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Merseth Honored by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers

Senior Lecturer Katherine Merseth's recent book, Inside Urban Charter Schools: Promising Practices and Strategies in Five High-Performing Schools (published by the Harvard Education Press), cowritten with HGSE doctoral students Kristy Cooper, John Roberts, Mara Casey Tieken, Jon Valant, and Chris Wynne was honored this week for Excellence in Advancing Knowledge from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). The NACSA Awards for Excellence program celebrates individuals and organizations that advance the authorizing profession in three fields: advancing knowledge, improving policy, and improving practice.

"My doctoral colleagues and I are very honored to receive this award from NACSA," Merseth said. "We are pleased that our findings about what makes these urban charter schools successful and the challenges that remain have the potential to inform the work of many who seek to improve on educational outcomes for children."

NACSA noted that the book was unique because of its independent qualitative study that closely examines the culture, norms, and values of highly successful charter schools. The book offers an unprecedented look into the inner workings of successful urban charter schools by profiling five high-performing urban charter schools serving predominately low-income, minority youth in Massachusetts. The authors conducted interviews, focus groups, data analysis, and classroom observation over two years demonstrating that these schools excel along the organizational dimensions of structure, systems, human-resource strategies, culture, and clarity of mission.

NACSA is a professional membership organization that supports the work of charter school authorizers, provide information and services to authorizers across the country, and support school system leaders interested in applying best practices from charter schools in their own systems.


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