Choosing an Education Contractor: A Guide to Assessing Financial and Organizational Capacity

by Heather Clapp Padgette and Rachel Sherman, The Finance Project, August 2006

Using educational contractors to provide specialized services such as special education, instruction for English language learners, teacher professional development, and curriculum development can be a cost-effective strategy for independent charter schools. This guide provides charter school operators with information about the importance of financial viability, such as a contractor´┐Żs financial management system, financial stability, and use of diverse and sustainable funding, and organizational capacity of education contractors, including their management and staffing capacity, internal performance analysis, and customer service orientation. guidance on how to assess these concepts. The guide offers guidance on how to assess each of these components, along with tips and tools to help charter school leaders gather information to evaluate potential education contractors´┐Ż financial and organizational health.

How Do Charter Schools Get the Teachers They Want?

Betheny Gross and Michael De Armond, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, March 2011

Charter school leaders run mission-driven schools and often cater to specific students and curricular designs. It is key for independent charter school leaders to find teachers who will fit the charter's organizational philosophy. The brief provides an in-depth assessment of the most promising teacher recruitment and selection practices for charter school leaders.

Free to Lead: Autonomy in Highly Successful Charter Schools

Joe Ableidinger and Bryan C. Hassel, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, April 2010

Autonomy is a key component of the charter school concept. Offering charter schools autonomy over decisions can enable schools to better work for their students. This report outlines autonomy in practice at five high-performing charter schools. Important autonomous features include freedom to develop a team, to independently manage teachers, to change curricular or classroom structure, to alter scheduling, to define school culture, and less financial and board restrictions as the most important factors in their school success.

The Color of Success: Black Student Achievement in Public Charter Schools

by Gerard Robinson and Edwin Change, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, June 2008

In numerous communities throughout the nation, innovative, charter schools are making notable strides in advancing Black student achievement. This brief profiles seven charter schools having success in working with African American students. Leaders of these successful charter schools describe how providing a safe learning environment, having high expectations of all students, hiring high-quality staff who are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, and involving parents and the surrounding community in the life of the school have translated to student success.

Signs of Promise: Hispanic Student Achievement in Charter Schools

by Todd Ziebarth, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, November 2006

Latino children are the fastest growing and largest minority group in the United States. Alarmingly, only half of all Latino students graduate from high school. Charter schools have the potential to significantly improve Latino student academic achievement. This publication highlights four charter schools that have successfully worked with Latino students and communities. Several examples of best practices and recommendation are provided for building teacher, leader, and organizational capacity in working with Latino communities.

Are Charter School Unions Worth the Bargain?

Mitch Price, Center for Reinventing Public Education, 2011
Currently, about 12 percent of charters have bargaining agreements. This report investigates charter school collective bargaining agreements. The author looked at nine unionized charter schools by either management design or teacher vote and compared these contracts to traditional public school and non-unionized charter schools. Findings show that there is room for innovation in bargaining agreements while maintaining protections for teachers and fidelity to the charter school's mission.

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