You're Leaving? Succession and Sustainability in Charter Schools
Kudos to the Center on Reinventing Public Education for its new report, which sheds much needed light on a critical yet rarely addressed element of charter schools’ sustainability: school leader succession planning. Leader turnover in charters is high—71 percent over five years. Yet less than a quarter of schools surveyed here had substantive succession plans in place—a necessity for allaying potential leadership crises. While the author acknowledges that many charters face myriad daily issues that stretch their leaders in multiple directions, the uniqueness of each school’s mission necessitates finding a qualified, like-minded leader. When formulating succession plans, charter school boards should address the school’s mission, strengths, and weaknesses and account for emergency and longer term circumstances. Most importantly, though, all stakeholders, from the school leader to the authorizer, should be engaged in honest discussion and held responsible for their share of the process. This report is a must read for charter practitioners of every sort.
Christine Campbell, “You’re Leaving? Succession and Sustainability in Charter Schools” (Seattle, WA: National Charter School Research Project, Center on Reinventing Public Education, November 2010).
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