Authorizing is the most consequential public school governance reform of the past two decades. For the last 20+ years, authorizers have been creating a new landscape, where school autonomy—balanced by fierce accountability and equitable access—could exist and thrive.
Just like the world around us, authorizing is evolving. It’s our job at NACSA to capture that, learn from it, and use it to inform our work to strengthen how authorizers support excellent schools. That’s why I’m excited to announce our annual State of Authorizing Report that seeks to provide insight into the work you do every day to ensure all kids have access to high-quality educational opportunities.
About six months ago, NACSA launched our new strategic initiatives: Excellence from Communities. Our team is now focused on moving the needle on diversifying the profession, evolving definitions of excellence in schools, and broadening our commitments across public education. If you were one of the nearly 500 authorizers and other education leaders at our national conference last month, NACSACon 2022, then you heard a lot about this work. This is our lens as we look at what’s next for authorizing while moving towards a future that centers students and communities in public education.
So, we must first grapple with where we are right now. What do we know about authorizing today? Who is doing the work? Where do we have room for improvement?
These are the questions you are helping us answer. A HUGE thank you to all the authorizers who participated in the survey!
I invite you to spend some time digging into this text-light and content-rich report that covers four important areas:
- Who authorizes?
- Evolving definitions of school excellence
- Charter school applications and closures
- Authorizer staffing
At NACSA, we will be incorporating these learnings into upcoming convenings and workshops launching in early 2023. Our hope is this information provides you with a better understanding of the current authorizing landscape as well as inspiration to chart your next steps in this journey.