Working Without a Safety Net: How Charter School Leaders Can Best Survive on the High Wire

Christine Campbell and Betheny Gross, National Charter School Research Project and the University of Washington, September 2008

Charter school leaders lack the kind of district office support that is available to traditional public school leaders, and thus, encounter different and sometimes more challenging management issues. This study surveys charter school leaders in six states to learn more about the leader's job, personal motivations, associated challenges, and strategies to better manage their workload. Researchers emphasize the importance of delegating leadership throughout the school; create long-term plans for sustainability, and the significance of fidelity to the school's mission for charter leaders. The report also calls on school boards to plan for future leadership transitions.

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