The Charter Blog

National Alliance 2016 Year in Review

We’ve nearly reached the end of 2016! At times, it’s felt like an endurance race – bearing the loss of treasured icons, or slogging through a presidential election that tried everyone’s patience. But there have been lots of reasons to celebrate, too. I’ve pulled together a few of this year’s highlights below.

Read more here

Posted in monthly newsletter

Washington, D.C. as a Classroom - The National Air and Space Museum

Washington, D.C. is more than a center of political power- it is also a vibrant and diverse city with a rich history. Our nation’s capital has limitless learning opportunities and as an educator, I hope you will immerse yourself in the historic sites, nature centers, and theaters while you’re here for our National Charter Schools Conference in June. Bringing Washington, D.C. into your classroom is a great way to add excitement and adventure to your lesson plans.

Read more here

Posted in NCSC

Branding Your School for Success

We all know that charter public schools are unlike district-run public schools in that we’re able to focus on a specific educational objective. We also know that being a charter school means that the structure and funding is different as well, often setting up challenges for us to be able to attract both top-notch teachers and students.

Read more here

Posted in NCSC

National Alliance November Newsletter

The outcome of last week’s presidential election has now been analyzed by more people than any other election in recent history. In addition to political pundits puzzling over Donald Trump’s surprise victory, educators are also trying to make sense of an election that didn’t focus on education but certainly reaffirms the importance of teaching civics and character education. As Robert Pondiscio observed here, the elections also highlight the importance of paying more attention to the needs of rural America – something the charter public school movement strives to do.

Read more here

Posted in monthly newsletter

Nuevos Resultados de NAEP Muestran que Escuelas Charters Tienen Beneficio Para Estudiantes Hispanos

Han pasado seis años desde que el National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) divulgó los resultados de su evaluación de ciencias delos estudiantes de 4to grado y de 12o grado y cuatro años para la evaluación de los estudiantes de 8o grado. Como la mayoría de las divulgaciones de NAEP, hay algunas buenas noticias y algunas malas.  Desde 2009, los estudiantes de 4to grado y 8o grado han visto un incremento en sus notas de cuatro puntos, mientras que para los estudiantes de 12o grado no se reportaron cambios. Las brechas de género han sido prácticamente eliminadas en términos generales, mientras las brechas entre negros y blancos, y entre hispanos y blancos se han reducido ligeramente a nivel de 4to grado.

Read more here

Posted in Research, NAEP, student achievement

New NAEP Science Scores Show Charters Work for Hispanic Students

It has been six years since the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) released scores on their Science assessment for 4th graders and 12th graders and 4 years for 8th graders. Like most NAEP releases, there is a little good news and a little bad news. Since 2009, 4th graders and 8th graders have seen their scores go up by about 4 points, while there was no change for 12th graders. Gender score gaps have been nearly eliminated across the board and the gaps between Blacks and Whites and Hispanics and Whites have declined slightly at the 4th grade. The most exciting finding for me - the results show that charter schools work for Hispanic students. 

Read more here

Posted in Research, NAEP, student achievement

New model law from the National Alliance acknowledges the elephant in the room: Virtual charter schools

Ohio’s charter school movement has faced a number of challenges over the past decade. A myriad of school closings and allegations of financial misconduct contributed to it being dubbed the Wild, Wild West of charter schools. Making matters worse, a comprehensive analysis in 2014 by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) found that, on average, Ohio charter students lost fourteen days of learning in reading and forty-three days of learning in math over the course of the school year compared to similar students in traditional public schools. To its credit, the Ohio General Assembly recognized these problems and in October 2015 passed House Bill 2 (HB 2)—a comprehensive reform of the Buckeye State’s charter school laws.

Read more here

Posted in State Government Issues, model law

Facilities: A Thorny Issue for Charter Schools

Ask any charter public school leader in the United States the thorniest issues they have to overcome in opening and running a great school and you will inevitably hear about facility challenges. Bottom line - the lack of affordable school facilities are a serious inhibitor to the growth and expansion America’s charter school sector.

Read more here

Posted in State Government Issues, model law

National Alliance October Newsletter

Charters work. That’s the direct, powerful message at the heart of our latest campaign on behalf of charter public school parents and students. It’s a message leaders of major institutions need to hear.

Read more here

Posted in monthly newsletter

Founding a School: Here’s What to Buy First

Starting a school can be thrilling, inspiring, fulfilling, and worthwhile–but I doubt it’s ever been easy. For charter school founders, in particular, there can be a steep learning curve when it comes to nailing down the operations of the school and the vast array of purchases needed to make the school run.  

Read more here

Posted in Charter Schools