Giving Compass' Take:

• Jason B. Allen, writing for The 74, discusses his experience as chairman of the board of Ivy Preparatory Academy, an all-girls charter school in Atlanta, and the challenges that come with that role. 

• Allen outlines the importance of fostering effective governance that will lead to greater accountability in charter schools. How can donors help charter schools sustain effective leadership?

• Read more about the challenges of charter school accountability. 

Parents across the nation are asking, why don’t we have more black-owned charter schools?

Perhaps they have a point. I have a Twitter follower who occasionally will comment on my tweets. While he supports my advocacy for the success of black boys, he challenges me to break away from the system and start my own school.

I am in my second term serving as the chairman of the board of Ivy Preparatory Academy, an all-girls charter school in Atlanta. It’s a 24-hour-a-day job, and I’m a volunteer! It’s a major investment when you are owner and operator of a charter school. In my time serving on the governance board, there are several things that I’ve learned that can make or break a school.

There are a lot of major decisions and long nights that go into ensuring that children and families you serve receive the best education possible. Serving as the chairman of the board for Ivy Preparatory Academy has opened my eyes to the urgency for effective leadership in charter schools.

How do we sustain accountability for charter schools? The answers are:

  • Building trust with teachers and staff
  • Reinforcing support and resources for more early learning centers in areas of at-risk and failing schools
  • Creating effective academic support programs for parents to continue education at home
  • Fostering strong partnerships with parents and communities
  • Ensuring our schools have strong governing boards

Failing schools are a result of a lack of accountability. I’ve learned this firsthand as a charter school leader and board member. Many times the lack of accountability in schools begins with ignorance. There are a lot of things to learn and master in the charter operating world, especially as a board member.

I believe that a challenge charter school boards face is having the capacity to govern. Governance is critically important to maintaining accountability and balance. Effective governance does build effective schools.

Read the full article about charter schools by Jason B. Allen at The 74