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ERIC Number: ED493855
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Pages: 46
Abstractor: ERIC
Trends in Charter School Authorizing
Gau, Rebecca
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation & Institute
This report presents findings from a national examination of the organizations that sponsor, oversee and hold accountable U.S. charter schools. Its primary aim is to describe and characterize these crucial but little known organizations: What do they look like? How big are they? How do they go about their work? The results of this inquiry is a new typology of charter school authorizers. These are: (1) county/regional/intermediate education agencies; (2) higher education institutions; (3) independent chartering boards; (4) local education agencies; (5) municipal offices; (6) nonprofit organizations; and (7) state education agencies. The report profiles each of these types against the following five elements of successful charter authorizing practice: (1) data-driven decisionmaking and rigorous, objective selection and renewal processes; (2) sound working relations between authorizer and school; (3) skilled personnel; (4) adequate resources and autonomy; and (5) parent and community input. Additionally, this report provides fresh insights relevant to policy implications for the charter movement. From January 2003 to January 2005, the report says, the 184 authorizers who responded to the survey reported approving just over half of applications for charter schools. By contrast, they reported giving the go-ahead to about 68 percent of applications before 2003. The report notes a decline in the approval rate both in states that have caps on the total number of charters and in those that do not have such caps. Appended are: (1) Advisory Committee, Focus Group, and Interview Participants; (2) Comparison of Authorizer Types on Selected Topics, Including Open Ended Questions; and (3) Survey Items Included in Charter Authorizer Continuum. (Contains 16 tables and 7 figures.) [Foreword by Michael J. Petrilli and Chester E. Finn, Jr.]
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation & Institute. 1701 K Street NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A