Knowledge Core Keyword: Authorizer Accountability

Core Reporting Timeline

One way that authorizers can strengthen their ability to provide rigorous and consistent oversight and evaluation, minimize burdens on schools, and increase the likelihood that schools will meet their obligations is to develop, publicize, and follow a fixed, streamlined, and well-thought-out reporting timeline. The NACSA Core Reporting Timeline is provided as an example. The requirements and due dates listed are for illustrative purposes only, and are not exhaustive. This tool is intended to be customized by authorizers to meet their local context and to match their own reporting requirements. Authorizers should only require and track submissions that are contractually required and should make sure that all required submissions are included in their reporting timeline. Schools should know exactly when required information is due and in what format so that there are no surprises. Whenever possible, authorizers should consolidate submissions and reporting deadlines and coordinate collection efforts with other agencies.

NACSA Spotlight on Essential Practices

The cornerstone of these practices is NACSA’s Principles & Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing, first published in 2004 and regularly updated as the field evolves. This is the foundational text for authorizers, who are charged with promoting school quality through flexibility over inputs and accountability for outcomes. Increasingly, Principles & Standards (P&S) has also become a guidepost for education advocates and lawmakers who craft and revise state charter school laws and policies.

Index of Essential Practices 2013

Since the start of the charter movement, authorizing practices have evolved. We know what practices are critical to fostering high-performing charter schools. We recognize our duties to ensure the autonomy of the schools we oversee, to protect the rights of students and the public, and to close schools that are not living up to our expectations.

The Index of Essential Practices details 12 practices, derived from NACSA’s Principles & Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing, which are critical to fulfilling the responsibilities of an authorizer. It is meant to help strengthen authorizer practices and policy throughout the country.

The Index also serves as an important tool for authorizer self-evaluation. It includes data on individual authorizer practices self-reported in responses to NACSA’s annual survey of authorizers. NACSA recommends that authorizing staff and boards, charter schools, and lawmakers look to see how many Essential Practices are in place for them, and implement any missing practices.

Authorizers play a vital role within the charter school community. By implementing these 12 essential practices, they help pave the way for every charter to be a great educational option for children.

Index of Essential Practices 2012

Since the start of the charter movement, authorizing practices have evolved. We know what practices are critical to fostering high-performing charter schools. We recognize our duties to ensure the autonomy of the schools we oversee, to protect the rights of students and the public, and to close schools that are not living up to our expectations.
This second edition of the Index of Essential Practices details 12 practices, derived from NACSA’s Principles & Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing, which are critical to fulfilling the responsibilities of an authorizer. It is meant to help strengthen authorizer practices and policy throughout the country.

The 2012 Index also serves as an important tool for authorizer self-evaluation. It includes data on individual authorizer practices self-reported in responses to NACSA’s annual survey of authorizers. NACSA recommends that authorizing staff and boards, charter schools, and lawmakers look to see how many Essential Practices are in place for them, and implement any missing practices.

Authorizers play a vital role within the charter school community. By implementing these 12 essential practices, they help pave the way for every charter to be a great educational option for children.

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

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.

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 …

Replicating Quality: 2014 Report

“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 continue, the sector could double in size by 2025, serving 4.6 million children and representing nearly 10% of all public school students.

Research on charter school quality finds significant variations in performance across the sector. Many charter schools achieve outstanding results for students. Most perform on par with traditional public schools, although a number do continue to underperform.

The question is: will growth in the charter sector reflect today’s pattern of mixed quality? Or could adoption of judicious policies and practices create conditions that allow us to double the percentage of charter schools that provide an excellent education for students?”