Working Together to Advance District Authorizing


Working Together to Advance District Authorizing

Authorizing can be a challenge in every environment, but perhaps one of the most challenging environments is that of the district central office. Staff in the charter office can often feel like they are authorizing on a battle field. Parents, board members, district leadership, and their own colleagues may all be at odds with their work on any given day.

It’s easy to feel alone—like they are the only ones that see charter kids as district kids.

But they aren’t alone. There are more than 950 disrict authorizers in the US, and that number keeps growing.

There is a great deal district authorizers can learn from each other to breakdown barriers, foster understanding, and spark innovation to ensure that all kids—traditional and charter—have access to a great public school.

NACSA’s District Authorizer Community provides district authorizers a place to go where others understand. Most importantly, it is a forum to advance district authorizing and support the professionals who carry out this important work.

This Community is made up of authorizers from across the country, from the largest and most established district authorizers to those just getting started.  Since its inception, the group has offered a number of virtual workshops aimed at taking a deep dive into a particular practice and providing detailed feedback to support improvement. Community members also shared their own procedures related to pre-opening practices as a means to ensure that new charter schools are prepared to open their doors and start serving students on Day One of operation.

At the recent NACSA Leadership Conference, four authorizers shared how their distrists are embracing innovation in the areas of district-charter collaboration, community involvement in charter decisions, and redefining charter policies. The lively 75-minute conversation proved to be too short to explore all of the exciting initatives taking place in our nation’s districts. By popular demand, each authorizer will share their presentation again in a webinar and facilitate conversations with their peers each week between now and mid-December.

If you are a district authorizer and are interested in participating in this Community or the upcoming webinars, please contact membership@qualitycharters.org.

The District Authorizing Community is just getting started. Stay tuned for exciting new announcements in 2016!