“Our focus is on giving parents strong choices. We authorize strong schools that not only create a love of learning, but actually ensure students learn. If still more parents want that program, we replicate it, because that gives parents more strong choices. When schools fail to live up to their mission, they close. The Institute’s mission? #moregreatseatsforkids”
—Susie Miller Carello, Executive Director, SUNY Charter Schools Institute
What is this case study about?
This case study takes a close look at how and why the Charter Schools Institute at the State University of New York (SUNY) does its authorizing work, providing big-picture oversight to charter schools in New York. It is one of five case studies at the heart of NACSA’s groundbreaking Quality Practice Project, which explores the authorizer practices associated with high-quality charter school portfolios.
The Charter Schools Institute at SUNY is one of the top charter school authorizers in the country, based on an 11-point evaluation of school portfolio and authorizer performance outcomes. Some facts of note about SUNY:
- SUNY authorized its first charter school in 1999 and had 167 charter schools by 2016.
- SUNY’s portfolio of charter schools are fully accessible to all students including students of color, low-income students (those receiving free or reduced lunch), students with disabilities, and English language learners.
- SUNY holds its charter schools accountable for their performance: 9% of SUNY-authorized charter school have not been renewed by the SUNY Board of Trustees.
Leadership, Commitment, Judgment at SUNY
Who does this impact?
More than 80% of SUNY’s charter schools provide measurably stronger educational choices than the districts in which they are located. SUNY proudly points to college acceptance videos, get out the vote flash mobs, modern day Shakespeare music videos, chess champions, culinary programs, community organizing, disaster relief—in addition to academic success—as some of the results SUNY-authorized charters produce for children. SUNY also offers strong parent interest as another proof point: 100,000 parents a year apply to SUNY-authorized charters.
Where can I learn more?
Read more about SUNY’s practices in the full case study, available via PDF below.