Principles & Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing (NACSA, 2005) - This foundational resource for NACSA has been used to guide authorizing practices across the country. It focuses on the ends that authorizers should be aiming to attain in creating and upholding high expectations for the schools they charter while recognizing that there are many means of getting there. Consult this resource often as a guide to understanding and fulfilling the critical responsibilities of charter school authorizers.
Charter School Accountability: A Guide to Issues and Options for Charter Authorizers, Bryan Hassel and Paul Herdman (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2000) – Discusses critical questions charter authorizers face in designing results-focused school accountability systems, and offers a comparative review of accountability approaches followed by various chartering agencies around the country. A primer for authorizers seeking valuable perspectives and frameworks for addressing the challenge of creating thoughtful, streamlined accountability systems focused on school and student performance.
Charter School Accountability Action Guide, Jennifer Nahas and Roblyn Brigham (Massachusetts Charter School Resource Center, 2000) – Provides school developers and leaders a highly practical, six-step “recipe” to creating a school-wide academic accountability system, from creating a school culture that embraces accountability to selecting appropriate measurement tools and using data effectively. This action guide demystifies the work of infusing academic accountability throughout a school’s daily life and endeavors.
Charter Schools and the New Accountability Provisions in NCLB, Paul A. Herdman, Nelson Smith, & Cynthia Skinner (Charter Friends National Network, April 2002) – Summarizes key accountability provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB); identifies possible tensions and challenges (between NCLB implementation and the principles of authorizer roles in charter school oversight including hypothetical Scenarios); and offers possible state policy responses to address these tensions and challenges.
A Decade of Charter Schools: From Theory to Practice, Katrina Bulkley & Jennifer Fisler (Consortium for Policy Research in Education, April 2002) – Provides an overview of existing charter school research regarding such topics as charter school demographics, autonomy, innovation, accountability, equity, and impact. The paper identifies several concerns that require additional research and attention while concluding that charter schools are generally more autonomous than their district counterparts and that parents and students are satisfied with their charter school experiences.
Educational Performance and Charter School Authorizers: the Accountability Bind, Katrina Bulkley (Education Policy Analysis Archives, vol. 9, No. 37, October 2001) – Reviews data on charter school performance contract accountability. The author concludes that, based on the relatively small number of schools closed primarily because of failure to demonstrate educational performance or improvement, contract-based accountability may not be working as proponents argued it would. The author identifies several challenges to making school closures based solely on educational performance.
Measuring Up: How Chicago’s Charter Schools Make Their Missions Count, Margaret Lin (Leadership for Quality Education, 2000) – Provides lessons, reflections and practical tools from four charter schools that have created valid, reliable and externally credible measures of student growth beyond standardized testing for their accountability agreements with the Chicago school board. While these schools tackled the challenge of measuring student achievement in oral expression; narrative writing; and social, personal and character development, the tools and step-by-step process frameworks included in Measuring Up should be useful to schools and authorizers striving to measure achievement in any number of areas.
A Reference Guide to Special Education Law for Charter School Authorizers, Richard Landau (NACSA, December 2003) – See 'Featured Publications' above.
Charter Schools and the Education of Students with Disabilities, Elizabeth Giovannetti, Eileen Ahearn, and Cheryl Lange (Charter Friends National Network, 2nd edition, 2001) – Offers charter school developers and operators a clear and concise explanation of current federal special education laws and requirements. The guide also uses a series of questions and responses to address a number of practical challenges that charter school operators may face in achieving their unique educational mission and goals while meeting their legal obligations as public schools committed to serving all students.
Serving Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools: Legal Obligations and Policy Options, Paul T. O’Neill, Richard J. Wenning, and Elizabeth Giovannetti - Provides an overview of special education legal challenges facing charter operators and suggests policy options to address these challenges such as limiting local educational agency obligations, sharing responsibilities between charter schools and districts, and promoting special education consortia.
EDUCATION SERVICE PROVIDERS
Charting a Clear Course: A Resource Guide for Building Successful Partnerships Between Charter Schools and School Management Organizations, Margaret Lin and Bryan Hassel (Charter Friends National Network, 2nd edition, 2001) – A resource for charter school governing boards seeking to contract for comprehensive school management or substantial educational services, offering assistance in selecting a service provider, negotiating a performance-based contract, and managing a service contract effectively. The information and perspectives in this resource guide may also be useful for charter school authorizers overseeing such contracts, as well as educational agencies contracting directly for school management services. Includes a checklist of important issues to address in education management contracts.
Guidelines for Ensuring the Quality of a National Design-Based Assistance, by a blue-ribbon panel of educational and business leaders (New American Schools, 2000) – Offers schools a tool kit and framework for effectively selecting and implementing comprehensive school reform designs.
Resource Toolkit for Working with Education Service Providers (NACSA, 2005) – A compilation of materials developed and used by charter authorizers and charter school governing boards to help charter schools work successfully with education service providers, comprehensive school management organizations, and comprehensive educational designs. Includes contract review checklists, service contracting policies, performance evaluation protocols, and more.