At the turn of the year, a common tradition for so many is reflecting on the highlights of the year and crafting New Year’s Resolutions.
This past year, CSI as an organization experienced many successes and challenges:
- We saw another year of increased service to our special populations due in large part to the additional resources and commitment of our schools to serving all students. (Check out our 2018-2019 Annual Report, which featured the work we’ve been during to advance equity.)
- We moved another small step closer to ensuring students attending CSI schools can access similar levels of mill levy override equalization funding. (More details in my 2019 Legislative Session Recap blog post.)
- We continue to serve as a model authorizer and share our experiences and skillsets with authorizers across the state and nation. (Check out our blog posts on model authorizing and national authorizing conference.)
- Three schools, two of them rural and serving fewer than 50 students, closed their doors due to financial or operational unviability. (Learn more about the challenges of rural chartering from my September blog post.)
The Role of a Charter Authorizer
A charter authorizer’s role is to hold schools accountable for performance. Much of an authorizer’s role entails:
- providing the support and training to our schools in understanding expectations,
- monitoring performance, and
- taking action when schools fail to meet expectations.
Charter authorizers get to experience the optimism when approving strong charter applications and what a positive impact these schools may bring to the community.
Charter authorizers also experience the disappointment when a charter school is unable to fulfill its responsibilities and must close.
So why do we do it?
Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, discusses the importance of finding purpose, or the why, behind why we do what we do. The most successful organizations can clearly articulate the why, even before getting into the how and the what.
For us at CSI, we possess a foundational belief that all children, regardless of community, color, class—or any other characteristic—should have access to high-quality school options.
We believe that all families should have a choice in determining the school that best meets the unique needs of their children.
Our organizational why is common.
We also recognize that each person’s why is, well, personal.
To keep our why’s in the forefront as we move into 2020, we are excited to share a very special page on our website that includes the why for students, parents, school leaders, and staff.
We hope you enjoy reading these authentic stories from the CSI community, and I encourage you to share your why, too.