Phoebe Boyer, Executive Director, Robertson Foundation
“Each year, our public education system is falling short for thousands of children. Charter schools are an important part of the solution, but only when they’re high-quality. We need to continue to open new, great charter schools while strengthening our efforts to close those that persistently fail. Authorizers are critical levers and we are proud to support NACSA’s leadership in the field.”
Ed Kirby, Senior Program Officer, Walton Family Foundation
“As more parents across the country are empowered to make choices about their children’s education, the need for high-quality school options - district, public charter or private - is more important than ever. With this funding, NACSA can continue to raise the bar on public charter school authorizing practices and expand the network of strong authorizers who thoughtfully approve and provide oversight for high-performing schools and close those schools that are not meeting their promise of serving students with a good education.”
Bill Phillips, President, New York Charter Schools Association
“NACSA is right to bring the focus back to kids with its One Million Lives campaign. For whatever reason the fact is that we open and close too few charter schools, even in a successful chartering states like New York. Both failures harm children.”
Jim Griffin, President, Colorado League of Charter Schools
“Taken as a whole these policy recommendations are a loud statement that charter schools, parents, and community leaders across the country should have access to a quality authorizer – rigorous, objective, and professional – with its own clear mandate for performance expectations.”
Dr. Howard Fuller, Founder and Director, Institute for the Transformation of Learning, Marquette University
“I applaud NACSA for this effort to expand quality choices for children and families. We know that charters play an important role in providing children from all backgrounds not only the opportunity to choose an education that is right for them, but also an education that will prepare them with the skills they need to succeed. The One Million Lives initiative will not only raise the level of discourse to focus on quality, but can help build the coalition necessary to put excellence into action. Our schools, our students and our nation will be better for it.”
Michelle Rhee, CEO and Founder, StudentsFirst
“If we are going to really help kids succeed, every school entrusted with public money - whether district, public charter or private - must be held accountable to the families they serve and the taxpayer for high standards and achievement. For charter schools to be successful, and to provide parents with meaningful choice, we need to promote better authorizer practices and stronger state policies to achieve a higher quality of charter schools and, at the same time, set clear protocols for closing chronically failing schools. The One Million Lives advocacy campaign is a model program to improve charter school accountability practices.”
Terry Ryan, Vice-President for Ohio Programs and Policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, in Ohio Gadfly Daily
“Ohio is making progress out of the wilderness of charter mediocrity, but education reformers here and across the country should fully embrace the One Million Lives campaign as a way to do even more.”
Alexander Russo, LA School Report
“Kudos to the California Charter Schools Association for being one of two state charter groups to join the National Association of Charter School Authorizers this morning in Washington to call for a renewed focus on charter school quality and — where necessary — closings.”
Ned Stanley, Managing Director of Knowledge Development at Teach for America, Pass the Chalk blog
“[S]imply being a charter is not a guarantee that a school will produce impressive student outcomes. But the poor results of some schools doesn’t mean that the freedoms enjoyed by charters—such as the capacity to set the length of the school day and year and the ability to base personnel decisions on performance measures that they independently design—aren’t having a substantial, positive impact at others.
“Nuance like this isn’t clean. It doesn’t fit well into a sound bite and it isn’t the red meat that the fervents on both sides crave. But it’s the truth . . . This is why efforts, such as the National Association of Charter School Authorizer’s One Million Lives campaign, to take a nuanced look at individual schools to hold them accountable for their quality are essential.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial
"A big selling point for charter schools is that school systems can close those that don’t meet expectations. Charters face a stiff accountability standard: Make the grade, or cease to exist.
That’s one of the angles that make charter schools superior to traditional public schools – not in every specific case, but in the aggregate. Traditional public schools lack accountability. They can just keep plugging along year after year, no matter how badly they perform.. . it will be a long time before traditional public schools across the country all face the same tough scrutiny charter schools do.
Don’t believe it? Then try to imagine anyone at the federal level suggesting America shut down the worst 20 percent of traditional public schools . . . for failure to perform."
Jacob Waters, Elementary School Teacher, Philadelphia, PA @skepticspol
“One Million Lives” sacrifices the public image of charters for the sake of students that are attending bad schools, a demonstration of self-assessment and reflection that is all too rare in education reform. Why are school districts not making the same types of statements? There are at least “a million lives” attending failing traditional public schools as well. If districts were willing to set aside concerns about their public perception and recognize the urgency of closing or turning around failing schools, kids would be much better off. It’s time for us stop concerning ourselves with labels and start prioritizing what really matters.
Mike Feinberg, co-founder of KIPP; Sebha Ali, superintendent of KIPP Houston; Jason Bernal, president of YES Prep, Houston Chronicle
"As the Legislature takes a fresh look at how we educate children in Texas, we have four recommendations . . .
Hold low-performing schools accountable for their results. When low-performing schools are the status quo, our entire education system suffers. This is especially true for public charter schools, where "freedom in exchange for accountability" is the rallying cry. This month, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) announced a campaign to crack down on underperforming charter schools. Texas must also embrace accountability, by closing low-performing charter schools and helping struggling district schools restructure and innovate."
Julie Marlette, 50CAN, GreatBigBlog
"50CAN is excited to partner with NACSA in this campaign and will keep fighting until all 50 states have policies in place that allow great schools—traditional and charter alike—to thrive and serve the students who need them most. Because great schools really do change everything."
William J. Sims, President and CEO of Ohio Alliance of Public Charter Schools
“The Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools has been particularly focused on the imperative of systemic quality throughout the charter school community. Ohio has effected tough closure laws for chronically under-performing charter schools and is now in the process of creating new criteria, with the help of NACSA, for determining and measuring high-quality authorizing. NACSA’s One Million Lives campaign is a welcome wind beneath our wings as we press for stronger accountability in Ohio.”