The charter school authorizing sector continues to expand and improve according to a report released today by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). These findings are shared in The State of Charter School Authorizing 2012: Fifth Annual Report on NACSA's Authorizer Survey. NACSA conducts its research each year to glean learnings that will help all authorizers meet the challenges inherent in the oversight of these public schools.
"Strong policies and practices are critical to ensuring that only the best schools are opened and remain open," said NACSA President and CEO Greg Richmond.
There is considerable diversity among charter school authorizers. Of the 974 authorizing entities nationwide, 516 oversee just one school. In contrast, the nation's single largest authorizer, the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, oversees 515 charter campuses. The report's findings indicate that the size of an authorizer's portfolio is directly related to its adoption of key practices to ensure quality.
To support stronger performance regardless of size, NACSA has outlined 12 practices essential to authorizing. NACSA's 2012 State of Charter School Authorizing indicates that more of the nation's authorizers are implementing these "essential practices." Authorizers reported gains in nine of 12 Index categories, with double-digit improvements in practices related to increased transparency, the setting of performance expectations and building staff capacity.
The report also includes findings that indicate a sharp increase in charter school closures after a two-year decline. In 2011-2012, 12 percent of charter schools reviewed for renewal were closed, an increase from 6.2 percent during 2010-2011. For large authorizers, who oversee 10 or more charter schools, the closure rate was even higher, at 14.7 percent.
"One way to ensure more children attend the best possible school is to open more. The other way to improve the quality equation is by shutting down schools that aren't serving children well," said Richmond. "That is the core of NACSA's One Million Lives campaign." The campaign, launched in late 2012, is engaging a broad coalition to give one million more children the chance at a great education by closing the lowest-performing charter schools and opening many more high-quality new charter schools.
For additional information on national authorizing trends, please refer to The State of Charter School Authorizing 2012. See NACSA's website for additional graphics. For information on the implementation of the 12 essential practices by individual authorizers by state, please refer to NACSA's Index of Essential Practices.
About NACSA: The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is committed to advancing excellence and accountability in the charter school sector and to increasing the number of high-quality charter schools across the nation. NACSA works to improve the policies and practices of authorizers--the organizations designated to approve, monitor, renew and, if necessary, close charter schools. NACSA sets standards of practice, develops practical tools and resources and provides training, consulting and policy guidance to the nation's authorizers. It also advocates for laws and policies that raise the bar for excellence among authorizers and the schools they charter. Visit www.qualitycharters.orgCONTACT: National Association of Charter School Authorizers
Courtney Leigh Beisel, 312.376.2316
firstname.lastname@example.orgSOURCE: National Association of Charter School Authorizers Copyright Business Wire 2013