• CSP will nurture and grow high quality schools.
  • CSP will increase the number of high achieving charter schools
    and increase the number of at-risk students being served
    by high achieving charters in Minnesota.
  • CSP will ensure every child in Minnesota has the opportunity
    to attain an education that allows him or her to succeed in life
    - no matter what income or zip code.
  • Charter quality is more important than quantity.
    Growth is not an end in itself.
  • CSP will do whatever it takes to close
    Minnesota's achievement gap.
   Community of Excellence
CSP Programs for Partner Schools

Schools that are invited to join CSP will pay a “basic partnership fee” of $1,500 to receive access to a group of Core Programs provided to all Partner Schools.  Partner Schools also will have the option to choose from a set of Select Programs for an additional fee that will vary based on the specific program requested and, in some cases, the size of the school.  CSP will work with each Partner School to help determine which programs can best meet its individual improvement goals and needs.

Click HERE for the 2014-2015 Partner School Application


Core Programs provided to all CSP Partner Schools will include:

CSP Staff Expertise: CSP’s staff have in-depth experience with charter schools and nonprofit organizations and will serve as an information resource for Partner Schools when their leaders or board members have questions on a broad range of policy or practice issues.  Our team’s areas of expertise include academic leadership and programming, data and assessment, board governance, facilities, charter school laws and regulations, school start-up and expansion, and relations with state agencies, the legislature, and media.

"Partner Tuesday's" Forum: CSP will host quarterly meetings to address key strategic, policy, and practice issues of shared interest to our Partner Schools as we build and strengthen a “Community of Excellence” in the charter school sector.  These include larger events for board members, school leaders, and other members of school leadership teams to hear from national/regional education reform experts or state and local officials. Click HERE to get more information about our past events. 

Board Retreat:  CSP believes appropriate and effective board governance is essential if charter schools are to meet their ambitious goals for academic and operational excellence and then maintain that performance at a high level.  Therefore, CSP staff will be available to facilitate a half-day board retreat for each of its Partner Schools.  Our team will work with both board and school leadership to design a retreat session that addresses their needs and priorities.  Board retreat topics might include developing a multi-year strategic plan, setting annual school goals and board/school leader objectives, conducting a self-assessment of board effectiveness, or mapping out a detailed plan for board development and sustainability. 

Advocacy: In our first four years of operation, CSP has emerged as a strong advocate for high expectations and performance in Minnesota charter schools and larger education reform initiatives and will further expand its work in this area in 2013-2014.

  • Charters 2.0:  In the 2012 legislative session, CSP introduced Charters 2.0, a bold series of legislative initiatives to increase the number of high-performing charter schools in Minnesota, initiatives that will even further improve one of the nation’s strongest charter laws ensuring sufficient flexibility, accountability, and funding. Click here for more information regarding Charters 2.0. 
  • Systemic K-12 Reform: In other states and communities, charters play a pivotal role in improving public education and closing the achievement gap. As with the groundbreaking “alternative teacher certification” legislation that was enacted in 2011, CSP aims to shape the discussion at the state Capitol on other systematic reform initiatives, including improving teacher quality, collaboration between charters and districts,  and more focused efforts to address chronically low-performing schools.
  • Coalition Building/Grassroots: CSP will continue to help develop a new coalition of education reform partners – including parents, teachers, and community groups focused on improving the quality of all public schools in Minnesota.
  • Media: As the “go to” expert on charter school excellence, CSP will maintain its strong presence in the media by highlighting successful Partner Schools and quality charter issues. 
  • Blog: CSP’s blog has become one of the fastest growing and most frequently visited education blogs in Minnesota with its focus on the latest national, state and local efforts to increase quality and achievement in our state’s charter schools. 


Because of our strategic partnerships with organizations such as Cambridge Education, Slipka-Deakman Associates, Eklund Consulting and The High Bar, CSP is able to deliver the following programs at a reduced rate for Partner Schools.  In addition to this discounted pricing, CSP staff provide supplemental support to schools to assist in the successful implementation of each program and a more seamless and integrated usage of multiple programs.  Each of the following Select Programs is priced separately.

School Leadership

Cambridge Education School Review:
In partnership with the international Cambridge Education consultancy, CSP offers high quality, customized school assessment and planning services designed to engage school leaders and teachers in continually improving the quality of their school’s education delivery and outcomes.  An in-depth School Quality Review (SQR) as well as a Progress Review and Effective Classroom Observation training (for schools that already received a SQR) are among the available services.

Quality Teaching

Classroom Observation and Teacher Evaluation: Charter School Partners understands that effective teaching and instructional planning form the foundation of every school’s success. We counsel our schools to recruit new teachers from high-quality preparation programs, including Teach for America, and experienced teachers from best-practice schools around the state and the country.  Once these teachers are on staff,  high-quality schools commit to establishing a system of regular, developmental teacher evaluations that leverage student progress, data, and classroom observations to provide ongoing and practical feedback to teachers in the pursuit of student achievement.  CSP staff will provide guidance to our Partner Schools that wish to adopt teacher observation criteria and evaluation rubrics already being used successfully by high-performing charter schools, helping to customize them to each school’s existing needs for promoting quality teaching.  In addition to the valuable feedback on classroom observation practices available to Partner Schools through Cambridge Education, CSP is partnering with Slipka-Deakman Associates to provide a web-based, easy-to-use tool for automating teacher evaluations.

Attracting and Retaining High Quality Teachers: Eklund Consulting is a leading provider of workplace satisfaction and organizational change management programs focused on the sustainability and enjoyment of a career as an educator as well as the organizational effectiveness of schools.  Eklund Consulting focuses exclusively on schools and what it takes to make them great places to work. Core services include:
  • Eklund Consulting's proprietary School Workplace Satisfaction Survey
  • Administrative coaching
  • Staff development
  • Conflict resolution
  • Program, policy, and procedure reviews
  • Keynote addresses

Effective Board Governance

Tools for Board Development:  Through an exclusive partnership with The High Bar, founded by a nationally-recognized expert in charter school governance, CSP is offering new tools to advance board development in Partner Schools.  BoardOnTrack helps leverage the efforts of board members into real results for academic excellence and organizational sustainability.  All tools and strategies have been road-tested with over 200 charter school boards nationwide, in 20 different states.

The High Bar’s services will provide: 
  • In-depth analysis of your board’s needs and goals
  • Tools to manage your board’s work and documents
  • The training and materials your board needs most, when you need them
  • Governance support and training for your school’s leader
In addition to the facilitated board retreat included in our Core Programs above, CSP staff are available to provide customized coaching on board development and strategic planning to board members utilizing The High Bar’s tools.  CSP staff have served on several charter school boards (in both the startup and operational phases) and conducted statutorily-required training sessions on charter board governance.

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