Help for Charter Schools
The Role of Charter Restarts in School Reform: Honoring our Commitments to Students and Public Accountability
The report, prepared by Daniela Doyle and Tim Field for NewSchools Venture Fund, explores a variation on school closure where a charter school’s operator and governance (board) changes, while the school continues to serve the same students — charter school “restarts.” The report examines how charter restarts fit within the larger context of charter school quality and accountability and describes how restarts have played out at five charter schools. It concludes with a series of recommendations for board members and charter authorizers interested in pursuing a restart strategy.
High-performing charter schools have shown that disadvantaged students can achieve at high levels. Unfortunately, too few of these schools exist today, severely limiting access among the highest-need students. Charter school incubation – recruiting, selecting, training, and supporting promising leaders as they launch new schools – is a crucial strategy for increasing the number of high-performing charter schools in cities across the country. This policy brief, released by the Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust (CEE-Trust) and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, explores current experience with charter incubation and the local policies and funding needed to create and sustain healthy markets for successful incubators.
[pdf] Charter incubation is the process of intentionally building the supply of high-quality schools and charter management organizations by recruiting, selecting, training, and supporting promising leaders as they launch new charter schools. This white paper identifies and analyzes four critical focus areas for charter incubators: attracting and developing effective school or CMO leaders; partnering strategically to help leaders open and operate high-quality charter schools and CMOs; championing school leaders in the community; and coordinating advocacy to support new charter leaders. The authors distilled these four areas from research and discussions with members of the Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust (CEE-Trust), an initiative of Indianapolis-based education reform organization The Mind Trust . The white paper discusses these focus areas and presents innovative responses by CEE-Trust members to the challenges of charter incubation in each area. This white paper is part of a three-piece series continuing the discussion from a National Charter School Resource Center / U.S. Department of Education conference exploring emerging city-based movements that embrace high-quality charters as an integral component of their reform strategy. On September 21, 2011, Joe Ableidinger joined Ethan Gray, vice president of The Mind Trust and director of CEE-Trust, to offer a webinar based on the white paper, Expanding the Supply of High-Quality Charter Schools: Innovations in Incubation, available through the National Charter School Resource Center at http://www.charterschoolcenter.org/webinar/expanding-supply-high-quality-charter-schools-innovations-incubation.
This webinar explores charter school incubation, a promising strategy for intentionally accelerating the growth of high-quality charter schools by recruiting, selecting, training, and supporting promising leaders as they launch new schools. Presenters discuss the need for incubation, the promise of incubation, and some of the early evidence from established incubators. They introduce Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust (CEE-Trust), an initiative of Indianapolis-based education reform organization The Mind Trust, and discuss the work that CEE-Trust members have been doing to incubate new high-quality charter schools. The webinar then details four critical focus areas for charter incubators as described in the companion white paper, Incubating High-Quality Charter Schools: Innovations in City-Based Organizations, and innovative approaches taken by CEE-Trust members in each focus area. Finally, presenters discuss five major policies that policymakers can address to support charter incubation, and how changes in these areas would help incubators.
This white paper highlights six indicators of a robust talent pipeline so that charter supporters of all kinds—including charter school leaders, talent providers, charter support organizations, philanthropies, and politicians—can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their own efforts. It also shows through the examples of Indianapolis and New Orleans how charter supporters have been able to grow the supply of effective charter school teachers and leaders by focusing on these indicators. This white paper is part of a three-piece series continuing the discussion from a National Charter School Resource Center / U.S. Department of Education conference exploring emerging city-based movements that embrace high-quality charters as an integral component of their reform strategy.
[pdf] Drawing on lessons learned from cities trying to kick-start a new charter market, as well as from some of the most developed markets in the country, this white paper offers guidance for philanthropies on how to invest wisely as part of a city-based strategy. It also identifies potentially high-yield investments in the charter sector. This white paper is part of a three-piece series continuing the discussion from a National Charter School Resource Center / U.S. Department of Education conference exploring emerging city-based movements that embrace high-quality charters as an integral component of their reform strategy.
Commissioned by Baptist Community Ministries (BCM) in 2010, this report examines how philanthropic organizations in four American cities—Albany, N.Y.; Denver, Colo.; Harlem, N.Y.; and Houston, Tex.—have affected the charter sector. This scan includes information about how a select number of philanthropic organizations in each city developed their investment strategies, made investment decisions, and evaluated the impact their investments are having on public education. Read more…
[pdf] Charter schooling remains one of the nation’s most promising efforts to produce more excellent public schools, especially for low-income and minority students. Almost 20 years after the first charter school law was passed, however, questions in the sector largely focus now on quality and expansion: How can we help take the best of the charter sector to scale, while at the same time maintaining high standards of quality? Drawing upon the experience of many of the sector’s most active funders, Public Impact prepared this guidebook for The Philanthropy Roundtable to offer a menu of strategies that donors can use to support a high-quality charter school sector, including:
- Building a robust supply of high-quality new schools;
- Priming the teacher and leader pipeline;
- Addressing critical operations challenges;
- Defining and improving quality; and
- Forging charter-friendly public policies.
The guidebook examines these five priorities by describing how current funders are addressing them, providing suggestions for new donors and exploring the next phase of philanthropic support in the charter sector. Excerpts from the report (pdf) also appear in the spring 2009 issue of Philanthropy Magazine.
Corporations, Chambers, and Charters: How Businesses Can Support High-Quality Public Charter Schools.
Corporations, Chambers, and Charters: How Businesses Can Support High-Quality Public Charter Schools
This guide for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools captures recent developments in the charter sector and the advice of business leaders, leading donors, and partners on how businesspeople and chamber leaders can support high-quality charter schools, both in their local communities and on a national scale. This guide builds on the lessons philanthropists (including successful business leaders) have learned that will be particularly applicable to the business community. Businesses will find information throughout the guide not only on corporate financial giving, but also on developing meaningful partnerships and volunteer opportunities with schools, creating a welcoming policy environment for charters, and leveraging the skills and talents employees already possess for the benefit of charter public education. The report recommends that businesses and chambers work to strengthen charter schools in the following ways:
• Build a robust supply of high-quality new schools in the communities that need them;
• Fuel the pipeline of teachers and leaders needed to operate the schools;
• Address critical operational challenges the schools face;
• Forge charter-friendly public policies through state and local lawmaking.
[pdf] Case study, conducted for Seton Education Partners, explores the 2009 effort by Miami Archdiocesan leaders, parish priests, charter school operators, and charter support organizations to open eight charter schools in former Catholic school facilities. Quick, coordinated action created public charter options for the former Catholic school students and others seeking alternatives to traditional district schools while preventing the closure of several Catholic parishes. Report provides several early lessons for other dioceses considering this option.
[pdf] Co-authored by Education Sector co-director Thomas Toch, this installment of Ed Sector’s “Connecting the Dots” series describes the Walton Family Foundation’s impact on the charter sector via its investments in individual charter schools, charter management organizations and networks, support organizations, advocacy, and research and information.
[pdf] This report, written for Education Commission of the States, outlines the charter district design issues faced by school district leaders, explaining the key questions and discussing options for addressing them.
[pdf] Some national organizations that find good schools a way to further their own mission are now moving to create – and support – new schools in the charter sector. The YMCA of the USA is an example; so is the National Council of LaRaza.
Mobilizing and Motivating Your Staff to Get Results: A Technical Assistance Guide for Charter School Leaders
Mobilizing and Motivating Your Staff to Get Results: A Technical Assistance Guide for Charter School Leaders
(November 2000). Published by the Charter Friends National Network and sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this guide offers charter school leaders guidance in building a good foundation for successful human resource management, recruiting and selecting staff, and supporting staff performance.
This toolkit provides creative ideas for financing charter school facilities based on pioneering schools’ experiences. From the Charter Friends National Network, 1999.