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Useful ArticlesCorporations, Chambers, and Charters: How Businesses Can Support High-Quality Public Charter Schools
The Institute for a Competitive Workforce, October 2008.
This report discusses the consequences of so many of the nation's failing public schools, and how charter schools can provide a meaningful alternative to parents and students. The report also explains how charters are established and work and discusses how the private sector can support the many charters that are providing meaningful public school alternatives.
Charter Schools and Collective Bargaining
Martin H. Malin & Charles Taylor Kerchner, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Summer 2007.
In this article, the authors analyze the relationship between charter schools and teachers unions. They discuss how the increase in charter schools will break the public school monopoly, changing the way in which we educate and regulate schools. They analogize public schools to a traditional industrial workplace. In addition, the authors propose creating new labor law for charter schools, departing from both the National Labor Relations Act and current state labor law. Finally, they look to developing a strong voice for teachers in charter schools.
The Future of Charter Schools and Teachers Unions
Paul T. Hill, Lydia Rainey, & Andrew J. Rotherham, National Charter School Research Project, October 2006.
This article discusses the largely unfounded animosity between teachers unions and charter school advocates. The author urges that teachers unions and charter schools need to realize that they do have common ground. Each side needs to rid itself of the assumptions it has of the other. If the two could work together and decide how to peacefully coexist, it would create a better environment for both to achieve their public education goals.
NYC Charter Schools Governance and Board Development Guidebook
The NYC Center for Charter School Excellence, May 2006.
The New York City Center for Charter School Excellence lays out a comprehensive plan for creating an effective NYC charter school board.
A Better Bargain: Overhauling Teacher Collective Bargaining for the 21st Century
Frederick M. Hess & Martin R. West, Program on Education Policy and Government and Harvard University, April 2006
The article discusses why antiquated collective bargaining agreements are burdening school reform. The authors propose several ways to ensure that collective bargaining agreements benefit the students, including meaningful accountability for student outcomes, enhanced competition and aggressive efforts to upgrade the quality of teachers and managers.
Charter School Governance
Paul T. Hill & Robin J. Lake, National Center on School Choice, September 2006.
The authors advocate for simplification of internal governance and improvement of the external governance currently in place around the country. They claim that internal governance arrangements in charter schools often take away from the freedoms that external governance arrangements are supposed to promote. If charter schools can free themselves from that internal burden, the schools will run more efficiently.
The Leadership Limbo: Teacher Labor Agreements in America’s Fifty Largest School Districts
Frederick M. Hess & Coby Loup, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, February 2008.
The authors did a study of fifty public school districts and their labor agreements with the teachers union. They used twelve components to determine how restrictive the district’s agreements are and how those agreements affect teacher compensation, personnel policies and work rules. The fifty school districts were ranked from highly flexible to highly restrictive agreements. The New York City Public School system was found to have a restrictive collective bargaining agreement and was ranked 36th out of 50. The authors offer conclusions and recommendations for how districts can improve upon their current labor agreements.
Charter School Funding: Inequity’s Next Frontier
Progress Analytics Institute and Public Impact, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, August 2005.
While there is a strong debate over whether charter schools are properly and adequately funded, there had been little research done to that effect. The authors created a study which examined charter school funding in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Their findings include the fact that charter schools are significantly underfunded compared to district schools. In addition, they found that the discrepancies are more pronounced in urban school districts.
Personnel Policy in Charter Schools
Michael Podgursky & Dale Ballou, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, August 2001.
This is an in depth study of the personnel policies of a group of charter schools. The authors gathered statistics and information on staffing patterns, contracts, job rights, workload, evaluation, pay and incentives, and chartering authorities. They especially look to the unique and innovative character of personnel policies of charter schools.
Fund the Child: Tackling Inequality & Antiquity in School Finance
Thomas B. Fordham Institute, June 2006.
The article offers a solution to the disparities in funding between poor and wealthy school districts. They propose “weighted student funding”, where the money follows the child. Instead of basing the amount each school receives on staff allocations and property wealth, among others, each school should receive a set amount of money per student. This funding would not vary based on the needs of the child or the school. The article suggests that this is the direction public school funding must move in for the future in order to improve public school education across the board.
Holding Charter Authorizers Accountable: Why it is important and how it might be done
Robin J. Lake, National Charter School Research Project at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, February 2006.
The author hypothesizes that charter authorizers should be held to the same level of accountability as that of the charter schools they authorize. There are several suggestions offered as to how we can hold authorizers accountable, including transparency, reviews and sanctions for those who fail to meet standards.
Charter School Authorizers and Oversight: Where is the Line Between Effectively Holding Schools Accountable and Overregulation?
Greg Richmond, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, October 2004.
A collection of shorter articles on effective strategies for charter authorizers, including: Four Guidelines for Charter Monitoring; Regulating for Process: A Response of Unequipped Authorizers; Clarity, Quality and Flexibility: Necessities of the Chartering Process; and A View from Within: How the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board Effectively Oversees Charter Schools.
The Authorizer and Charter School Closures: Exercising Adaptive Leadership to Protect the Public Interest
Veronica Geyer, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, March 2005.
This article suggests ways to affectively close a charter school without abandoning the needs of the general public. These suggestions include alerting the media of any changes that will be happening to the charter schools, having a gradual closure process in order for stakeholders and the public to sufficiently cope, and hold a public forum about the consequences of closure. In addition, each authorizer should develop charter school closure protocol.
When It Really Matters: Charter Renewal Decisions at the State University of New York
William Haft, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, February 2004.
The article also discusses three charter schools that were up for renewal in 2004, and why they did or did not get renewed. The reasoning used to make these decisions is highlighted, as well as what information and data are key to the renewal decision process.
Built for Quality: The Capacity Needed to Oversee Charter Schools
National Association of Charter School Authorizers, June 2004.
This article discusses how charter authorizers can effectively create the capacity needed to produce quality results. There are several reasons why it is so hard for authorizers to build the capacity they need. Each authorizer needs to determine what methodology to use to build sufficient capacity. An authorizer can stretch a dollar by keeping a core operating budget. There is no set formula, the authorizers have to use creativity to figure out how to do things right.
Atlantic Legal Charter Schools Conference Report
What goes on in the charter school board room is crucial to the effective operation of a charter school
Brian Carpenter, CEO of the National Charter Schools Institute, has written Charter School Board University, a comprehensive 'how-to' for charter school board members on the topic of good governance. The book also serves as a foundation for the Institute's board training seminars. Charter public school boards across the country have retained the Institute and use University as their guide to building more effective charter school board governance.
The book has been heralded as a 'must read' and described as concise, engaging, and easy to read by the nation's most recognized and respected names in the charter public school sector.
Individual copies may be ordered on Amazon.com. For discounts on six or more copies, contact the National Charter Schools Institute at (989) 774-2999.
The Five Dysfunctions of Charter School Boards
Charter Schools and Collective Bargaining
Brian L. Carpenter.
Two essays by Brian Carpenter dealing with the responsibility of charter school board members.