STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS FOR CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD UNIVERSITY

Please provide brief responses to the following questions.  
Please complete this assignment by Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by 5PM EST.

Note: Respond to the questions in your own words.  Do not copy from the text. 

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* 1. BES Fellow Name:

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* 2. BES Fellow Proposed Territory:

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* 3. Describe your experience, if any, with boards of directors/trustees of charter schools, or boards for any nonprofit organization.

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* 4. What are the two types of “market accountability” the author describes? List three things a school might do to attract families to enroll children, and three things a school might do to attract the very best teachers and staff.

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* 5. In exchange for receiving taxpayer funding, the charter school is accountable to its authorizer. Describe the three kinds of accountability charter schools have to their authorizers.

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* 6. The charter is granted to the Board of Directors/Trustees, not to the lead founder of a new charter school.   The authorizer’s job is to hold the school accountable for achieving the promises of the charter.   The Board’s job is to ensure that the school achieves the promises of the charter.  What is the probable outcome for a school that fails to achieve what it has promised?  Do you think this outcome is appropriate?

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* 7. What is the single greatest cause of charter school failure? What is the greatest contributor to these failures?

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* 8. Please list five elements of effective orientation for new Board members.

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* 9. What is the purpose of a Board?  Why does a Board exist?

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* 10. Who owns the charter school?  Whose interests does the Board represent?

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* 11. At a high level, briefly discuss the difference between management and governance.

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* 12. The author lists several categories of people who should not serve on a charter school Board.   And, he lists several criteria for those who would make good board members.   List eight characteristics or elements that you will look for in board members and seven things you will avoid.   You might format this list in terms of “do and don’ts” for Board recruitment.

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* 13. Briefly describe the Board duties of:
  • Oversight
  • Loyalty
  • Obedience

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* 14. As the author describes, Boards use policies to guide decision-making on behalf of the school and its mission.  BES will provide all Fellows with a template for Board policies based on best practice for charter schools; you and your boards will not need to create Board policies from scratch.  Please list three or four samples of the kinds of Board policies and briefly describe them, i.e. Conflict of Interest Policy, Nepotism Policy, etc.

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* 15. Only one or two of your Board members will have a background in education.  Therefore, you will need to teach the Board about how student outcomes are measured and reported on to the authorizer.  Then, the Board will have the responsibility of monitoring outcomes to ensure the school achieves the promises of the charter.  List three things the Board should be paying attention to/understand to effectively monitor student academic outcomes. 

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* 16. List and very briefly describe four types of financial reports (again, use your own words to ensure that you have mastered this information):
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow statement
  • Income and expense statement
  • Budget versus actual reports
Note:  BES provides extensive training to Fellows in charter board finance.  The information in Charter School Board University will provide you with an overview of school finances.

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* 17. List three strategies to avoid “renegade” board members.

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* 18. How might a Board evaluate its own performance? Why is it important to do so?  How is evaluation for Boards consistent with the emphasis on accountability for charter schools?

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* 19. Of the 12 characteristics the author cites as important qualities for a school leader, which three characteristics are strengths of yours?  Which three characteristics might pose challenges that you will need to address as part of the Fellowship?

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* 20. If a Board member is approached by a parent with a complaint about a teacher, how should the Board member respond?

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* 21. Why is it important for your school to join your state’s charter school association?

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* 22. Most Fellows have limited to no exposure to Boards of Directors/Trustees when they begin the Fellowship.  Reading Charter School Board University will help provide you with an overview of what charter school Boards are and what they do.   BES provides extensive training and coaching in Board governance as part of the Fellowship that will enable you to effectively recruit and develop your founding team.   In that light, please describe your three most significant take-aways from reading Charter School Board University.

BES trains high-capacity individuals to take on the demanding and urgent work
of leading high-achieving, college preparatory urban charter schools.

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