Monthly Archives

January 2022

New study shows charter growth helps close achievement gaps

By News

A new study from the Fordham Institute offers good news about charter schools and achievement gaps. Released yesterday, the study finds charter growth helps close achievement gaps for low-income and minority students. It looked at charter schools’ share of the local education market, then evaluating potential links with student achievement. The study included over 900 metro areas nationwide.

Here are two key study questions, according to Fordham:

“Can a rising tide of charter schools carry students in America’s largest metro areas—including those in traditional public schools—before it? And if so, how far?”

The answers should provide real encouragement to charter operators and education reformers alike. Read more below.

Some key findings:

  • First, when charters comprise a larger share of the education market, disadvantaged students benefit academically. Higher charter market share is linked with higher math achievement for all low-income, Black, and Hispanic students. This includes students in district schools.
  • Second, when charter enrollment for Black and Hispanic students is higher, performance is better: Math scores for these student groups are higher.
  • Third, “charter schools have the potential to significantly reduce America’s racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps.” Gains linked with charter growth are most evident in the biggest metro areas, such as New York or Houston, the study notes.

Access the report here or click on the image from Fordham below.

A new report from the Fordham Institute finds charter growth helps narrow achievement gaps. Image credit: Fordham Institute

It’s National School Choice Week!

By News
It’s National School Choice Week (NSCW)! NSCW is a nonpolitical, nonpartisan initiative. It focuses “equally on traditional public, charter, magnet, online, private, and home education options.” Learn more here.
In honor of School Choice Week, we’re sharing a video interview with school choice researcher Dr. Corey DeAngelis.

Resources for your school

NSCW is providing free activity packets to schools. Learn more here. Access NSCW’s digital backpack for educators here.

Resources for North Carolina

NSCW is partnering with more than 800 N.C. schools and organizations for this year’s celebration. Find resources specific to North Carolina here. Access North Carolina’s school choice snapshot here.

Let us know what you have planned!

If you’re planning events to mark School Choice Week, let us know! Please email our social media director, Maya Pillai, at with content (i.e., awards, celebrations, school fairs) from your school to share on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter platforms. Also, please distribute the following links to board members, administrators, and teachers. Be sure to tag our social media accounts as you celebrate School Choice Week!

Submit a Proposal to Present at the National Charter School Conference

By News
We wanted to let you know about an opportunity from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. The Alliance is soliciting proposals for presentations at its annual conference. The conference is in person in Washington, D.C., and takes place from June 19-22, 2022.

Click on the screenshot above to visit the Alliance’s call for proposals page.

Interested? Proposals are due back soon–by Feb. 1.
View the Alliance’s call for proposals.
Send email queries to
Acceptance notifications will be sent out Feb. 28 via email.

Congratulations: Charter Principal and Teacher of the Year

By News
Congratulations to the 2022 Charter Principal of the Year and Charter Teacher of the Year. These two individuals are a credit to charter schools in our state. The Coalition celebrates their achievement!
Maria Mills from Carolina Charter Academy is Charter Principal of the Year. William Keegan Storrs from Roxboro Community School is Charter Teacher of the Year. Both are winners in the charter school category. They now move forward to compete with other regional winners for the statewide award.
Find a press release from Superintendent Truitt about the teacher awardees here. Read more from EdNC.

Lindalyn on Fox 46 News in support of Union County charter students

By News

Last night, Fox 46/Queen City News interviewed Lindalyn for a story about a new policy from the Union County Board of Education. The policy excludes public charter, private, and home school students from even applying to public high schools with special programs. Only students enrolled in district schools may apply to admission lotteries. The Board passed the policy on Dec. 7.

From the Fox 46 story:

“Basically, they are saying that if you do not attend a middle school in the Union County system then you cannot even apply to go to these special programs,” says Lindalyn Kakadelis, executive director of North Carolina Coalition of Charter Schools. “Even though you live within the county and the families are paying their tax money to that county.”

The issue also draws the critical eye of the North Carolina Coalition of Charter Schools. The group wrote a letter to the board asking for a revision of the policy, but so far, no moves have been made.

“We want as many educational options available for everyone,” added Kakadelis.

Fox 46 Interview with Lindalyn

Find the Fox 46 story here. Read the Coalition’s letter to the Union County Board of Education here.

Paul & Kim Norcross: N.C. Charter Pioneers set to retire

By News
Paul and Kim Norcross have a powerful story to tell. A husband-wife team, they are charter pioneers who have made significant contributions to the state’s charter movement, as Office of Charter Schools Director Dave Machado pointed out last week. Paul served on the original Charter School Advisory Council (now the Charter Schools Advisory Board, or CSAB). Together, Paul and Kim founded Phoenix Academy, a public charter school in High Point, North Carolina. They founded the school in a one-room schoolhouse more than 20 years ago; they also founded 7 Degrees of Change Foundation. Kim has served as a teacher, board member, principal, and superintendent at Phoenix Academy.

A powerful story catches the attention of local media

Now, both are retiring. Kim has been on dialysis since August 2020. Paul sought to donate a kidney to Kim but learned he was not a match. Through the pair match program, Paul donated a kidney to someone else, receiving a voucher that he then was able to redeem to ensure Kim was placed on the National Kidney Registry List. Read the full story, captured in a Fox 8 news article and interview, here.
Paul and Kim, we are grateful for your many contributions to North Carolina’s charter movement across more than two decades. We wish you all the best!

Best of 2021: Charter School Innovation at Work

By News

If you’re looking for examples of innovation, check out what Dr. Kendrah Underwood is doing for public charter school students. ReimaginEd showcases her work as a charter school leader in a recent article, among reimaginEd’s “Best of 2021” content. You can find the article here.

Dr. Underwood is the founding principal of IDEA Victory College Prep in Tampa, Florida. A Teach for America alum, she brings innovation and excitement to her work.

A 2019 video she created with her students–titled “What would you do for the grade?”–garnered more than 5 million views in its first week. Over 6 million viewers have watched it now. She filmed the video when she was teaching at Butler College Prep, a public charter school in Chicago.

Take a look. You’ll understand why so many have enjoyed watching this charter leader bring joy and innovation to the classroom.