Over the past 15+ years, we’ve conducted hundreds of charter school evaluation and renewal visits in over 10 states. We’ve learned a lot through this work. These are just three of our lessons learned:
In 2018 and 2019, The Learning Collective partnered with Discovery Charter School (DCS) on a couple projects. We developed a three-year academic plan, beginning in the 2018-19 school year, and evaluated the extent to which that plan was implemented during the course of the plan’s first year. In the summer of 2019 we then worked with the board, school leaders and teachers to develop a multi-year strategic plan. In 2021, based in part on The Learning Collective’s work, DCS’ charter was renewed for an additional three years!
2019 was a productive years for The Learning Collective. We led strategic planning projects with some new clients, such as Discovery Charter School and the Beginning with Children education network in New York, and with authorizers such as those through our partnership with Oklahoma Public School Resource Center.
For the past few months, The Learning Collective has been actively participating on the National Coordinating Committee to create the Coalition of Public Independent Charter Schools (CPICS). CPICS is focused on shaping practices, informing policies and increasing collaboration of independent charter schools across the country!
The Learning Collective recently evaluated four charter homeschool / independent study schools. It was interesting and illuminating work. The student body of homeschools varies greatly – from affluent suburban kids to world-class athletes to young people in and out of incarceration.
Here is some of what we at The Learning Collective learned …
TLC attended the nation’s first conference exclusively for independently run (i.e. not managed by a Charter Management Organization or Education Management Organization) charter schools – the 2017 Independent Charter School Symposium. It was also a pleasure to moderate the “Charter Authorization: Road to Greatness or Mediocrity?” on the role of authorizers in the charter school sector and whether authorizers are stifling innovation.
Here are some lessons learned, and ideas generated by, the thoughtful conversations and attendees:
Adam Aberman of The Learning Collective is the moderator of the panel: “Charter Authorization: Road to Greatness or Mediocrity?” This is part of the inaugural 2017 Independent Charter School Symposium.
Charter school authorizers are increasingly partnering with consultants. We see this in our ongoing and renewed partnerships with these and other charter authorizers: Charter Schools Institute of the State University of New York, Washington State Charter School Commission, New Jersey Department of Education and Nevada State Public Charter School Authority.
The Learning Collective has partnered with Academy of the City on a number of projects over the past four years from charter renewal application assistance to school quality reviews. It is the strategic planning process we developed and facilitated, as well as the final product, of which we are the most proud.