A recent article titled, “Charter Management Organizations: An Emerging Approach to Scaling Up What Works,” by Caitlin Farrell (Ph.D. ’12), Priscilla Wohlstetter (former Director of Center on Educational Governance), and Joanna Smith (Assistant Director of Center on Educational Governance) has been highlighted on the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) blog. PACE is an independent, non-partisan research center based at Stanford University, the University of California – Berkeley, and USC. PACE seeks to define and sustain a long-term strategy for comprehensive policy reform and continuous improvement in performance at all levels of California’s education system.
In the recent article in Educational Policy, the authors describe the theory of action behind CMOs and their emergence onto the education reform scene. They find promising signs that, as a network of schools, CMOs have more leverage than individual charter schools, and yet more nimbleness than traditional school districts, to replicate “what works.” Using data collected from a national study of 25 CMOs engaging in scale-up, they investigate the essential elements for CMO growth, identifying the influences of federal, state, and local policies, as well as internal organizational capacities, that either restrict or facilitate CMO expansion.