Charter Management Organizations: Toward Scale with Quality

December 1, 2006

For more than a decade, charter schools have been an important means for improving public education. However, the charter school movement must find new ways to increase the quality and supply of these public schools in order to meet the scale of parent and community demand.

This article discusses the emergence of nonprofit charter school management organizations (CMOs), which address the need for increased scale, sustainability and consistent quality among charter schools. NewSchools Venture Fund believes that these CMOs are uniquely positioned to reach a larger scale, ensure consistent quality across schools and, over time, achieve sustainability. In addition to providing much-needed educational opportunities for low-income and other traditionally underserved students, these charter school systems may also demonstrate effective alternative approaches to running a system of public schools – making them a powerful agent of systems change in public education.

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