One Million Lives In Action: Ball State University

Stay Updated With The Latest News

NACSA is committed to sharing regular updates on the latest federal COVID-19 information available in an effort to highlight education policies taking place during the pandemic. Primarily, these updates will focus on the latest packages Congress is considering and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.

One Million Lives In Action: Ball State University

Although Ball State University’s Office of Charter Schools has faced some tough criticism in the past, it is working to set an example of how an authorizer can drastically improve its policies and practices—and consequently the strength of the schools in its portfolio.

The largest authorizer in Indiana for over a decade, Ball State has taken the heat for the number of persistently low-performing schools it authorizes. But two years ago, the university started working with NACSA to improve its practices across the board.

“About two years ago, we took a hard and close look at our work, and clearly saw what we needed to improve,” explains Bob Marra, executive director of the university’s Office of Charter Schools (OCS). “It was a critical piece—though not very pleasant—to put ourselves under the microscope.”

Ball State’s improved accountability framework led to its announcement a few weeks ago that it was non-renewing seven failing charter schools. While these decisions were made after thorough analysis of school performance and careful deliberation, they are still never easy.

Said Marra, “We had to make these decisions—which we realize are extremely difficult for schools and their communities—because we know they are the right decisions for children.”

Read more about Ball State’s journey to transform its own work and the quality of its schools.

 


Most Recent Posts
Holding Up a Mirror: What to Expect at 2021 NACSA Virtual Leadership Conference for Charter School Authorizers
As educators, we need to recognize the significance of this moment for charter school authorizers. The pandemic has interrupted schooling for millions of children–widening achievement and opportunity gaps that we...
Wyoming Gets a New Authorizer Is the Headline, But There’s More to the Story
Last month we touched on a Wyoming bill, SF130, which created a new authorizing pathway in the state. But there is more to the bill that deserves to be highlighted: through a comprehensive overhaul, SF130...
Amid Change, Our Autonomy and Community Are Our Strength
This blog post was written by Dr. Sana Shaikh, who served until this spring as Director of School Operations at Rise Prep High School, an autonomous school in Springfield, Massachusetts. Rise...