Roseville, Minn. (Dec. 2, 2011) — Twenty-six charter school authorizers have now been approved by the Minnesota Department of Education, including one new single-purpose charter school authorizer approved by Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius on November 30, 2011.
The newest approved charter school authorizer is Minnesota Guild of Public Charter Schools.
“The significant changes to Minnesota’s charter school law in 2009 and 2011 were designed to ensure a high-quality education for all students who attend Minnesota public charter schools,” said Commissioner Cassellius. “Approved authorizers must meet nationally recognized standards of quality and accountability, and commit to hold the charter schools they authorize accountable to high-quality expectations and improved outcomes for students.”
Minnesota’s improved charter law is designed to increase charter school quality and accountability by shifting MDE’s focus from approving individual charter schools to approving charter school authorizers. Those changes put in place more robust oversight responsibilities for authorizers, requiring them to take on a greater oversight role for the charter schools they authorize.
Earlier this year, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools ranked Minnesota as having the best state charter law in the nation to support the growth of high-quality charter schools.
Four additional organizations remain eligible to earn approval by the commisioner to operate as charter school authorizers if they submit amended applications to MDE by December 30, 2011. All authorizers must be approved by the commissioner by June 30, 2012.
Previously approved authorizers are:
• Anoka Technical College
• Audubon Center of the North Woods
• Augsburg College
• Bethel University
• Chisago Lakes Public Schools
• Concordia University of St. Paul
• Friends of Education
• Innovative Quality Schools
• Intermediate School District 917
•Minneapolis Public Schools
• Northfield Public Schools
• Novation Education Opportunities
• Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
• Pillsbury United Communities
• Project for Pride in Living
• Rochester Community and Technical College
• Rushford-Peterson Independent School District 239
• Student Achievement Minnesota
• University of Minnesota – Duluth
• University of St. Thomas
• Volunteers of America – Minnesota
• Winona Area Public Schools
• Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
• YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis
Visit the Minnesota Department of Education website at www.education.state.mn.us.