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November 30, 2012 While a great many public charter schools are among their states' best performers and are paving the way for educational innovation across the U.S., too many are failing to provide a quality education. On Nov. 28, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), which represents government and other entities that approve and oversee charter schools, called on charter authorizers to be more proactive in closing failing schools and opening great ones. Jed Wallace, president and CEO of CCSA, joined the president of the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools and leaders of charter school associations in New York and Colorado in supporting NACSA's call to action.

NACSA issued the challenge as its new membership survey shows the closure rate for charters in renewal has doubled from year to year but is still leaving far too many schools among the lowest performers, according to state accountability data. As a result, too many children still do not have access to a quality education.

As part of the challenge, NACSA launched its "One Million Lives" advocacy campaign, designed to provide better schools to one million children by opening more good charter schools and closing more failing charter schools.

"This year as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the charter school movement, California charters experienced another spike in momentum with 109 schools opening as parents and communities across the state turn to charter schools in ever-greater numbers," said Wallace. "However, we cannot truly have the impact charters were intended to have - to reinvent public education - if we do not close those charters that have demonstrated an inability to meet the challenge of excellence and chronically underperform. CCSA applauds NACSA for its One Million Lives campaign and its goals to encourage effective authorizing, to grow the number of high quality charters across the country and to close those charters that are failing. The time to act is now if the charter movement is to continue to rebuild trust in the public education system by providing high quality public school options for all kids."

CCSA has been a leader in charter school accountability. In 2011, for the first time, the association publicly called for the non-renewal of 10 under-performing California charter schools.. Four have since closed and three were given only one year extensions with clear performance benchmarks. Learn more about CCSA's accountability work.

"Kudos to the California Charter Schools Association for being one of two state charter groups to join the National Association of Charter School Authorizers this morning in Washington to call for a renewed focus on charter school quality and -- where necessary -- closings." - Alexander Russo, LA School Report

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