NACSA believes that working with communities is a paramount responsibility for authorizers. In our own community work, we have been deeply engaged in diversifying the profession of authorizing, evolving definitions of excellence in education, and broadening our commitments across public education. Additionally, the communities we work for and with have identified a need to change who authorizes in some contexts. New and different high-quality authorizers ensure better and more sustained decision-making about educational opportunities for all students and create a profession that more closely reflects the students and communities it engages.
So who could take on these new authorizer roles?
We believe there is incredible opportunity with a new group of higher education institution (HEI) authorizers that predominantly serve historically marginalized communities–historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), as well as Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs).
Research shows that HBCUs consistently outperform their predominantly white institution counterparts when it comes to student experience and preparedness for Black students. With this context, HBCUs may be able to bring a level of expertise to authorizing K-12 charter schools to enhance the experience of all students, but especially that of Black children.
HEI Authorizing and HBCUs
- There are 18 HBCUs in the 15 states that allow HEI authorizing, but only 1 is a current charter school authorizer
- Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas–the states with the most HBCUs–have 42 HBCUs combined, but none of these states allows for HEI authorizing.
The opportunity is great to catalyze changes in law and policy to help HBCUs and other authorizers that predominantly serve historically marginalized communities enter the authorizing space.We will be providing local advocates with tools and data necessary to make that a reality. Here are some resources to learn more: