Guidance for Charter School Authorizers to Ensure Accountability in a Time of Transition

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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.

Guidance for Charter School Authorizers to Ensure Accountability in a Time of Transition

Addressing Data Gaps During a Pandemic

We need great, innovative schools that can meet the unique and diverse needs of students across the country. As schools navigate learning during COVID-19, all schools, charter authorizers, and states must measure school quality more broadlynot just during the pandemic, but beyond.    

NACSA’s new accountability guidance paper and accompanying resources provide practical guidance and best practices for authorizers and charter schools on prioritizing student success. This resource suite is the result of NACSA’s work alongside authorizers and other stakeholders to transform what authorizing can look like in the near- and long-term. 

At NACSA, we believe that continuing to use assessments and data to identify opportunity gaps, helps authorizers measure progress towards our commitment to educational equity. During the 2020-21 school year, and perhaps beyond, states and authorizers should require robust, baseline assessments in order to identify where to target additional resources and support.  

Additionally, these challenging times present a moment for authorizers and educators to reflect on what the future of student success should look like. Standardized tests have never provided a complete picture of excellence. A school’s goal should not just be to help a child survive in the world post-graduation, but to thrive. That level of quality must be measured more broadly to develop a more comprehensive picture of how kids are doing.  

Together, we can ensure that students continue to learn and achieve, no matter the circumstance; and that we uphold high standards while pushing ourselves to define learning in more expansive, innovative, and effective ways. 

Access our new resources:

Visit AuthoRISE—NACSA’s comprehensive digital learning community—to access the full resource suite as well as other resources to strengthen your authorizing practices. 

Anyone can access all of our new COVID-19 resources in AuthoRISE by emailing AuthoRISE@qualitycharters.org and requesting a login. 

This resource was developed by and in collaboration with: Amy Ruck Kagan, NACSA; Veronica Brooks-Uy, NACSA; Amanda Fenton, NACSASharonda Bossier, Education Leaders of Color; Robbyn WahbyMissouri Charter Public School CommissionKelli Peterson, NOLA Public Schools; Jana Wilcox Lavin, Opportunity 180David Frank, New York State Education Department (NYSED); Kathryn Mullen Upton, Fordham Institute; Jennifer Schiess, Bellwether Education Partners; Ashley LiBetti, Bellwether Education Partners; Sara MeadBellwether Education Partners Angie McPhaulDenver Public Schools; Caroline RoemerLouisiana Association of Public Charter Schools; Naomi DeVeaux, National Charter School Institute 


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