NACSA Applauds Focus on Student Outcomes and Serving At-Risk Students

NACSA Applauds Focus on Student Outcomes and Serving At-Risk Students

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) welcomed today’s release of the National Alliance for Public Charter School’s (the Alliance) new national report on charter school performance.

“The Alliance report offers a valuable data set,” stated Greg Richmond, President and CEO of NACSA. “NACSA applauds the report’s emphasis on improved academic outcomes, as well as the opening of new good schools, and the closing of poor-performing ones, which are central tenets in NACSA’s One Million Lives campaign.”

NACSA also applauded the Alliance’s recognition of the importance of serving children most at risk of falling through the cracks, including racial minorities and students from low income families, special education students, and English learners.

The new report, The Health of the Public Charter School Movement: A State-By-State Analysis, explores the factors that reflect the health of a state’s charter sector. The Alliance ranks states using 11 indicators of growth, innovation, and quality. Within their weighted scoring rubric, the most points are given to student outcomes in reading and math, followed by the rate of school openings and closings, as well as the share of public schools and students in that state’s charter sector.

According to Richmond, these are priorities for NACSA as well and should be priorities for charter schools and their authorizers across the nation. “The Alliance report reflects the values of this movement, which is not just about market share, but about quality education, period. This was the basis for the founding of the charter school movement, and what has historically guided us,” Richmond stated. “Now, 20 years into this work, this continued focus responds to taxpayer and parent demands for transparency in public education.”

NACSA encouraged further discussion of the indicators that drive the Alliance’s state rankings, as they depict tremendous variation within the sector, and highlight the need for additional analysis. “This report is helpful in our quest to better understand what factors influence why one state is more successful than its neighbor,” said Richmond. “We hope this is a first cut, as there is additional useful data to consider, such as the number of schools ranked in the lowest 15 percent for performance.”

This report sets the stage for two publications NACSA will release over the next few months, which explore the environments in which chartering takes place, and how the adoption of good policies by legislators and good practices by authorizers both have critical impact on the ultimate performance of a state’s charter school sector.

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