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Press Releases / Statements


NACSA Applauds Alabama Vote to Approve Charter School Legislation

March 19, 2015 

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) congratulates the Alabama General Assembly for passing Senate Bill 45 to become the most recent state to introduce charter schools as high-quality education options for its families.

NACSA commends the bill’s focus on school and authorizer accountability, incorporating all of NACSA’s recommended policies in those areas.

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NACSA Receives National Grant to Strengthen Charter School Quality Nationwide

March 17, 2015 

For more than a decade, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) has led the effort to improve quality within the charter school community by helping authorizers set high standards, facilitate innovation, and protect the interests of students and the public. Today, the U.S. Department of Education recognizes the critical role of authorizers by awarding a $2.3 million National Leadership Activities Grant to NACSA for its Better Outcomes through Quality Authorizing (BOQA) Project.

This is NACSA’s second consecutive National Leadership Activities grant, a highly-competitive award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program, to support efforts to improve the quality of charter schools on issues of national significance and scope. The grant was submitted in partnership with the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Education Commission of the States (ECS), the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS), and Civil Rights Solutions (CRS).

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National Association of Charter School Authorizers Commends RSD Action to Deny Charter School’s Renewal

March 5, 2015 

Charter schools are about more than just test scores. They also have an obligation to treat all students fairly and appropriately and to spend public money properly. Most charter schools do just that, but the evidence indicates that New Orleans’ Lagniappe Academies has not.

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) commends the Louisiana Recovery School District (RSD) and Superintendent Patrick Dobard for acting to deny the renewal of the charter of Lagniappe Academies. We know that closing schools can be rending for everyone involved. But when it comes to children’s futures, it is worth the immediate hardship. Strong “authorizers”—the entities created by law to approve, monitor, and if necessary, close charter schools—know how to support the school community to make sure no child falls through the cracks in the transition to another school.

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NACSA Recognizes Step in the Right Direction To Improve Michigan’s Charter School Authorizing

February 19, 2015

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) recognizes today’s release of a study by the Education Trust—Midwest (ETM) entitled “Accountability for All: The Need for Real Charter School Authorizer Accountability in Michigan.”

Alex Medler, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy of NACSA, said, “We think this report is the latest step in the right direction as Michigan continues to discuss how to improve charter school authorizing. Authorizer evaluations are valuable tools in the larger effort to strengthen charter school oversight. Ultimately, and more importantly, they can help the state to improve charter school performance.”

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NACSA Strongly Supports Public Charter School Program Reauthorization

February 10, 2015

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) endorses the efforts of Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Senior Democrat Bobby Scott (D-VA) to reauthorize NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and strongly supports provisions of the Public Charter School Reauthorization (Title III) in H.R. 5, also known as the Public Charter School Program, that are aimed at increasing resources, standards, and accountability for quality charter school authorizing.

Congress is moving to reauthorize the Education and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as NCLB. House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) have made ESEA reauthorization their first priority in the 114th Congress.

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ESEA Testing and Accountability

January 23, 2015 

In response to the U.S. Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee hearing on testing and accountability, (scheduled for 9:30 am, Wednesday, January 21, 2015), Greg Richmond, President and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), released the following statement:

"Testing, and the information that testing generates, is being debated in Congress today. For many this will be a political debate. But for the more than 1,000 government and not-for-profit entities that are charged with authorizing charter schools, the outcome of this debate will not be a political failure or victory—the outcome will have a dramatic effect on our ability to make smart decisions that impact children in more than 6,000 public charter schools. We need annual testing data in order to make well informed decisions about how well our schools are working for our children.

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Massachusetts Audit Obscures Successful Charter School Outcomes

December 18, 2014

The audit released today by the Massachusetts State Auditor of the administration of the charter school program by the Board of and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE and DESE) misses the forest for the trees.

No one questions the need for confidence in the state’s handling of school data, but administrative issues should not obscure successful outcomes. The Massachusetts charter office oversees one of the most vibrant and high-performing charter sectors in the nation. This is due in large part to its record of rigorous application processes, comprehensive oversight, and prudent decisions on renewal and revocation of charter school contracts.

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NACSA Launches New Communications Effort

Jobi Cates named VP of Communications

November 18, 2014

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers is pleased to announce that Jobi Cates has joined the organization as Vice President of Communications.

Cates comes to NACSA from Human Rights Watch, where she served as the Senior Director of the Chicago Office since 2008. In her role there, she led an integrated communications and advocacy initiative to end the practice of sentencing children who commit serious crimes to “life without parole.” As the organization’s top representative in the Midwest, she was responsible for raising significant private funds to support Human Rights Watch’s global agenda and for building a broad and influential constituency to support the organization’s advocacy efforts.

Cates is a veteran of the charter school community. In the mid-1990s, she helped develop the charter application for one of Illinois’ first charter schools—now a thriving network. As a grant maker, she supported dozens of charter schools in formation and in their early years. Later, as a lobbyist, she advocated for improved charter school finance laws in Illinois, and to increase the “cap” on the available number of charters in Chicago. Before joining Human Rights Watch, she was the Illinois Advocacy Representative for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Passionate Advocate for Children and Former Authorizer Joins NACSA Staff

Karega Rausch named VP of Research and Evaluation

September 30, 2014

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers is pleased to announce that Karega Rausch will join the organization next month as Vice President of Research and Evaluation.

Rausch is currently a member of the leadership team with the Equity Project at Indiana University. In this role, Rausch is responsible for ensuring the project’s research, practice, and service goals are achieved. Rausch also brings with him a wealth of charter school authorizing, educational policy, community engagement, and strategic advocacy experience. Prior to joining the Equity Project, Rausch founded and served as Director of the Indianapolis affiliate of Stand for Children, a national educational advocacy nonprofit.

Karega Rausch is no stranger to NACSA. He first connected with the organization when he served as the director of charter schools in the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office – widely recognized as one of the nation’s strongest authorizers. He joined NACSA’s Board of Directors in 2010 and was re-elected in 2013.

“It’s our deep pleasure to welcome Karega in his move from our board to our staff,” said Greg Richmond, NACSA president and CEO. “Karega is a proven leader in the charter sector, and has the breadth of experience and depth of thinking required for this role.”

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NACSA Applauds Focus on Student Outcomes and Serving At-Risk Students

New report on the health of the charter school movement welcomed by NACSA

October 1, 2014

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) welcomed today’s release of the
National Alliance for Public Charter School’s (the Alliance) new national report on charter school
performance.


“The Alliance report offers a valuable data set,” stated Greg Richmond, President and CEO of
NACSA. “NACSA applauds the report’s emphasis on improved academic outcomes, as well as the
opening of new good schools, and the closing of poor-performing ones, which are central tenets in
NACSA’s One Million Lives campaign.”

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