February 2020 Newsletter

The word "NEWS" written in chalk on a blackboard
19 Feb, 2020

Welcome to The Charter Connection!

That’s right: we’re The Charter Connection now. Last issue, you voted for a new name for the National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) newsletter, and we listened! 

This issue of the Charter Connection features newly available NCSRC resources, including useful charter school infographics, reports and toolkits from our charter school partners, and an old-fashioned trivia question. Get ready to dig in! 

As you know, the charter sector is dynamic and there are a lot of great things happening. Next week, the U.S. Department of Education will be holding its annual Charter School Programs (CSP) project directors’ meeting, where more than 200 CSP grant recipients will convene in Washington, D.C., to talk about their projects and the charter sector as a whole. There will be exciting opportunities for CSP grantees to meet with technical assistance (TA) providers and CSP staff for one-on-one conversations, grantee networking and problem-solving, and discussions of sector trends and innovative practices from the field. 

Want to attend next year’s meeting? Then your ticket is a CSP grant! Currently the Department of Education has issued a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for CSP Grants to State Entities. For eligible State Entities and anyone interested in learning about future CSP grant competitions, contact the NCSRC team – we’re here to help

-The NCSRC Team

Great Resources

Click and Zoom

Check out this NCSRC infographic for a beautiful, shareable, and informative look at key facts and figures surrounding charter schools in America today, CSP’s charter school definition, and a brief history of charter schools in America.

Key facts and figures on charter schools in America
What is a charter school?

What is High-Quality Authorizing?

NCSRC is developing a “Framework for High-Quality Authorizing Practices” based on existing research and best practices. The Framework will help define high-quality authorizing and guide NCSRC publications and technical assistance in the area of authorizing. The NCSRC team is also writing profiles describing states' authorizing policies and grant-related activities. To create these profiles, the team is actively reviewing state statute and policy to learn which states are creating environments that support high-quality charter authorization practices. NCSRC staff are collaborating with CSP SE grantees to ensure the profiles are accurate and current. Questions are welcome! If you’re a CSP State Entity grantee feel free to post your comments to the SEA/SE Exchange or, if not, send us an email.


NCSRC published a new tool for writing and revising grant objectives to make sure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound). Whether you’re a first-time applicant or an experienced grantee reviewing project objectives, this toolkit will help you find out what S-M-A-R-T means to CSP.

SMART Objectives Toolkit

What's Going On?

Black History Month

Charter School Programs (CSP) grantees are sharing how they are commemorating Black History Month with their audiences on Twitter. Check out a few examples!

Young male student holding a sign

Breakthrough Schools on Twitter

Kindergarteners at Citizens Academy East are learning all about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr for #BlackHistoryMonth and sharing their own dreams! #ihaveadream #MLK #BHM #dreambig #nevertooyoung #btcle

Read more

Group of three pictures of Black History Month collages and activities

DCPS World Languages on Twitter

Check out Sra. Nedelman's classroom at @TruesdellEC, celebrating Black History Month today and everyday!

Read more

Young female student wearing a KIPP t-shirt

KIPP NYC on Twitter

For their #BlackHistoryMonth show on February 11, Londyn from #KIPPWashingtonHeights is preparing for her role as the great Nina Simone. #KIPPNYC

Read more

Calendar Invites

Visit the events calendar on the NCSRC website for a regularly updated selection of national charter school events! Something missing? Let us know

From Our Partners

New Year, New Resources

The NCSRC website added four great publications to its collection of resources. Check out these interesting and useful toolkits and reports today.