The CTAC Charter Center provides strategic and technical assistance to charter schools, networks, and authorizers. Service areas include:
CTAC has partnered with a host of charter operators to bolster their capacity and equip them to use their autonomies for the benefit of students and educators. Armed with four decades of experience improving instructional outcomes and organizational performance, we work with the leaders of charter networks and standalone charter schools to enhance their ability to fulfill their educational missions. CTAC understands both the opportunities and the challenges inherent in the charter construct, and we customize our support offerings to suit the unique needs of charter operators.
Expertise and Experience
CTAC staff have served as charter school teachers, leaders, and network executives. We have extensive expertise and experience developing policies, trainings, and tools for charter leaders to promote success. Key staff include:
Charter Center Director Benjamin Feit spent six years at Democracy Prep Public Schools, a Harlem-based nonprofit charter management organization. He oversaw the network’s expansion from four schools educating roughly 1,000 students to one that operates over 20 Title I schools educating more than 7,000 students in five states, spearheading four charter-to-charter turnaround efforts and tailoring network policies to align with each state’s operating environment. Feit coordinated the delivery of central office support services to all network campuses, oversaw accountability under seven different authorizers, and administered multiple Charter School Program grants—providing ongoing programmatic and financial oversight. He served as a network executive (Vice President of Strategy & Chief of Staff), a school leader, a teacher, and a board member.
Jeffrey Edmison, CTAC’s Chief Officer of National Field Operations, provides leadership and management oversight for CTAC’s engagements with states, districts, charter networks, and schools around the nation. Prior to joining CTAC, Mr. Edmison served as school superintendent/CEO for charter schools in Saint Louis and Kansas City, Missouri and during his time there, opened a new charter school. He worked closely with school boards, local school districts, charter authorizers, and state leaders to advance student achievement, maintain academic alignment to approved models, and promote operational and financial excellence.
Eduardo Soto, Senior Associate of National School Reform, supervised the Albuquerque Public Schools district charter school office, providing principals at 17 schools with operational, policy, and professional development support while conducting site visits and producing monitoring reports. Additionally, as a consultant to the New Mexico Public Education Department, Mr. Soto mentored and coached charter school principals on turnaround principles, data interpretation and use, human resources strategies, facilities management, and systems alignment.
CTAC supports charter schools to improve academic, organizational, and financial performance. Recent projects include:
Texas Education Agency
CTAC is partnering with the Texas Education Agency to evaluate the Texas Charter School Program High-Quality Replication Grant. The overriding objective of the CSP evaluation is to determine the efficacy of Texas’ efforts to facilitate the expansion of effective charter school models throughout the state. To ensure TEA’s charter replication efforts result in a significant increase in the number and percentage of students enrolled in highly rated schools, CTAC is working to identify the practices, processes, and supports associated with successful charter replication. By examining both new and existing campuses, CTAC’s evaluation will provide insight into the manner in which growing networks are attempting to maintain quality as they scale. The information contained in CTAC’s evaluation will equip the State of Texas to make sound programmatic decisions, to disseminate promising practices, and to enhance the overall quality of the state’s charter sector.
Harmony Public Schools
CTAC is partnering with Harmony Public Schools (HPS), a Texas charter school network that educates 35,000 students across 56 campuses, on two distinct projects. CTAC currently serves as the external evaluator for HPS’s ongoing Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant. In this capacity, CTAC is evaluating the impact of a five-year program designed to improve teacher and administrator performance through a new professional development structure that includes providing pathways to leadership and incentives for improved student growth. Using multiple sources of data—including survey, interview, and focus group data as well as key information related to student achievement; teacher evaluation, recruitment, and retention; and financial incentive payouts—CTAC has produced two reports analyzing the implementation and impact of key initiatives connected to the grant program. HPS has intentionally used the findings and recommendations from these reports to refine the supports provided to educators throughout the network.
HPS also engaged CTAC to prepare an evaluation of its Principal Pathways and Compensation Structure. With the aim of helping HPS cultivate a robust school leader pipeline and reduce teacher and administrator turnover, CTAC examined the various pathways to school leadership and corresponding compensation framework before generating a report with recommendations and implementation strategies.
CTAC provides planning support and technical assistance, as an approved service provider, to charter schools in Nevada. CTAC works with LEAs and schools to analyze data, identify root causes of underperformance, and help address issues that are impacting the overall success of schools. CTAC collaborates with school leaders to prioritize high-leverage opportunities and assist with implementation. Partner schools have included:
- Democracy Prep at the Agassi Campus, Las Vegas
- Doral Academy of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Doral Academy or Northern Nevada, Reno
- Mater Academy Bonanza, Las Vegas
- Mater Academy of Northern Nevada, Reno
- Nevada Connections Academy, Reno
- Odyssey Charter High School, Las Vegas
- Pinecrest Academy of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Sports Leadership and Management Academy of Nevada, Henderson
To learn more, contact the Charter Center’s Director, Benjamin Feit, at email@example.com or 617-423-1444.