State charter associations can play key role

I think charter associations can/must play an important role.  The best associations

  • eliminate caps and barriers
  • advocate for equitable funding and access to public facilities
  • promote charter quality
  • provide value added services
I think there’s more opportunity for charter associations to
  • provide ‘freemium’ services with fee based premium services for application support, benefits, insurance, backoffice services, and facilities development
  • provide knowledge management
  • advocate for three tier charter approval including streamlined expansion of high performers and provisional approval for innovative models
  • promote blended and online learning
  • advocate for the new employment bargain (front loaded performance compensation and tiered staffing)

Associations can play a key role in the next few months by advocating for a larger percentage of charter restarts funded by RttT and T1 School Improvement Grants.  Charters would need to agree to take a full school rather than growing a grade at a time.  If high performing operators are given near new conditions and facilities, they are likely to be much higher performing than district ‘restarts.’

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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