National Alliance 2007 Progress Report

National Alliance

Toward Quality and Growth: The National Alliance and the Charter School Movement 2007 After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, city and state leaders took the unprecedented step of rebuilding the New Orleans public education system largely as a network of public charter schools. Today 57 percent of New Orleans’ students attend charters, the highest percentage of any city in the nation. And according to state data, their achievement is gaining by leaps and bounds. This bold effort is demonstrating that chartering can deliver high quality public education at scale. Across America, public charter schools are showing that autonomy and accountability produce both new choices and new horizons of achievement. But public charter schools cannot do it alone. They need sound policies and innovative support organizations that advance their work; high quality teachers and leaders for their schools; and greater public awareness of all that charters offer to students, parents, and communities. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools continues to lead the charge in these vital areas. Since the Alliance was launched just two and a half years ago, we have served as a “town square” for the diverse charter community, creating a unified voice on national issues and supporting local and state charter leaders as they work to achieve equitable funding and eliminate arbitrary caps on the growth of public charter schools. This year, as Congress works to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act, we’ve been educating federal policymakers about the benefits chartering offers to all children, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds. Since public understanding is key to gaining wider support, the Alliance also conducts national opinion surveys and disseminates the movement’s many achievements through a broad range of media. Fifteen years of evidence shows that public charter schools have a unique power to improve achievement, particularly for disadvantaged students. The Alliance remains committed to providing every American family, whatever its circumstances, access to high quality public education options. Sincerely Johnathan Williams Chairman of the Board and Nelson Smith President