The Importance Of Charter Schools

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Charter schools are state-supported public schools which operate under a charter contract issued by state-approved institutions such as universities and school boards, and are overseen by both for- and nonprofit educational management organizations. Charter schools have received attention as a strategy to raise the performance of public schooling in the United States. The expectation of charter schools is to inspire educational innovation and increase educational choices for customers -- parents and students. "As of school year 2011–12 charter school legislation had been passed in 42 states and the District of Columbia, and the total number of public charter schools is 5,700[2]". National Heritage Academies is a for-profit educational management organization, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was formed in 1995 by entrepreneur J.C. Huizenga. As of 2014, NHA operates 76 charter schools in nine states: Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, New York, North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, and Wisconsin. Huizenga's vision was to provide a "quality education to all children by applying basic business principles to establish a system of schools that was more accountable and results oriented[1]". NHA markets its schools as "founded on the four pillars of academic excellence, moral focus, parental partnership, and student responsibility[1]". This paper will focus on how NHA schools manifests three HPT standards: Focus on outcomes, Take a Systemic View, and Work in Partnership. The NHA mission is focused on the outcome of "providing parents with high quality choices in education by creating and maintaining high standards of excellence among all of our schools across the country". NHA schools provide parents online access to school ... ... middle of paper ... ... in place to accomplish the desired results as outlined in the school mission. They use a business approach of defining specific objectives and establishing organizational structure, policy and procedures to support and implement the objectives successfully, evaluating the effectiveness throughout the process, and evaluating customer satisfaction. The NHA model does need to work on establishing better transparency with the organizations financial reporting. While there was data available, it was much too difficult for a lay person to decipher or draw conclusions from. It seems as though charter schools will continue to open and may be a part of public education for some years. NHA is positioning itself to be one of the largest educational management organizations in the country and hopefully it will continue to employ and improve its model in the years to come.

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