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Charter Board Partners

A Year of New Initiatives

July 26, 2017 | by Carrie C. Irvin

This has been a year of new initiatives, new areas for our work, new partnerships, and new talent on our team. As the school year ends, here’s a short round-up of some of what we’ve been up to at CBP.

Earlier this month, The 74 Million ran an op-ed co-authored by me and Ethan Gray of Education Cities, in which we argue for investing in strong charter school boards as part of a governance strategy focused on quality and accountability. We want to elevate this conversation nationally.

We launched a major push to help boards have important, powerful, and sometimes-uncomfortable conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. New data shared at our last DEI convening show that boards have much work ahead of them in this area. Watch for a series of guest posts on this topic in our blog. Meanwhile, CBP’s board recruiting is making charter school boards more diverse. Nationally, 20% of nonprofit board members are people of color; in Washington, D.C., 44% of our recruited candidates last year were people of color, 75% in our Denver pilot, and 50% in Tampa. We are proud of this progress, and humbled by how far there still is to go.

Across the country, we helped boards put strong governance structures into place – functioning committees, leadership succession, more effective meetings, evaluation of the school leader, and strategies for diversity and inclusiveness. One hundred percent of participants in CBP’s governance trainings would recommend them to a friend or colleague (have you been yet?).

School staff and board members attended our Washington, DC trainings in finance, advocacy, and communications, and CBP staff presented three governance sessions at the 2017 National Charter Schools Conference. We’ve trained board members in Denver and elsewhere in Colorado, South Carolina, Tampa, Tennessee, New Mexico, Alabama, New York, California, and more—and we’re just getting started! 

The CBP team at our annual staff retreat--good work, good food, great team!

And this year we launched two exciting new partnerships - one with BoardSource, to provide the power of resources and expertise from both our organizations to charter school boards, and another with Latinos For Education in Boston, to help them build a cadre of well-trained board members who can raise the voice of Latinos in schools and education-focused nonprofits.

Capping off a great year, the best team in the business just got even better. CBP added two new staff members: Lucy Castillo, who will be heading up our work helping boards address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and Emily Gauthier, our new operations manager. And Brian Jones and Frances Messano joined the CBP board, making a strong board even stronger.

Read more about our great governance work on the CBP website and blog. And help us build our presence on Twitter and Facebook by liking, following, and asking your friends to do the same. While you’re there, be sure to check out our recent series of Twitter posts highlighting our awesome volunteer board members.

Have a great summer!


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