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Charter Operators Face Challenges in ‘Scaling Up’

The pace at which the highest-performing charter-management organizations are “scaling up” is being determined largely by how rapidly they can develop and hire strong leaders and acquire physical space, and by the level of support they receive for growth from city or state policies, say leaders from some charter organizations viewed by advocates as successful.

From the 1999-2000 to 2008-09 school years, the number of students enrolled in charter schools more than tripled, from 340,000 to 1.4 million, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The proportion of all public schools that are charter schools more than doubled, from 2 percent to 5 percent, during that same period, but that growth has not been uniform across the country.

To explore what might be obstacles to growth for successful charter operators, Education Week interviewed leaders of five of the seven charter-management organizations, or CMOs, in the NewSchools Venture Fund’s portfolio that the fund sees as producing the best student-achievement results.

Read the complete article at Education Week