2009 Rocky Mountain Teacher Fair

The League, CDE and NACSA

Colorado League of Charter Schools (The League)

New School Development Program: The League's NSD program staff meets with founding groups to help structure a planning process, identify planning team capacity needs, and arrange for ongoing support via follow-up meetings and phone and email communications throughout the new school planning process. The League provides resources such as school planning and implementation templates, best practices, excerpts from successful charter school applications, planning facilitation and standards for developing high-quality charter school applications. The purpose is to help schools start out as high quality schools that are based on best-practices and solid planning.

The Colorado League of Charter Schools has created Quality Standards in order to provide clear guidance for developing groups on what it means to be a high-quality, successful applicant. These Quality Standards have been incorporated into the Colorado Charter Schools: Standard Application Guidebook and Rubric. By understanding and meeting these standards, new schools are more likely to be met with success in the application and startup process. In addition, by meeting these standards, the developing group promotes the spirit of the League’s mission by advancing opportunities for innovation and expanded high-quality public school choice.


CDE Schools of Choice office

In the state of Colorado, charter schools are public schools of choice that operate via contract with an authorizer such as the local school district or, in some cases, the Colorado Charter School Institute. The CDE Schools of Choice office administers the federally-funded Colorado Charter Schools Program (CCSP) Start-up and Implementation grant, provides technical assistance to charter schools and authorizers, processes waiver requests for the State Board of Education, collects data on charter schools, produces special topic studies and the state evaluation of charter schools, and responds to questions from the general public.

The Standard Application Guidebook and Review Rubric is the result of collaboration among the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), the Colorado League of Charter Schools (The League), and the Charter School Institute (CSI). This document is intended to communicate the level of readiness to open and the standards for producing a comprehensive, high quality, and complete charter school application.

The Standard Application Guidebook and Review Rubric was developed to provide guidance in the writing and review of new charter school submissions. The target audience for this document is both the founding group (the applicant) as they develop a charter school application and the potential authorizer (the school district or CSI) as they review and evaluate the quality and completeness of the application.


National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA)

NACSA is the professional membership organization that supports the work of authorizers. They provide information and services to authorizers across the country as they perform this cutting-edge work.

In October, 2012, NACSA released the current version of the Principles and Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing . The standards reflect the lessons learned by experienced authorizers. This foundational resource for NACSA has been used to guide authorizing practices across the country. It focuses on the ends that authorizers should be aiming to attain in creating and upholding high expectations for the schools they charter while balancing autonomy and accountability.

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