School Choice & Charters

Alliance Hopes to Serve As Voice for Charter Schools

By Caroline Hendrie — November 13, 2002 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Organizers are putting the finishing touches on their plans to start a new national association of state-level charter school groups in early 2003.

Based in Washington, the new membership organization will aim to become the leading national voice of the growing charter school sector.

Known as the National Charter School Alliance, the nonprofit group is expected to replace and expand on the work of the Charter Friends National Network, which has been run for the past six years as a project of the nonprofit Center for Policy Studies in St. Paul, Minn.

“This alliance has been a long time coming,” said Sarah Tantillo, the executive director of the New Jersey Charter Public Schools Association and the chairwoman of the new alliance’s 15-member steering committee. “Because the charter school movement is such a grassroots organization, people have resisted the idea of forming a national organization for a long time.

“People have been really leery about creating organizations similar to the ones that they have been critical of.”

But as the decade-old charter movement has matured to include 2,700 of the independent public schools in 36 states and the District of Columbia, the state-based leaders who have been collaborating through the Charter Friends National Network have reached “consensus that we really need to do this,” said Ms. Tantillo, whose Newark, N.J.-based association represents her state’s 50 charter schools.

Aims to ‘Legitimize’ Voice

The existing national network has identified 32 state-level associations or networks of charter schools, as well as about two dozen nonprofit charter school resource centers. Organizers plan to draw the alliance’s voting members from those two types of groups.

That membership base, and the organization’s exclusive focus on charter schools, will distinguish the new alliance from other national groups that promote charter schools, according to Ms. Tantillo. The idea, she added, “is to solicit and respond to the input of members and represent the interests of members based on that input.”

“One of the primary goals is to legitimize the voice for charter schools nationally,” said Jon Schroeder, the director of the Charter Friends National Network, adding that the alliance is expected to work closely with other national groups that support such schools.

Alliance organizers expect individual charter schools to remain members of their state associations, but plan to make available nonvoting memberships to certain individuals and groups. Those groups might include for-profit education management organizations, networks promoting a specific school model, and other organizations that support charters, Mr. Schroeder said.

The alliance’s steering committee is nearing the end of its efforts to recruit a board of directors and to find an executive to head the new group.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the November 13, 2002 edition of Education Week as Alliance Hopes to Serve As Voice for Charter Schools

Events

School & District Management Webinar How Pensions Work: Why It Matters for K-12 Education
Panelists explain the fundamentals of teacher pension finances — how they are paid for, what drives their costs, and their impact on K-12 education.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
Strategies for Incorporating SEL into Curriculum
Empower students to thrive. Learn how to integrate powerful social-emotional learning (SEL) strategies into the classroom.
Content provided by Be GLAD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Video Private School Choice: A Video Explainer
We're tracking the proliferation of school choice policies around the country. Here's how to get up to speed.
2 min read
School Choice & Charters Opinion What Would Religious Charter Schools Mean for Public Education?
Discriminating and proselytizing on the taxpayer dime will never be acceptable, writes Kevin G. Welner.
Kevin G. Welner
5 min read
A green apple with a cross shaped stem in between red apples.
Richard Mia for Education Week
School Choice & Charters Private School Choice Continues to Spread. 3 Things to Know
New research shows private schools increase tuition when states send public funds for parents to spend on private education.
6 min read
Image of private school kids outside in the school yard.
E+
School Choice & Charters Opinion Does School Choice 'Work'?
Ultimately, the “how” of educational choice may matter more than the “what.”
10 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty