Like many of you, the team at the National Alliance is using the summer months to take stock of our successes over the past six months and plan ahead for improvements.
Among the most notable developments will be the release of our new strategic plan, which sets a goal of helping five million students access high-quality charter schools by the year 2027. The goal is important as a barometer for not just growth, but growth with quality. And the National Alliance is uniquely positioned to work with partners across the country to realize this goal. Please email me if you would like a copy of our new plan.
By the end of the year, the National Alliance will also launch a completely redesigned website and data dashboard to make our resources more accessible to you and anyone who has questions about charter schools or our movement. In coordination with our new website, we’ll also be unveiling a modernized logo and branding to showcase who we are and what we bring to public education.
I’m excited about all that we have planned, and I look forward to sharing developments with you in the months ahead. Next month we’ll be taking a break from producing this newsletter, but we’ll be back with our next update in September. Until then, have a wonderful summer!
Highlights from #NCSC17
If you joined us in Washington, D.C., for the 2017 National Charter Schools Conference, you know what a fun and informative event it was. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, as policies around charter schools and school choice continue to dominate education headlines. We created an NCSC17 Storify to capture the highlights of each day, including video from the general sessions, plenty of pics, and social media posts that popped. Check it out to relive the moments or see what you missed. We’re grateful to everyone who attended NCSC17 and we look forward to seeing you in Austin from June 17-20, 2018!
National Alliance Board Member Senator Mary Landrieu (center) is joined by Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Public Charter School Board Executive Director Scott Pearson, New Orleans Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr., Colorado State Senator Angela Williams, D.C. Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles, and Director of the Indiana Charter School Board Bridgett Abston.
Great Reads from Conference Participants
Be sure to check out a few recent articles from folks who played an important role in this year’s conference, including:
- The National Alliance’s Ron Rice on how African-American leaders and organizations are leveraging charter school freedoms to continue generations of work to develop schools responsive to the needs of black students. The piece grew out of a session Ron led at NCSC17.
- 2017 National Charter Schools Hall of Fame inductee Greg Richmond on how authorizers can spur quality and innovation in charter schools.
NEA Continues Its Attacks on Charter Schools
In case you missed it, the National Education Association launched its most direct assault yet at the growth – indeed, the very existence – of charter schools. The union voted on earlier this month to adopt a new policy statement that repeats shopworn falsehoods about charter schools and calls for state and local efforts to limit charter school growth and increase bureaucratic burdens on charter schools. The National Alliance issued a statement in response, recognizing the successes of charter school students and teachers over the past year.
Now is the perfect time to take a look at all the stories we published as part of #30DaysofGrad. They’ll be a great inspiration for you, your team members, and your students!
The House Appropriations Committee has weighed in on the FY 2018 education funding debate with a bill that differs substantially from President Trump’s proposed budget. The bill would preserve nearly all Title I funding and increase funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), while proposing a more modest increase for the Charter Schools Program (CSP) than what President Trump proposed. The budget process still has a long way to go, but you can read more about the House bill here and you’ll find our statement here.
Make your voice heard! The U.S. Department of Education is asking the education community to identify specific guidance and regulations that are driving up costs, or creating too much extra work for states, districts, and educators. The deadline for comments is August 21, 2017. If you have specific recommendations, particularly with respect to CSP or IDEA, please email Jessica Morffi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The department is also inviting applications for new awards for the High School Career and Technical Education Teacher Pathway Initiative. The purpose of the program is to improve CTE programs by increasing the supply of high school CTE teachers in states and communities where qualified teachers are scarce. Charter schools that are LEAs are eligible to apply. The department is expected to make up to seven awards of approximately $600,000. Applications are due July 28, 2017.
New York lawmakers reached an agreement with New York City mayor Bill de Blasio that will allow Mayor de Blasio to retain authority over the city’s schools for two more years (in lieu of an elected school board). Key to the agreement is the mayor’s commitment to allow more charter schools to open amid swelling demand and to improve processes for meeting charter schools’ facilities needs. More details here.
CMOs Get High Marks in New CREDO Study
Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) released a report, Charter Management Organizations 2017, examining how different school management structures impact the academic growth of charter school students. The core conclusion: “On the whole, the findings in this study show that attending a charter school that is part of a larger network of schools is associated with improved educational outcomes for students. However, the management arrangements of the network provider influence the typical gains that students make.” See the executive summary here.
RAND Sees Students Benefitting from Personalized Learning
Does personalized learning help students achieve at higher levels? A new study from RAND says yes, for the most part – and charter schools are better-equipped than district schools to implement personalized learning models. In the 40-school study, researchers found that students in personalized learning programs saw statistically significant gains in math across all demographic groups. Results in reading were trending upward, but not statistically different than results for other students. Learn more here.
The National Alliance is thrilled to welcome four summer interns. Say hello to: Nicole Sahbaee, our UNCF Fellow; Adam Gerstenfeld, our LEE Fellow; Natalia Dopierala, and Davis Taske!
The National Alliance is Hiring
The National Alliance is looking for a coordinator of federal policy and government relations to enhance the capacity of our Federal Team. Click here to learn more.
We Need You!
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the only national organization dedicated solely to advancing the charter school movement. By advocating on behalf of charter schools, their students, parents, and leaders at the federal level, serving as a clearinghouse of information, and working to pass charter school laws in states without them and strengthen laws in states with weak ones, we are helping to make more high-quality public schools available to all American children. But we can't do it without you. Please join us by making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you!