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chartering

In November, 2014 the U.S. Department of Education proposed a set of priorities, requirements, and criteria for the federal charter grants to state education agencies. Here is the response of three senior E|E associates, to that proposal.

For close to two decades, Eric Premack has been working in California education policy. He formed and now runs the Charter School Development Center in Sacramento. In November 2013, E|E invited Premack to Minnesota to talk about education policy, chartering in California and the state’s decision to stop trying to control and regulate its school districts so tightly. Here are notes on Premack’s visit from E|E's Ted Kolderie.

Nina Rees, president of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, invited Ted Kolderie to discuss "The Role of Innovation in the Charter Movement" with the heads of state charter associations and resource centers. These are his remarks; edited to include some of the points made in the hour-long discussion that followed.

This short memo explains the origins of the chartering idea. In the spring of 1988, a Citizens League committee began developing a program for chartering schools. Twenty years later that idea has become law in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

System-level reforms like standards, accountability, choice and chartering make it more necessary for schools to succeed with learning. But these reforms do not by themselves affect achievement. Kids learn from what they read, see, hear and do. So success in the effort at improvement requires capitalizing now on the system-level changes with a major effort to create new forms of school.

Chartering is hailed as providing a space for innovation in public education. However, research and reporting on chartered schools usually focus on test scores and student demographics, and not on the innovations taking place. This report outlines some of the innovations appearing in Minnesota chartered schools.

It's time to bury the term 'charter schools' and to talk separately about chartering—the state strategy of new-school-creation—and the schools created via chartering. Chartering is succeeding even though not all the schools-chartered are succeeding. Article appeared in the December 2005 issue of UrbanEd.

In 1988, Albert Shanker began to float the idea of "letting teachers start schools within schools." But, he acknowledged he picked up the term "charter" from Ray Budde, from a paper titled "Education by Charter". Ted Kolderie recounts Budde's reaction to chartering, with lessons for today’s policy leaders on the virtues of diligence, patience, deference and humility.

Usually when you hear about 'charter schools' people are talking about the schools themselves. But 'charter schools' also means the strategy of chartering, the state's creation of an 'open sector' in public education. This is less visible. But the state's opening-up of K-12 is more important than the schools.

A policy brief providing an update on the current status of chartered schools and charter-ing in Minnesota. Includes the latest statistics on the charters that are operating in the 2004-2005 school year, information on the most recent round of charter approvals, an update on Minnesota’s growing cadre of sponsors and more.

A look at the next generation of chartered schools and the environment in which they live. We will need to diversify charter authorizers, document the progress of existing chartered schools, find ways to finance facilities and transportation, and find new ways to organize extra-curricular activities.

Traditional "charter" evaluation is focusing on the wrong questions. To know "what's working" researchers must focus on the institutional innovation of chartering rather than trying to generalize about the very diverse collection of schools. This RFP is designed to elicit recommendations on ways to strengthen chartered schools and to improve the state's overall policy framework for chartering.

A guide for charter school authorizing, from the decision to authorize through contract development. It covers how to assist and oversee the school, and clarifies the relationship to and duties of the state department of education, the sponsor and the board of the chartered school. It also explains the 'Sponsor-Initiated School,' whereby an authorizer actively solicits new school proposals.

Since the late 1990s, there’s been growing discussion about the sponsor’s role – in the ongoing oversight as well as in its initial approval. This paper explores whether sponsors might also play an active role in soliciting proposals.

A quick summary of the major mileposts in the evolution of the chartering laws. 2002.

Most organizations considering authorizing charter schools do not know what it involves. This tool identifies authorizing duties, and asks whether an organization has the capacity to perform each responsibility, who would perform the responsibility, whether time is available for them to do so, and the estimated cost.

Institutions other than public education have found it useful not to let the mission depend on just a single organization. Historically the Catholic Church has been one of these. There is the hierarchy, but there are also the orders.

In response to the Washington Post’s question about problems in DC this small memo asked: If the local school district is not performing why don’t DC residents ask Congress to “get somebody else who will?” In 1993 the suggestion was flatly dismissed. Three years later Congress created a second 'board of education' for DC.

A quick summary of the essentials of the charter idea, written in 1994, is still basically applicable today.

The (then) executive director Colorado School Boards Association Randy Quinn wondered, after the chartering law passed over its opposition, whether this new idea might not really be “a blessing in disguise” for boards of education.

In 1987 the Chicago Teacher's Union struck for the ninth consecutive time. Joe Loftus proposed a reform idea, but it did not pass. In 1993 he called Minnesota. "What's this 'charter schools' I'm hearing about?", he asked. "I proposed that in 1988." Here are the key pages of Joe's proposal, an interesting case of parallel invention.