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.’

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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.


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