While a great board is not the only ingredient for success, it is essential to the recipe—great schools need great boards. By dramatically improving the effectiveness of public charter school governance, Charter Board Partners helps improve school quality.
We help charter school boards understand what effective governing boards do—and we help them do it.
Our "Standards for Effective Charter School Board Governance" represent the best thinking of charter school leaders, governance experts, researchers, and practitioners on the most important responsibilities of charter school boards.
In partnership with BoardSource, we help boards assess how effective they are, compared to best governance practice. We help them not just understand the results, but use them to improve board effectiveness going forward.
We help our boards set realistic goals that focus on improving the quality of both the board and the school, with an emphasis on scoping and sequencing goals to foster a cycle of continuous improvement.
The right people
A great board, just like any human capital enterprise, begins with the people. At the heart of our work is our commitment to helping charter schools recruit top talent to serve as board members while providing individuals with the opportunity to impact public education through meaningful, skills-based volunteerism.
We recruit talented, community-minded professionals with the skills that public charter school boards need. Our comprehensive recruiting strategy spans sectors—corporate, nonprofit, education, policy—to reach candidates who bring diverse perspectives, skill sets, and areas of expertise. We partner with companies to tap into a pipeline of talent with those high-priority skills; form relationships with affinity groups, alumni associations, and community-based organizations to provide board service opportunities to their members; and identify other individuals with the right experience for our boards.
We host both in-person and online trainings throughout the year, most notably through our signature Governance Intensive—a full-day training open to our recruited board candidates and the board members of our partner schools. The Intensive covers what charter schools are and how they function; the local education reform landscape and where charter schools fit in; and the role of charter school boards and how to be an effective board member.
We are not in the “warm body” business—we do not fill open board seats with the next board candidate waiting in line. Based on the information we gather about our boards' needs and our recruits' skills and preferences, we strategically match each prospective board member to the best possible board for a good fit on both sides. We then turn the process over to the board and the candidate to make the final call on whether the match is right. We stay involved to keep the match process moving and serve as a resource for boards and candidates.
Getting the right people around the table is just the first step to building an effective board. We provide training, coaching, and tools to make sure board members have the resources they need to be effective.
We provide regular coaching to partner boards and school leaders grounded in best practice and focused on reaching the goals of the board. Our board coaches suggest strategies for addressing challenges; support boards in using CBP tools and templates; and provide advice on real-time challenges.
Tools and Resources
Being a board member isn't easy or intuitive. Our top-quality tools, webinars, and other governance resources support boards in continuously improving their effectiveness. These tools and resources are available through our partnership with BoardSource. With a BoardSource/CBP membership, boards get the help they need in a simple, straightforward, and user-friendly format.
We provide targeted group trainings to help board members understand their role, address governance challenges, and learn to be more effective through a community of practice with their peers from other boards. For instance, we help our partner boards develop and use academic data dashboards to understand student performance, how that performance compares to other local schools, and analyze performance trends over time. Academic committee chairs then meet regularly as a group to learn how to use the dashboards and share successes and challenges.
A Board Member Community
With an estimated 35,000+ people serving on charter school boards nationwide, board members are a powerful force working to support school quality. We facilitate connections across this community around best governance practice.
Meeting other people is an important, rewarding, and fun part of board service. We host regular social events to give our network members a chance to expand their personal and professional networks and meet others in the charter sector—fellow board members, school leaders, authorizers, funders, charter support organizations, and advocates.
Connecting and Informing
Charter school board members can and should be each other’s best resources. We foster connections and collaboration—both within and across schools—so board members are able to learn from one another, share their strategies, and feel a part of the education reform movement. Through in-person training events, an online discussion forum, regular email newsletters and updates, and social media, we help board members draw on each other for advice, share strategies for success, and stay informed about charter school and governance trends.
Building Diverse Boards and Deepening Support for Educational Equity
We believe strongly that education-related boards must be diverse, and include members from different backgrounds, networks, and communities. In our recruiting work, we focus especially on finding Black and Latino board candidates who bring relevant skills, experience, and networks. We believe that boards offer an opportunity for community members to be genuinely engaged in improving the quality of schools, and that boards have a significant role to play in addressing educational inequities in this country. Serving on a charter school board gives board members the chance to build their own networks, meet others who have different life experiences, and understand in a very personal way the gaps in educational opportunity. Board members become advocates for greater equity in education, and bring that experience with them as they decide how to vote, give, and engage. We want to empower past, current, and prospective board members to become passionate advocates for educational equity, so that one day every child can attend a great school.
Our Partner Schools
We provide on-the-ground, intensive governance support to more than two dozen charter schools in Washington, DC.
- Achievement Prep Academy Public Charter School
- Bridges Public Charter School
- Capital City Public Charter School
- Center City Public Charter School
- Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy
- Creative Minds International Public Charter School
- DC Bilingual Public Charter School
- DC Children’s Guild
- DC International School
- E.L. Haynes Public Charter School
- IDEA Public Charter School
- Ingenuity Prep Public Charter School
- Kingsman Academy Public Charter School
- Lee Montessori Public Charter School
- Meridian Public Charter School
- Monument Academy Public Charter School
- Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School
- Paul Public Charter School
- Perry Street Prep Public Charter School
- Sela Public Charter School
- Septima Clark Public Charter School
- Somerset Preparatory Academy Public Charter School
- Washington Global Public Charter School
- Washington Latin Public Charter School
- Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School
- William E. Doar Jr Public Charter School for the Performing Arts
- YouthBuild Public Charter School
Our Strategic Partners
CBP works with leading organizations in the community to strengthen charter school governance, raise awareness of the importance of governance, and recruit high-caliber talent for board service.