Charter School Executives: Toward A New Generation of Leadership

The Working Group on Charter School Leadership, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, December 2008

A new kind of leadership development system is needed to sustain the charter community. This brief outlines a proposed charter leader development program and also emphasizes improving current leadership opportunities. Key components of such a system would be the creation of a leadership credential, increased access to leadership training, and evaluations based upon student achievement gains, among others.

Teacher Leadership in Public Charter Schools

by National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, October 2008

Charter schools receive record numbers of teacher applications, many from teachers employed in traditional schools. Teachers wish to work in charters because they are effective in educating disadvantaged students, and because they want to work alongside others who share their passion for education. This publication offers a brief overview of workforce unionization, then provides recommendations for schools to increase "teacher voice", and lastly, gives suggestions as to how charter school leaders and teachers can more effectively work with unions to promote the charter philosophy.

Public Charter School Lottery Day Event Toolkit

by National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, 2008

School lotteries are an important component of charter school organization and leadership. Lottery days are important for drawing media attention, developing awareness, and creating opportunities for charters to communicate their mission and successes. This toolkit provides recommendations for charter leaders in preparation, event outline, attendee recruitment, media outreach, timelines, and other aspects of the lottery process.

Charter School Communications Playbook

by Gary L. Larson, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, December 2008

The sustainability and success of a charter school depends in large measure on how well the public understands and supports its mission and goals. A thorough, well-planned strategy for communicating with the public is critical to gaining public support and building a successful charter school movement. This playbook is designed to help charter school advocates improve communication with the public via the news media and through other communications avenues.

An Introduction to Teacher Leadership

Charlotte Danielson
Published in the Virginia Journal of Education, March, 2007 |Professional restlessness leads to what some teachers have described as a leadership "itch;" the desire to reach out beyond their own classrooms. In virtually every school and school district, there are teachers who have become skilled in their work with students, for whom the daily work with students is not the challenge in was in the first few years. However, while the profession of teaching is never fully mastered, while teachers never fully exhaust the potential of their work with students, these individuals seek additional challenges and opportunities to extend their reach. Some teachers want to influence more students than those whom they teach directly each year. This article talks about the possibilities of teacher leadership while remaining in the classroom.

New Trends in Teacher Evaluation

Charlotte Danielson
In this article, Danielson reviews some of the most recently-developed (or revised) systems of teacher evaluation and shares certain important characteristics: Differentiated procedures for novices and experienced teachers. Typically, teachers new to the profession and/or to a school district, receive more intensive support and supervision than do experienced teachers. Multi-year evaluation cycles for experienced teachers. In many new systems, experienced teachers are formally evaluated only every three, four, or even five years. In the other years they engage in self-directed professional growth, frequently with colleagues in a study group. Required activities that promote professional learning. Whether discussing an observed lesson, or analyzing student work, or selecting samples of family communication to include in a professional portfolio, teachers engage in activities, as part of the evaluation process, that engage them in reflection and conversation about their practice. To the maximum extent possible, these activities also represent a "natural harvest" (to borrow a concept from the National Board) of teachers' work; that is, what they do for their evaluation is not extra work.

Principals' Approaches to Developing Teacher Quality: Constraints and Opportunities in Hiring, Assigning, Evaluating, and Developing Teachers

by Morgaen L. Donaldson, The Center for American Progress, February 2011

This report provides key findings from a study of 30 principals working in charter and conventional schools that informs how principals can exert a more positive influence on teacher quality. The findings suggest that economic influences, contractual limitations, interpersonal challenges, and cultural impediments all serve as barriers for charter school leaders in improving teacher quality.

Teacher Compensation in Charter and Private Schools: Snapshots and Lessons for District Public Schools

by Julie Kowal, Emily Ayscue Hassel, and Bryan C. Hassel, The Center for American Progress, February 2007

Charter schools are free from many of the rules and constraints that govern hiring, firing, and pay, and thus have greater latitude in their compensation practices. This study found several common trends in charter schools' teacher compensation efforts that differ significantly from pay experiments in district schools. Three of the most effective compensation trends are outlined and may offer guidance to other charter school leaders.

Leading for Learning: Exploring the leadership challenges facing the nation's expanding charter school sector

Wallace Foundation, September 2008

Charter school leaders encounter several management related challenges. The article highlights a few these, including: principal recruitment and quality, diverse leadership models used across schools, the governance role of charter school boards, and recent growth of state advocacy organizations that aid and campaign for charter school. The report explores the characteristics and motivations of charter school leaders

Learning to Lead

Joe Nathan and Joanna Plotz Center for School Change
This report describes a new approach to training public school principals and directors. The approach is being carried out as part of the Minnesota Leadership Academy for Charter and Alternative Public Schools. These ideas come from an 18-month study that included

Bullying: Language, Literature and Life

Jamie Nabozny. Speak Truth to Power. Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, November 2011
This resource serves as a guide for developing an anti-bullying curriculum for students in grades 7-12. Independent charter schools may find this guide useful for improving school culture and addressing the social and emotional needs of their students.

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The information, resources, guidance and advice of the Network of Independent Charter Schools do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.