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This blog post was written by Dr. Sana Shaikh, who served until this spring as Director of School Operations at Rise Prep High School, an autonomous school in Springfield, Massachusetts. Rise Prep is one of 13 schools in the Empowerment Zone, schools designed to provide principal leaders the autonomy to make equitable decisions for student impact. Dr. Shaikh designed and managed the systems that impact student learning. This included professional development training as it relates to anti-racism and culturally responsive teaching. She currently works for an edtech company.

This year was overwhelming. …


This blog post was written by Joanna Hightower and Shira Woolf Cohen, Founding Partners, Innovageous.

In March 2020, brick and mortar public charter schools were suddenly forced to operate as virtual schools.

Despite the incredible challenges, educators embraced their “new normal” by aligning to new virtual learning platforms, integrating asynchronous learning, and finding unique ways to meet their students not only academically, but emotionally and physically. With grace as a mantra, educators, alongside families and students, have spent the year redefining what it means to educate and meet students “where they are” — all during a global pandemic.

The concurrent…


This blog post was written by Aasimah Navlakhi, CEO of BES.

BES Fellows spend countless hours, days, weeks, and months planning, working in high-performing schools as resident leaders, distributing thousands of flyers, and gathering hundreds of signatures.

Rather than prescribing a new school’s vision, our Fellows — individuals who embark on a four-year process to design, found, and lead an excellent public school — listen and learn from local stakeholders. They seek to understand what their unique community is looking for in a school — information they will present during the authorizing process in their respective cities and states.

Though…


This blog post was written by David Greenberg, Director of Leadership Development at NACSA. These are David’s reflections after participating in the new public charter school application process with Osprey Wilds ELC, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Osprey Wilds ELC, other reviewers participating in the process, or the school proposal team. This is the second of two posts on David’s experiences in the new public charter school application process with Osprey Wilds ELC. This particular post underlines David’s experiences reviewing a new charter school application focused on Indigenous education.

My experience in early 2021 as part of…


This blog post was written by Sonia C. Park, Executive Director, Diverse Charter Schools Coalition. The mission of the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition is to catalyze and support the creation and expansion of high-quality, diverse-by-design public charter schools through strategic research, advocacy, membership activities, and outreach. DCSC’s membership has grown from 14 founding member schools and networks to over 70. Collectively, DCSC members represent 211 individual schools serving close to 80,000 students in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

Authorizers are receiving applications from, and approving, a more diverse array of public charter schools than ever before! …


This blog post was written by David Greenberg, Director of Leadership Development at NACSA. These are David’s reflections after participating in the new school application process with Osprey Wilds ELC, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Osprey Wilds ELC, other reviewers participating in the process, or the school proposal teams.

Participating in a new school application review process is one of the most exciting aspects of charter school authorizing.

This is the point where you can really see the vision, dreams, creativity, experience, and skills of school developers. (Or sometimes, not.) It is also a time in which…


This blog post was written by Susie Miller Carello, Executive Director, SUNY Charter Schools Institute.

At the State University of New York Charter Schools Institute (SUNY), we believe that all students, regardless of where they live, deserve access to a high-quality public education.

We also understand that, just like every child is unique, so is every neighborhood. It’s important that this diversity is reflected across all dimensions in our schools, from the leadership and staff to the instructional models, practices, and services.

That’s why for the more than two decades since the passage of the Charter Schools Act, the SUNY…


This piece was written by Arthur Samuels, Executive Director, Pagee Cheung, Principal, Princess Francois, Assistant Principal of Math & Science, and Dwayne James, Social Worker & Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Math, Engineering, and Science Academy (MESA) Charter High School in Brooklyn, NY. MESA Charter High School is authorized by New York State Regents.

When MESA Charter High School opened in 2013, we described it as a “love bubble on the third floor” of the forbidding public building we shared with two other district schools.

We are located in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, a community comprised largely…


This blog post was written by Campbell Mims and Wendy Ward from the South Carolina Public Charter School District.

The pandemic has changed everything in the lives of South Carolina Public Charter School District educators and students.

Our mission — to improve learning and increase learning opportunities — suddenly had to incorporate all the challenges of hybrid, face-to-face, and virtual instruction. These challenges brought to light that now, more than ever, we must advocate for the whole child, not just in the classroom, but also in the home and in the community.

Focusing attention on our students’ and teachers’ social…


Photo by Katerina Holmes from Pexels
Photo by Katerina Holmes from Pexels

In early 2021, NACSA embarked on a new journey to help charter schools, authorizers, and leaders prioritize the aspirations and needs communities have for their kids.

Learn about the origins of this approach, and why it matters, in this interview with NACSA president and CEO, Karega Rausch.

Why #WithCommunities? What sparked the effort to encourage authorizers, charter school leaders, and others to prioritize communities?

Excellent learning opportunities literally change life outcomes for students and communities, especially those long-overlooked, like communities of color, lower-income communities, families of students with disabilities, and others.

Creating those opportunities with communities (vs. doing to communities)…

NACSA

We’re NACSA and we believe that we can create the best education systems for our students by collaborating #WithCommunities. Join us: http://withcommunities.org

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