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The Authorizer Effect

The Authorizer Effect

Whether it’s a curriculum that makes religion the fourth “R,” a principal who steers lucrative contracts to family members, or test scores that remain stuck in the cellar, charter schools often make the news for all the wrong reasons. Analysts have long seen a connection between problem charters and the process for deciding who gets a charter to operate in the first place. But how much difference does the quality of charter authorizing actually make? Have efforts to strengthen charter authorizing been effective, and if so, where? What are the politics of determining what institutions and agencies can become authorizers? Has higher-quality authorizing been shown to weed out bad actors, and does it translate into better outcomes for students?

Moderator: Mila Koumpilova, St. Paul Pioneer Press

Speakers: Brian Gill, Mathematica Policy Research; Alex Medler, National Association of Charter School Authorizers; Will Pinkston, Metropolitan Nashville School Board

Recorded Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University.