Positioning Charter Schools to Stand for Quality and Accountability

 

Situation:


While hundreds of new charter schools have been established in California, offering improved learning opportunities in a manner that was unimaginable a decade ago, not all charter schools have been able to rise to the challenge that the greater movement is taking on. The California Charter Schools Association wanted to introduce a new plan to hold underperformers accountable, while not sacrificing the gains that the broader movement had made.

 

Strategy:


Position the charter school movement as one that stands for quality and accountability. Protect high performers from any negative backlash associated with a new accountability plan. Be straightforward, honest and transparent about charters’ performance up until now.

 

Solution:


The Larson team worked with the California Association to:

  • Help frame the issue and highlight the movement’s successes up to this point, stressing that the movement is making exactly the contribution to public education that was originally intended.
  • Develop messaging that emphasized that this plan was driven in partnership with charter schools.
  • Highlight the fact that this is the first time in the nation that such a comprehensive accountability plan to deal with underperformers has been introduced.

The proposal was successfully launched, garnering coverage in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Daily News and nationally in the New York Times and Education Week, among others. Days later, Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan praised the proposal in his speech to charter school advocates. The public campaign served to position California at the forefront of quality and accountability within public education.

 

News placements:


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