Download charter school marketing without notes

Survey
yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

School choice wikipedia, lookup

Transcript
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
presents
This Little Charter School Went
to Market: A Marketing Course
for School Leaders
by
Dr. Brian L. Carpenter, CEO
National Charter Schools Institute
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 1
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
The materials and content provided by the National Charter Schools
Institute as provided as a courtesy and should be used for informational
purposes only. The National Charter School Institute makes no
representations or warranties of any kind with respect to the materials and
content and any implied representations and warranties are expressly
disclaimed. In addition and in no way limiting the foregoing, the National
Charter Schools Institute makes no representation or warranty that the
materials and content are accurate, error free, complete, current, or
suitable for any specific or particular purpose or application.
The materials and content provided by the National Charter
Schools Institute as provided as a courtesy and should be used
for informational purposes only. The National Charter School
Institute makes no representations or warranties of any kind
with respect to the materials and content and any implied
representations and warranties are expressly disclaimed. In
addition and in no way limiting the foregoing, the National
Charter Schools Institute makes no representation or warranty
that the materials and content are accurate, error free,
complete, current, or suitable for any specific or particular
purpose or application.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 2
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
So me D ef init io n s
Marketing
What is it?
Marketing is everything you do to recruit and retain students and
philanthropic investments in your school (adapted from Gueri!a
Marketing by Conrad Levinson).
Advertising
What is it?
Advertising is what your school says about itself. It can be
expensive but you control the message. Chances are good that your
school’s advertising dollars are scarce. The key is getting the most
bang (i.e., visibility) for your buck.
Public Relations
What is it?
PR is what you do to influence what others say and think about
your school. The key difference between it and advertising is that
you can only influence, not control the message.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 3
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Marketing:
Everything you do to
recruit and retain students
and philanthropic
investments in your school.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 4
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Mar ke t i n g Beg ins With
M i s sio n C larity
A. Answer the most important question first: Why does your school
exist?
In marketing, think O __ __ __ __ __ __ __ not P __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.
B. Two-part definition of an outcome (Carver, 2006):
1. A b __ __ __ __ __ __ you were created to produce
2. for r __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ you were created to serve.
C. Write your charter school’s mission statement.
D. Calculate your percentage.
E. Restated? (Helpful words: exists that; exists in order that)
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 5
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
M i s s io n K il lers
Visitors can’t find a place to park near the entrance
Can’t find the office
Being treated as an interruption rather than as a guest
Teachers yelling at students (or students yelling at teachers)
Office looks and functions like a police precinct
Building and grounds are unkempt
No one answers the phone when prospects call
Students eye visitors with disdain
Teachers not teaching (disorderly classrooms)
Restrooms need attention
Environment feels like a gulag
No one knows where the executive is
Hallway traffic is worse than street traffic in Peru
Cafeteria food is worse than the airlines
Students look and behave in an uncivilized manner
Wall lockers haven’t been re-painted in years
1980’s computer equipment laying around classrooms
Ratty looking textbooks
You can have the best mission statement ever devised, but if your
school is described by the attributes above, you’re going to have a
difficult time recruiting and retaining students and staff.
Why would anyone want to put their child in such a school?
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 6
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Ever ything You Do . . . the Basics
Assess your school against the fo!owing list.
Attend marketing professional development workshops
Grounds are maintained (grass, gardens, snow removal, trash
cans emptied daily (or more often if needed)
External building is well-maintained, looks inviting, entrance is
clearly marked
Sidewalks are in good shape and clean
Good signage
Ample visitor parking
Reception staff have been trained on the proper way to greet visitors
Waiting room is comfortable
Teachers have been trained on the proper way to respond when
visitors are escorted to classrooms
Telephones are answered by people--messages are returned
promptly (the ABC’s of phone reception)
Hallways are clean, well-lit, cheerfully decorated with student
projects
Classrooms are clean and neat
Children have been taught how to respond to formal
introductions to adults
School environment is appropriately well-ordered
Bells are not obnoxious and do not sound like prison
As odd as it may seem, school aspects such as those in the list
above are actually part of sound marketing.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 7
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
The ABC’s of Phone Etiquette
Answer p __ __ __ __ __ __ __.
Be courteous and welcoming.
Capture v __ __ __ __ information.
Besides name and phone number (the obvious), the most important
marketing-related question for first time inquirers (read, prospective
customers) is:
May we ask how you first
?
Helpful tips:
• Rather than answering “Can I help you?”, offer “How may I help
you or how may I be of assistance today?”
• Always thank the prospective parent for their interest in the
school.
• Return all inquiries the same day.
• Develop a reproducible form that can be used during or after the
conversation. This makes it easier to gather data because the
information has been captured into one place.
• Select your receptionist as carefully as you select your teachers.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 8
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Everything You Do . . .
Should Also Include Exit Interviews
Read the following story adapted from a newspaper.
(The quotes are real, but names are fictitious.)
“We say we’re going to market, market, market this
school, but we don’t do it,” said Susan Smith, school
board vice president of Breezy Palms Charter
School. Frustrated that her school was continuing
to lose students to other schools, she added,
“We’ve talked about this for years, but we haven’t done
anything.” The article later added that the school
“leaders said they don’t have numbers on how many . . .
students are leaving . . .”
Three things that are obvious about the school:
1. It cannot learn anything of potential value from its
d __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ customers.
2. It is missing a golden opportunity to find out if or
how the school has f__ __ __ __ __ to meet
expectations.
3. With respect to marketing, it is failing to engage in
data-__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ decision-making.)
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 9
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Even if it performed no other marketing effort, the
example school on the previous page could
potentially acquire huge amounts of valuable
marketing information and insight by doing just
three things:
1. Conduct and E __ __ __ I __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
with as many withdrawing families as possible
(including non-reenrolling families).
2. Compile the data into a simple report
summarizing the R __ __ __ __ __ __ for leaving by
category.
3. Analyze the findings to I __ __ __ __ __ decisionmaking with respect to both school operations
and marketing.
Exit interviews should be part of every school’s basic
marketing efforts--even in schools that presently
have waiting lists with more students than it can
serve.
Notice that exit interviews are neither
advertising nor PR, yet they are a critical
part of marketing.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 10
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Everything You Do . . .
Beyond the Basics
Use Data to Inform Why Your School Exists
Along With How You Will Market It
Begin with Census Data to Focus Your Efforts
The US government collects a wealth of data, including the
decennial census, the results of which are available to the public free
of charter. Much of this data can be accessed by going to
www.census.gov.
In the pages that follow, partial screen shots are provided as
illustrations. For this illustration, Wilmington, Delaware was
selected. you will see various screen shots that will guide you in
collecting data about the area. Such data can be extremely valuable
in helping to inform your marketing plan because it can contain
ramifications about the needs of your target market.
If, for example, you wanted to conduct a door-to-door student
recruitment campaign (as the founders of KIPP Academy originally
did when they started the first KIPP Academy in Houston, TX), the
maps generated by the census Web site could be useful in selecting
the neighborhoods you wish to target.
You could also use the the same maps to analyze ZIP codes, age
groups, ethnicity, and family income. Boundaries can be established
for all kinds of variables such as school district, legislative districts,
etc.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 11
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 12
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 13
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 14
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 15
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 16
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 17
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 18
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 19
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 20
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 21
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 22
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 23
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 24
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 25
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 26
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 27
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 28
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 29
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 30
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Group Exercise A
Potential Ramifications Based on Census Data for Marketing and
Operating a Charter School in Wilmington, DE
Summary of Findings (Write you observations about the Wilmington
area from the data that you consider to be important.)
Operational Ramifications (Make a list of potential ramifications for
the operations of a charter school in Wilmington.)
Marketing Ramifications (Combine your data observations and your
operational ramifications to speculate possible marketing
ramifications.)
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 31
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Next Steps
Create a plot map to analyze your enrollment. Begin
by selecting a map of the area from which you draw
your enrollment (sometimes available from your local
chamber of commerce). Place a single color push pin
(e.g., red) for every family with students in the school
either within the correct zip code (larger schools) or
on their block or street (smaller schools). Next place
a different color push pin (e.g., yellow) representing
where each faculty member lives. Finally, place a third
color (e.g., green) for each school that draws its
enrollment from the same area as yours. When the
map is complete, answer the following questions:
1. Are their any discernible patterns in student
enrollment? What do they reveal?
2. From how far away do the outliers travel to come
to your school. Why? Which schools do they pass
along the way? Why?
3. Is their any relationship between where faculty live
and where students live?
4. How does your enrollment compare to a census
analysis of the same area?
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 32
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Advertising:
What your school says
about itself. It can be
expensive but you control
the message. Chances are
good that your school’s
advertising dollars are
scarce. The key is getting
the most bang (i.e.,
visibility) for your buck.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 33
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Some Advertising Tips . . .
for Charter Schools
Do’s
1. Have professional business cards for all faculty
and matching stationery
2. Buy a professionally designed Yellow Page ad. A
white background (called a “knockout”) can help
your ad stand out. Buy at least a quarter page ad.
One student will likely pay for the ad annually.
3. Consider publishing an annual report containing
all significant student accomplishments. Keep a
diary or log throughout the year to make
publication easier. Such reports can be used with
enrollment packets, grant requests, and faculty
recruitment.
4. Maintain a clean, easy to use Web site. (Again,
unless you have experience with design, it’s usually
worth it to have someone else design it. You can
put the job out for a competitive bid using
www.elance.com.) For example, look at the design
of High Tech High’s Web site on the next page.
High Tech High is a superb system of charter
schools in California.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 34
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
www.hightechhigh.org
Make five observations as to how High Tech High’s Web
site is good advertising for the school:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 35
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Some Advertising Tips . . .
for Charter Schools
Don’ts
1. Spend money on billboard advertising for your
school unless it says “next exit”
2. Refer to “academic excellance” in your literature
and on your Web site
3. Assume that your students, teachers, staff or
parents know what a charter school is
4. Think that if you can’t afford to advertise then
you’re not marketing your school. Marketing is
E __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ you do to . . .
5. Emphasize features rather than benefits.
Try your hand at converting features into benefits:
small class sizes vs. ?
XYZ curriculum vs. ?
tuition free vs. ?
new facilities vs. ?
certified faculty vs. ?
biggest charter school in DE vs.?
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 36
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Closing the Gates
Ever compute the cost to the school of a
kindergarten student that doesn’t reenroll for first
grade? It’s easy to do. Just multiply the average state
aid for one child by 12 years (for a K-12 school). For
example, if your average state per pupil allotment
from the state is $7,000, failing to reenroll a single
student could cost the school a minimum of
$84,000 over a 12 period. Multiply that by say, six
students, and the school is looking at lost revenue of
more than a half-million dollars.
To help raise re-enrollment, consider hosting annual
events which showcase student talents for parents.
Parents often tend to consider other schools when
their student are transition between kindergarten
and first, sixth and seventh, eight and ninth.
Events should be informal and should emphasize
demonstrating current student accomplishments.
Invite parents and the teachers of the next grade up
(e.g., first grade teachers) to attend. Serve
refreshments and have a curriculum display table in
the back of the room.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 37
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Advertising:
Public
Relations:
What your school says
about itself. It can be
What
you but
do to
influence
expensive
you
control
others
say andare
thewhat
message.
Chances
think
yourschool’s
school.
good about
that your
The key difference
advertising
dollars are
between
and
scarce.
The keyit is
getting
advertising
is that
you
the most bang
(i.e.,
can only influence,
not
visibility)
for your buck.
control the message.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 38
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
How to Do PR Once a Week . . .
and Have Lunch While You’re At It
The school’s executive (i.e., head administrator)
should join the local R __ __ __ __ __ __ C __ __ __.
If you live in a big town where there is more than
one club, join the O __ __ __ __ __ or the
B __ __ __ __ __. Here’s some people you will likely
meet there:
• local government officials (mayors, city managers,
superintendents, etc.)
• foundation directors and board members
• high ranking business people
• retired people with a philanthropic mindset
• accountants, attorneys, and bankers
• chamber of commerce executive director
• state legislators
• In short, just about all the shakers and movers in
that community!
Don’t just join either. Volunteer for projects, get
elected and be V __ __ __ __ __ __. (Think pancakes!)
And don’t forget to bring your S __ __ __ __ __ __ __.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 39
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
10 Other PR Tactics
1. Give talks at all area civic clubs. (They need a
speaker every week!)
2. Become an active member of the chamber of
commerce.
3. Engage your students in civic projects such as
Habitat for Humanity.
4. Use social networking sites such as
www.LinkedIn.com.
5. Host a grandparents night at the school.
6. Host free events open to the community with
such topics as “Raising Self-Confident Teens in
Today’s World” and “Teaching Your Pre-School
Child to Read”
7. Sponsor a school-wide essay contest.
8. Take your local education reporter lunch
periodically. (But don’t expect to impress them
and don’t suppose that a JACS story interests him
or her.)
9. Publish a monthly or quarterly newsletter when
you have the resources to do it well. (As examples,
look at the newsletters posted at
www.hightechhigh.org and
www.achievementfirst.org.
10. Create a contingency plan for emergency
communications.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 40
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
How to Structure a
Fundraising Campaign
The most important rule to remember in
fundraising is Pareto’s Law.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 41
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Appendix A
Potential Ramifications Based on Census Data for Marketing and
Operating a Charter School in Wilmington, DE
Summary of Findings
1. Wilmington, DE has nearly twice as many families in poverty
compared to the US as a whole (19.2 vs. 9.8 percent). (p. 10)
(Notice that these date come from 2005-2007. The ratio in 2000
was lower; 16.8 vs. 9.2 [p. 12]. This indicates that the number of
families below the poverty level is increasing. The point serves to
emphasize the need to keep in mind the age of the data.
2. The poorest families appear to be concentrated on the south end
of central Wilmington (37.5 to 58.6 percent of families). With the
exception of three distinct pockets of highly impoverished
families, central Wilmington appears to have relatively fewer
impoverished families (about 1 out of 4 max). There appear to be
very few impoverished families on the north end of central
Wilmington. (p. 13).
3. The ZIP code with the greatest area of impoverished families
appears to be 19801 (although this is a little difficult to tell from
the map alone).
4. The number of families in the 198XX ZIP codes with children
under 18 is about 24,000. Approximately a third of all homes are
single parent homes, the predominant number being single
mothers vs. a single fathers (7,106 vs. 1,611). (p. 24)
5. Roughly 68 to 82 percent families of each type (i.e., married, father
only, mother only households) in the 198XX ZIP code have school
age children at home, that is, children that are 6 to 17 years old (in
2000). Eighty-two percent of single mother households have
children in this age group.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 42
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Appendix A
Potential Ramifications Based on Census Data for Marketing and
Operating a Charter School in Wilmington, DE
Operational Ramifications
1. The number of existing high quality public schools in Wilmington
serving impoverished kids is likely to be low. Social justice should
be a driving factor for establishing multiple high-performing
charter schools in Wilmington.
2. A charter school within a seven mile radius of central Wilmington
will most likely serve high numbers of impoverished students, a
good many of them being from single parent homes. Based on what
we know about kids from poor families, they will likely be behind
grade level when they enter the school so the school’s academic
program will have to be structured to handle this.
3. Given the combination of high poverty and single parents, families
may struggle with meeting basic needs (food, clothing, shelter). A
school that expects to excel academically will likely need to devote
resources to addressing such needs.
4. Given the combination of high poverty and single parents,
transportation to and from school will likely present a major
challenge for parents. The school will have to work out ways for
kids to get to and from school.
5. Unless the school is located on the north side of Wilmington,
philanthropic capital is likely to be scarce.
6. Examples of schools located in similar areas include Achievement
First (New Haven, CT); Uncommon Schools, (New York, NY); and
most KIPP Academies. Considering that these are some of the best
schools in the country and that they are thriving in similar areas to
Wilmington, DE, founders and board members should visit similar
schools to learn all they can about how they operate.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 43
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Appendix A
Potential Ramifications Based on Census Data for Marketing and
Operating a Charter School in Wilmington, DE
Marketing Ramifications
1. Although we could have (but didn’t) use the census data to peg
illiteracy rates in Wilmington, we can surmise that it is likely to be
high since it is highly correlated with poverty. Hence, a marketing
effort that relies predominantly on print materials may not be as
effective as other means. A coordinated door-to-door campaign will
likely be more effective.
2. Given the high rate of families below the poverty level (about a
fifth), we can surmise that the availability of computers and/or
Internet access is low, so marketing efforts that rely heavily on
Web site development, email, etc. are probably not as likely to
succeed as other methods of communication such as cell phones
for teachers.
3. Radio interviews (especially drive time talk shows), civic club
presentations and special presentations to churches may be
effective.
4. Mandatory parent conferences and school events can double as
good marketing events. (Remember that marketing is everything you
do to recruit and retain students and philanthropic support.)
5. School uniforms properly worn can be an excellent marketing tool,
can help contribute to a good school environment, and can help
address the need for suitable clothing.
6. Percent of students that enter college and number of dollars
earned in scholarships will likely be the two most powerful pieces
of data the school can develop to market itself.
7. Length of day and length of school year can be strong marketing
tools. More instructional days and longer hours help the student
with remediation and help the parents with supervision.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 44
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Permission to reproduce and distribute the copyrighted article “Four Reasons
Why a Charter School Might Be Right for Your Child” is hereby granted,
provided that no fee is charged, that it is reproduced in its entirety without
edits, and that proper attribution is cited.
!
!
Four Reasons Why a Charter School Might Be Right for Your Child
by: Dr. Brian L. Carpenter
“Which school is best for my child?” is one of the most important, and sometimes most
agonizing, questions parents ask themselves. And for good reason. They want their children to
make friends, enjoy learning, and acquire the skills needed for success and fulfillment when they
reach adulthood. Parents know that choosing the right school for their child is a key part of that
equation.
Whether you are exploring schools for the first time in which to enroll your child, considering
changing schools or have moved to a new neighborhood, this article explains five reasons why a
charter school might be right for him or her.
But let’s begin by defining the term charter school. You might be surprised to learn that a charter
school is a public school, not a private school. And in most states where charter schools exist,
they must operate by all the same laws as conventional public schools. That is to say, charter
schools may not charge to tuition, they must hire qualified teachers, admit every student that
applies (unless the school is full), achieve state-defined performance objectives and so on.
So, what makes charter schools different?
Technical aspects aside, the main difference between charter schools and regular public schools
is that students are not assigned to attend charter schools on the basis of their home addresses as
they are regular public schools. This means that every student enrolled in a charter school is there
because their parents or guardians chose that school. The power of having meaningful choices
between schools creates important advantages for parents. Four such advantages are described in
the following paragraphs.
Customer Oriented
Because charter schools must recruit and retain all their students, charters are more like
businesses than traditional public schools. One result is that charter schools tend to be customeroriented because parents retain their right to choose a different school. Hence, the relationship
between the parent and a charter school is one of interdependence. The parent needs or desires
what the school has to offer their child, but a charter school also needs the parents because
without a sufficient enrollment, it will go out of business. Because of this, charter schools have
an incentive to treat their customers well.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 45
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
!
!
Unique Focus
Charter schools are intended by their very existence to offer meaningful choices to parents. As
such, they often specialize in a particular instructional approach or curricular focus. This allows
you to choose a school whose focus or approach is best suited to the needs of your child.
A few examples of different specialities include charter schools that focus on performing arts,
college preparation, Core Knowledge (a well-recognized curriculum approach developed by
professor E. D. Hirsch, Jr.), technology, or green education. The focus of specialized charter
schools is often contained in the name of the school, such as Pine Lake Preparatory school in
Mooresville, North Carolina and the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts in Utah. Schools
themselves also provide free information.
In this respect, specialization among charters schools is similar to magnet schools except that
magnet schools generally enroll students on a competitive basis (e.g. students that have top math
and science scores are more likely to gain entrance to a technology magnet school than students
who don’t). Charter schools are required to offer open enrollment, meaning that the cannot
selectively admit students.
More Individual Attention
On average, charter schools have lower enrollments than regular public schools. According to the
Center for Education Reform, a non-profit group that advocates parental choices in education,
the average enrollment in charter schools is about 350, compared to more than 500 in the
traditional public school. With fewer students overall, it is easier for individual students to
receive the attention and guidance they need.
Higher Performing
According to recent research, charter schools serving elementary age children tend to outperform
their regular public school counterparts. No one can say for certain why this is occurring, but it is
well-established that high performing schools, whether traditional public, private, and charter,
have certain things in common. Some of these key characteristics include a school culture
focused on achievement, regular testing, and using data to inform classroom instruction. You can
interview the school leader and teachers of prospective charter schools in your area to find out if
they use these practices. Ask them to show you how they compare on state tests to other schools
in your area.
Visit, Observe, Ask
To be sure, a school is not defined by excellence simply because it is a charter school. It is best to
!
!do your homework. Visit the school during school hours. Sit in on the classrooms. Observe the
kids. Do they seem happy and motivated to learn? Are the teachers in control of their
classrooms? Ask to see school wide test scores. You can ask, for example, “What percentage of
third graders read at or above grade level?” Ask other parents how satisfied they are with the
school.
When all is said and done, your child will only receive one education. Making sure it’s the best
one you can get for him or her might just mean choosing a charter school. Regardless, with
charters, the good news is, it’s your choice.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 46
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Sound Governance is essential to sustaining
a world-class
charter school.
Get free resources
at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Consider our governance seminar for your next board retreat.
One-Day Governance Seminar
The One-Day Governance Seminar was developed by nationally recognized
charter school expert and author, Dr. Brian L. Carpenter. The purpose of the
seminar is that boards be able to govern charter schools more knowledgeably
and effectively. In a session that typically lasts around six hours, the One-Day
Governance Seminar includes (but is not limited to) the following:
• the three purposes of a board
• two easy-to-remember key words that readily distinguish
whether almost any issue before the board is one of governance
or management
• the role of policy in good governance
• the only three ways to monitor compliance with policy
• the three key aspects of fiduciary responsibility
• five things research tells us about failed charter schools
• how the “seniority of documents” concept applies to charters
• how to use a four-sided model that enables the board to
strategically establish and evaluate student outcomes
• the 30/30/30 board agenda structure
• the 80/20 principle as it applies to boardroom discussions
• the proper use of committees
• why approving operational processes weakens the board
• what it means for a board to “speak with one voice”
• how the board knows that it has spoken
• the board’s role in resolving parental complaints or concerns
Although the seminar is one day in duration, the board development process
begins a few weeks prior to the seminar when each board member and the
school’s executive respond to a confidential online survey. Using the survey
responses to assess the board’s current governance capacity, Dr. Carpenter
arrives at the seminar fully appraised of the board’s perspective of itself. At the
close of the seminar day, Dr. Carpenter guides the board in developing an action
plan for moving forward. Within a few weeks following the seminar, the board
and executive receive a two to three page letter summarizing that plan, along
with Dr. Carpenter’s recommendations for the board.
Seminar Cost: $3,000.00 plus travel expenses ( coach airfare, hotel, rental car)
Contact the Institute at (989) 774-2999 for pricing information.
To book your seminar, or for more information, call the National Charter
Schools Institute at (989) 774-2999.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 47
Get free resources at www.NationalCharterSchools.org
Looking
the
Looking for
for someone
someone to
to facilitate
facilitate your
your next
next board
board retreat?
retreat? How
How about
about of
one
nationʼs
most inmost
demand
chartercharter
experts?
of the nationʼs
in demand
experts?
Dr. Brian L. Carpenter*
Brian is CEO of the National Charter Schools Institute, affiliated with Central Michigan University
located in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. As a nationally recognized expert in charter school governance and
leadership, Dr. Carpenter has been called on by governors, legislators, public and private universities,
charter school authorizing organizations and state/national association leaders to provide training and
guidance. His name is listed in the Heritage Foundation’s annual guide to policy experts and he is an
adjunct member of two state-based think tanks: The Mackinac Center for Public Policy (Michigan) and
the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions (Kentucky). He is also a member of Nova Southeastern
University’s board of advisors for its doctoral program emphasizing charter school leadership.
Drawing on more than three decades of experience that include seven years active duty Marine Corps,
community college instructor, certified addictions counselor, twelve years as a school administrator,
charter school board president, think tank scholar, author, wartime refugee relief worker in the Balkans,
and CEO of a national non-profit organization, Brian often uses interesting real life stories to illustrate his
points. His unique combination of irreverent humor and straight talk continuously draw people to his
seminars, consulting and publications.
Dr. Carpenter’s books Charter School Board University and The Seven Outs: Strategic Planning Made
Easy for Charter Schools (available on www. NationalCharterSchools.org and Amazon.com) are widely
read and used by other consultants. Some of his materials have been included in the curriculum of
Harvard University’s summer seminars. His numerous monographs can be downloaded free of charge at
www.NationalCharterSchools.org.
Although he started adulthood as a high school dropout, Brian eventually returned to school to earn his
associates, bachelors, masters, and most recently doctoral degrees. His Ph.D. was conferred by Capella
University in the fall of 2008. Using his dissertation to study the impact of boards on dissolved charter
schools, Dr. Carpenter became the first researcher in the country to study this particular aspect of charter
school closures. He is also one of a few hundred consultants worldwide to have been personally trained
by Dr. John and Miriam Carver in the theory and application of Policy GovernanceTM. Brian is also a
member of the International Policy Governance Association.
Contact information for Brian Carpenter:
National Charter Schools Institute
2520 University Park
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
(989) 774-2999 (office)
(989) 205-4182 (mobile)
(989) 708-5711 (assistant, Mary)
[email protected]
If you use LinkedIn, Brian invites you to join his network.
* This bio is provided for informational purposes and may be copied but should not be read in its entirety
when introducing Brian as a speaker.
Copyright 2009. National Charter Schools Institute. All right reserved.
page 48