NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: JULY 8, 2011


The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and the State Board of Education will soon benefit from in-depth, independent evaluation of the state's current charter school approval and monitoring procedures thanks to a $37,500 Authorizer Evaluation Grant from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA).

"Charter schools should be places where every student can grow and succeed and they should provide fertile ground for innovation in teaching and learning," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "Results and recommendations from the NACSA evaluation will support the Department's work in ensuring that all of North Carolina's charter schools meet these expectations."

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison said the NACSA grant comes at the perfect time. In June, the General Assembly approved and Governor Perdue signed Senate Bill 8, which removes the cap on the number of charter schools permitted to operate in the state and requires the State Board to set new standards to better identify charter schools not meeting students' needs.

"Now that the cap on charter schools has been lifted, it is more important than ever that we have a rigorous, standards-based and transparent process in place for authorizing these schools," said Harrison. "This grant will give Board members a reflective and formative look at what we are doing right and where we need to improve to ensure our charter schools provide a high quality education to students across the state."

The Authorizer Evaluation Grant will enable a team from the NACSA to review North Carolina's charter school application kits, contracts, accountability plans, monitoring protocols and reports, renewal applications, school closure protocols and other tools State Board members and NCDPI staff use as they work with charter schools. As a part of the evaluation, the NACSA team also will conduct a survey of charter school leaders, an analysis of school academic performance, site visits, hold a charter leaders focus group and interview State Board members, NCDPI leaders and staff, and other charter school stakeholders in the state. The NACSA plans to finish the evaluation by October and at its conclusion, the NCDPI and the State Board will receive a final report on the state's current charter school authorization practices and recommendations from the NCASA on how to improve these practices.

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers works with public officials and education leaders to increase the number of high-quality charter schools in cities and states across the nation. NACSA provides training, consulting, and policy guidance to authorizers and education leaders interested in increasing the number of high-quality schools and improving student outcomes. For more information, visit .

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.