National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Hosts 10th Annual National Charter Schools Conference June 28-July 1 in Chicago, Releases New Data 'Dashboard'

Jun 24, 2010, 10:04 ET from National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Keynote Speakers Bill Gates, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to Address More than 4,000 Charter School Supporters

WASHINGTON, June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (Alliance) will host the 10th annual National Charter Schools Conference June 28-July 1 in Chicago.  The theme for this year's conference is "Innovators in Education: Leading the Race to the Top."  



The 2010 National Charter Schools Conference has drawn record-high attendance – more than 4,000 teachers, advocates, policy makers, charter leaders, education reformers and donors will be gathered at the McCormick Place Convention Center to share innovative ideas and be inspired by some of the brightest minds in education, philanthropy, business and public policy.  The Alliance is also celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, and will announce the identity of its new president and CEO on the final day of the conference.  The organization's current leader, Nelson Smith, announced in February his decision to transition from the Alliance.

"We have an incredible conference planned this year," said Nelson Smith, president and CEO, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.  "As a sector, it's important that we come together to learn from each other, celebrate our accomplishments and re-energize ourselves for the ongoing work of education reform.  With an estimated one-third of American students dropping out of school, there has never been a more important time for our work."

An impressive line-up of keynote speakers will address conference attendees, including Microsoft founder and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates; Netflix CEO Reed Hastings; U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; and Host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Joe Scarborough.  Conference attendees can also select from more than 150 sessions offering information on state and federal policy issues affecting the sector, and all aspects of charter school management, operations and outcomes.  A complete overview of the week's activities can be found at

In addition to a robust selection of workshops and sessions, on June 28, Alliance is also releasing updated information on the "Public Charter School Dashboard," a database of statistics on nearly 5,000 public charter schools.  Originally released in 2009, the Public Charter School Dashboard is the most comprehensive set of charter school data ever made publicly available.  The system has been upgraded from last year, and includes enrollment and demographic data for the 2009-10 school year and the most recent performance data from 2008-09.  Users can search for enrollment, demographic and performance data for individual charter schools, including graduation rates, dropout rates, ACT and SAT scores, and attendance rates.  Users can also compare charter school data with non-charter public school data at the district, state and national levels.  The upgraded Dashboard includes new variables, including the ability to search for charter schools by authorizer and an indicator of whether charter schools offer virtual instruction. 

Marking its fifth anniversary, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools remains committed to advancing public policy and providing targeted technical assistance that ensures the growth and replication of high-quality charter schools.  Since its inception, more than 1,500 new public charter schools have opened, representing an increase of more than 40 percent. Today nearly 5,000 charter schools are serving more than 1.6 million students across the nation.

"High-quality public charter schools are making a difference," said Smith.  "Charter schools must be enabled to grow and replicate.  All students are capable of learning and achieving, and all parents deserve high-quality educational options for their children," he added.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools ( is the national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the charter school movement. The Alliance works to increase the number of high-performing charter schools available to all families, particularly low-income and minority families who currently do not have access to quality public schools. The Alliance provides assistance to state charter school associations and resource centers, develops and advocates for improved public policies, and serves as the united voice for this large and diverse movement. More than 1.5 million students attend nearly 5,000 charter schools in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

SOURCE National Alliance for Public Charter Schools