The Charter Blog

Nina Rees

Recent Posts

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.

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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.

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National Alliance September Newsletter

Happy New School Year! The late summer always brings excitement and anticipation, as students and teachers head back to the classroom. I love reading stories about charter public school students starting their new school year – some in a brand new school.

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National Alliance July Newsletter

We had a great time at the 2016 National Charter Schools Conference in Nashville. More than 4,000 charter school supporters from across America gathered to celebrate the movement’s 25th anniversary. We highlighted our progress and discussed where we need to go from here to ensure that more students have the opportunity to attend a high-quality charter public school.

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National Alliance June Newsletter

Are you ready for Nashville? Thousands of charter school teachers, leaders, policy experts, and other supporters will be in Nashville from June 26-29 for the 16th annual National Charter Schools Conference. The theme of the conference is Big Ideas for a Brighter Future. We’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of the movement and highlighting the ways charter school innovation is reshaping public education. Featured speakers include Andre Agassi, Howard Fuller, Governor Bill Haslam, Secretary of Education John King, and Sugata Mitra. I am particularly excited to have our board member and former Senator Mary Landrieu and Roland Martin as our emcees this year. We’ll also present just our second ever lifetime achievement award, induct three new members into the National Charter Schools Hall of Fame, and announce the winner of the 2016 Broad Prize (more on all of these below).

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National Alliance May Newsletter

We’re still beaming from another successful National Charter Schools Week! We honored our 2016 Charter Champions – elected officials at all levels of government who go above and beyond in their support for charter public schools. Our Twitter Q&A with Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Sharif El-Mekki, principal of Mastery Charter Schools’ Shoemaker Campus in Philadelphia, drew nearly 300 participants and generated 2.4 million impressions. We released a national poll on parental demand for charter schools (details below). And supporters across the country hosted events to show leaders why charter schools are so vital to American education. Click here for a complete rundown of the week’s highlights and news coverage.

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National Alliance April Newsletter

We’re gearing up for National Charter Schools Week (NCSW), May 1st through 7th!

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National Alliance March Newsletter

This month brings great news from Washington State, where a bipartisan group of legislators in the House and Senate passed a bill to save Washington’s charter schools! As soon as Governor Inslee signs the bill, charter public schools in Washington will have a stable funding stream and opportunity for growth. We applaud the legislature’s action and we congratulate the Washington State charter school parents and advocates whose tireless work made this victory happen. (In the lead-up to the vote, I wrote about their efforts in The Seventy-Four.)

On the other side of the country, Washington, D.C., claimed the top spot in the National Alliance’s latest Health of the Charter Public School Movement report (more on that below). Together with our annual state charter law rankings, the Health of the Charter Public School Movement showcases successful policies and practices that are working around the nation to create, grow, and expand access to high-quality charter public schools.

As we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the charter school movement, we love to engage in bold thinking about the future of charter public schools. I participated in a recent Twitter chat sponsored by Third Way to discuss this very issue. You can see the highlights here. But the conversation never really ends. Follow me on Twitter (@ninacharters) and let me know what you’re thinking!

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National Alliance February Newsletter

A Note from Nina

As you all know by now, one of our key goals at the National Alliance is to boost funding for the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP). We were pleased to see that President Obama’s final budget requests $350 million for the CSP – a $17 million increase over current funding.

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Op-ed: Hillary Clinton should visit Tennessee charter schools

This op-ed by Nina Rees appeared in The Tennessean on January 20, 2016. 

Hillary Clinton's recent assertion that “most charter schools … don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don’t keep them” tapped into a vein of criticism all too familiar to charter school supporters.

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