September 2018 Newsletter

New NCSRC Webinar Explores CMO Oversight
A growing proportion of charter schools belong to non-profit networks of schools, referred to as Charter Management Organizations (CMOs). This webinar introduced issues that arise for CMOs, state entities administering Charter Schools Program (CSP) grants, and charter school authorizers. States are working to support the replication and expansion of high-performing networks while also responding to concerns about CMO governance and oversight raised by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General (OIG) and other observers. This webinar also addressed issues involved in CMO governance and oversight and gave participants a chance to discuss issues raised by the OIG and others.

View the webinar here.

New Group Forms to Expand the "Portfolio Model" Nationwide 
A new group has formed to expand charter schools and district schools with charter-like autonomy. The City Fund group has raised $200 million to encourage cities to expand the “portfolio model” of running schools, according to several news outlets. The portfolio model is a school governance model that emphasizes giving educators and school leaders more control of the schools they work. In cities like New Orleans, Denver, and Indianapolis, the portfolio model has allowed charters to grow through initiatives such as common enrollment systems, recruiting operators to help turn-around struggling public schools, and supporting traditional public schools that want to operate with added flexibility.

Read more about the portfolio model here.

NCSRC Resources

  • Students with Disabilities Resources 
    This compilation from the NCSRC is designed to provide the charter school community with access to useful information (such as research, case studies, and toolkits) in support of their work to effectively serve students with disabilities. The compilation draws from key stakeholders and leaders in the sector, including federal, state, and local agencies, nonprofit organizations, and research agencies, that have developed resources specifically to aid charter schools in the important efforts they take to serve students with disabilities.
  • An Analysis of the Charter School Facility Landscape in Colorado
    Colorado’s charter sector is poised for continued growth, but state facility funding is not keeping pace with rising enrollment and real estate costs. That is just one of the key takeaways from a recent report from the NCSRC, the Colorado League of Charter Schools, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (the Alliance) released this year. In the spring of 2017, each organization collaborated to collect data and information about charter school facilities and facilities expenditures in the state of Colorado
  • Case Study: Valor Collegiate Academies: Charter Schools Intentionally Designed to Serve Diverse Students and Families
    A small but growing number of charter schools have been founded with the explicit purpose and intentional design to serve diverse racial, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. This case study features Valor Collegiate Academies, which operates two high-performing charter schools in Nashville, Tennessee. In four videos, school leaders discuss the foundations of a diverse school and how they support staff to serve students and families with diverse needs and experiences.
  • Charter Schools and Military Communities: A Toolkit
    Over the past decade, a variety of charter schools have opened to serve military-connected children and families in diverse locations. This toolkit includes information on charter schools serving the needs of military families and tools to help additional military communities strengthen their local school options with new charter schools. The toolkit highlights a number of those schools and their stories, while also offering resources to improve other military communities’ ability to benefit from charter school opportunities.

NCSRC Partner Resources

  • How Personalized Learning Models Can Meet the Needs of Students with Disabilities
    The Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) collaborated with the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS) to produce case studies on school models and practices that effectively serve students with special needs. This brief highlights how San Diego charter school network Thrive Public Schools is using personalized learning to meet the needs of its students with disabilities.
  • Quality Practice Project: Leadership, Commitment, Judgment: Elements of Successful Charter School Authorizing
    Great authorizers—those with strong portfolios of charter schools—are moving the needle for their communities. But what exactly do these authorizers do differently to achieve stellar outcomes? NACSA set out to answer this question three years ago. This first-of-its-kind research is an important step toward developing a more evidence-informed connection between practices and outcomes. These case studies explore what the key attributes of leadership, commitment, and judgement mean in different authorizing contexts.
  • Strengthening Federal Investment in Charter School Facilities 2018
    This paper by the Alliance examines what can be done at the federal level to provide additional resources to charter schools to access school buildings and to create incentives for states to address inequities in the allocation and funding of buildings. This paper includes changes that policymakers can make to strengthen existing programs as well as new programs that policymakers can create to ease the facilities burden on charter schools.

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