New Partnership to Strengthen Charter School Boards

It’s widely appreciated how important school and system heads are to improvement. What is less widely appreciated is how important effective governing boards are to sustained success of school districts and public charter schools. While most district board members are elected, introducing some level of political calculus to the equation, most charter school board members are appointed and serve to advance the school’s mission.
Some board members fully appreciate the importance of the role and operate in an ethical, transparent, diligent manner.  Others assume to much and ask too little.  Most boards just need a little help understanding the roles and responsibilities of the job. Fortunately a new partnership will help fill the gap.
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Charter Board Partners (CBP) announced a partnership today to provide access to tools, resources, and supports for the governing boards of public charter schools. The full release is below
–Press Release–
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Charter Board Partners Join Forces to Improve the Quality of Public Charter Schools
Leading advocates for public charter school quality partner to strengthen charter governance

Today the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Charter Board Partners (CBP) announced a partnership with the goal of strengthening public charter school governing boards across the country. Through this partnership, charter schools, members of charter school boards, and other stakeholders will have greater access to information, tools, and resources to support strong charter school governance and improve charter school quality.

This strategic partnership will help further the goals of the National Alliance and CBP to ensure that charter schools are providing high-quality options to families. The National Alliance is committed to advancing the quality, growth, and sustainability of charter schools nationally, and CBP focuses on helping the nation’s charter schools build strong and strategic governing boards that help schools and students succeed.

“We are proud to begin this work with Charter Board Partners to help provide quality resources to our nation’s charter school boards,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance. “Charter school boards play an important role in ensuring their charter schools have high levels of accountability and oversight, and are always putting the needs of students first. Charter Board Partners does excellent work and we are pleased to be part of their plans to help strengthen the quality of our nation’s public charter schools on behalf of the students they serve.”

Through its partnership with the National Alliance, CBP will provide needed support to charter schools across the country, helping boards understand the importance of effective governance and make strategic decisions in the best interest of students. This fall, Charter Board Partners is launching GreatBoards, an online program through which charter school board members will have access to user-friendly tools and best-practice resources to help them govern more effectively.

“We are thrilled to partner with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools,” said Carrie Irvin, President and Co-Founder of Charter Board Partners. “The independent governance structure of public charter schools is what makes them most different from traditional district schools. Excellent public charter schools need excellent boards of directors. We are delighted to work side by side with the National Alliance to raise awareness of the importance of effective governance and to ensure that charter school boards have the tools, resources, and information they need. We believe this work to strengthen charter school governance is essential as the charter movement, led by the National Alliance, continues to deepen its focus on quality.”

About National Alliance for Public Charter Schools: The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at

About Charter Board Partners: Charter Board Partners (CBP) is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping public charter schools build strong and effective boards that help schools and students succeed. CBP’s work includes recruiting and training board members and matching board candidates to charter school boards. CBP also sets high standards for effective governance and helps individual charter boards meet those standards and meet school improvement goals. Since its founding in 2010, CBP has supported public charter school boards across Washington, DC. The organization recently announced plans for a national expansion and launched its work in Washington state in spring 2014.  CBP’s initial launch was made possible by seed funding from NewSchools Venture Fund, and its success since then has been supported by anchor funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Carlyle Group, Latham & Watkins, NewSchools Venture Fund, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Walton Family Foundation.  A full list of its supporters is available on its website.

For more information, please visit and watch Carrie Irvin’s TED talk (featured image).

Tom Vander Ark is a director of CBP

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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