More from the NACSA conference earlier this week...
According to the NACSA "Principles and Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing" publication:
The purpose of charter school authorizing is to improve student achievement. A quality authorizer engages in responsible oversight of charter schools by ensuring that schools have both autonomy to which they are entitled and the public accountability for which they are responsible.
In furtherance of this end, quality authorizers should:
* approach authorizing deliberately and thoughtfully with the intent to improve the quality of public school options;
* support and advance the purposes of charter school law;
* be a catalyst for charter school development to satisfy unmet educational needs;
* strive for clarity, consistency, and transparency in developing and implementing authorizing policies and procedures;
* be a source of accurate, intelligible, performance-based information about the schools that they oversee;
* be responsible not for the success or failure of individual schools, but for holding schools accountable for their performance;
* use objective and verifiable measures of student achievement as the primary measure of school quality;
* support parents and students in making decisions and staying informed about the quality of education provided in charter schools; and
* make the well-being of students the fundamental value informing all decision-making and actions.
It seems that the best charter school authorizers are those that go about it methodically after having conducted research on best practices from other authorizers. NACSA has a wealth of information on its website at qualitycharters.org