As the charter movement matures and plays a growing role in education reform, educators need to know about the organizational dynamics autonomy creates, the people who end up working in autonomous schools, and the academic programs they choose to employ. That information is critical to helping the charter school sector grow and mature effectively, as well as helping policymakers understand how school autonomy can best be used as a tool for improving student achievement.
Over the last four years, the Inside Charter Schools initiative at the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) has examined how charter schools differentiate themselves from traditional public schools to attract students and families and how they recruit and manage their staff. In this effort, CRPE researchers saw first hand the promise and potential pitfalls of school autonomy.
This brief provides a summary of the four-year initiative's final report, Inside Charter Schools: Unlocking Doors to Student Success.