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) opposes proposed legislation to establish a moratorium on new charter schools in Michigan."

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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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