Knowledge Core Keyword: Autonomy

Viewpoint: Authorizing Online Learning

“During this decade, American education will shift from print to digital, from flat and sequential content to engaging and adaptive, and from batch processing to personalized learning. There will also be a slow enrollment shift from traditional district-operated schools to schools and programs operated by organizations authorized under contracts or charter.

As chief executive officer and chair of the International Association for K–12 Online Learning (iNACOL), we believe that one of the most important drivers of this historic shift is online learning. It is growing by more than 40 percent annually and creating new full- and part-time options for students and families. This paper refers specifically to online schools where instruction is delivered remotely by live teachers on a full- and part-time basis, also known as virtual or cyber learning.

Successfully Authorizing Blended Charter Schools

Blended charter schools (sometimes called “hybrid charter schools”) provide student instruction at least in part at supervised brick and- mortar locations, and at least in part through digital learning.1 In 2009–2010, 142 …

School Quality in the Cloud: Guidelines for Authorizing Virtual Charter Schools

One of the most interesting yet challenging developments in recent years for many charter authorizers across the country has been the rapid rise and expansion of virtual or online charter schools. These …

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 …

Navigating Special Education in Charter Schools Part I: Understanding Legal Roles and Responsibilities

Special education entails the provision of an array of specialized services and supports designed to help students with disabilities access the general education curriculum in a manner equivalent to their non-disabled peers. …

Charter School Authorizers and Oversight: Where is the Line Between Effectively Holding Schools Accountable and Overregulation?

The basic charter school bargain—freedom in exchange for accountability—presents unique challenges to authorizers. Authorizers must walk a tightrope of sorts, respecting each charter school’s independence and distinct mission, while holding every school …

The Value of Quality On-Site School Reviews: Seeing Is Believing

The charter school concept is built on the premise that in return for freedom, charter schools are held accountable to promises made in their charter. It is the authorizer’s role to ensure that charter schools uphold their end of the agreement by providing appropriate oversight of each charter school.