A-GAME Resources: “Minding the Gap”

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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The National Charter School Institute and Momentum Strategy & Research are pleased to announce the release of Minding the Gap:How State Policies Can Create Conditions for Innovation in Alternative Education Accountability. Developed by the A-GAME (Advancing Great Authorizing and Modeling Excellence) under a federal Charter Schools Program dissemination grant, Minding the Gap is a resource to help state education agencies, charter school authorizers, leaders of alternative education campuses, policy-makers, and researchers understand how states are balancing the demand for rigorous public accountability with the diversity of alternative education campuses (AECs) and the real-life experiences of students they serve.

In this report, the A-GAME identifies four policy elements that are essential for providing the conditions to allow quality AECs to innovate and thrive. These are: 1) the terms of the charter school statute, 2) the definition of alternative school offerings, 3) special approaches to alternative accountability, including how it is described in the states’ approved Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans, and, the charter school authorizers’ authority to differentiate their own accountability policies. The report dives into each of the 44 states with charter school laws based on these conditions in both policy and in practice.

The majority of the information presented in Minding the Gap was obtained from publicly available sources and verified through conversations with local practitioners and officials. The feedback received provided invaluable refinement and perspective and we are grateful to those that took the time to help A-GAME create this report. We welcome others to share their insights and experiences and will continue to update this resource to reflect current policies and practices.

Finally, A-GAME’s plans for continuing to strengthen the AEC landscape include conducting additional research and collaborative efforts. Please reach out with any questions about the work to date, or suggestions as to where it might go in the future.



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