“I don’t think that would work too well here; we’re pretty unique.”
Authorizers around the country have said this since the first authorizing shop opened in Minnesota in 1992. Sometimes, the concern is well-founded. Not every problem requires an identical solution.
But as the charter school sector expands and matures, the database of what’s needed and what works grows more robust. Certain patterns have emerged and NACSA is paying close attention to them.
This case study is one in a series that explores local progress on charter school authorizing in various corners of our country. We’ll dig into what was needed, how it happened, and why it matters to the ultimate quest we’re all on: creating and sustaining great public schools for all U.S. children.
The series continues on our nation’s East Coast, in New Jersey, a microcosm of all the promise and problems in our nation’s public school system. We pay attention to New Jersey—a state that has been chartering schools since 1997—for its dramatic efforts to improve authorizing practices during the last few years. They have stepped away from mere compliance into the light of performance, shaking up the status quo and deciding that “as good as” wasn’t good enough for their charter school sector.