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Agency Overview

In May 2011, House Enrolled Act 1002 was passed by the Indiana legislature and signed into law by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. Among other provisions, HEA 1002 established the Indiana Charter School Board, a new charter school authorizer established for the purpose of sponsoring charter schools around the state. Per IC § 20-24-2.1, the purpose of the board is to (1) review a proposal to establish a charter school; (2) make a decision on the proposal as required; (3) monitor charter schools sponsored by the charter board; and (4) publish guidelines concerning the review process. The Indiana Charter School Board (“ICSB”) was established as an independent state agency.  

The ICSB seeks to grow the supply of high-performing public charter schools throughout the state, so that families have multiple options from which to select when deciding what schools best meet the needs of their children. Our focus is upon expanding quality options, so that students who enroll in charter schools receive a rigorous education that prepares them for college and careers. Each school authorized by the ICSB is subject to a transparent and outcomes-oriented accountability system. A school’s performance is assessed annually and summarized in a Performance Dashboard. In addition, the ICSB publishes an Annual Report analyzing the performance of all schools we authorize. The Performance Dashboards and Annual Report are posted on the ICSB website every January.

In 2011, the ICSB received two grants to support the development and implementation of high-quality authorizing policies and procedures. The Walton Family Foundation awarded the ICSB a grant of $25,000 to support start-up activities related to charter school application evaluations. The Fund for Authorizing Excellence, administered by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), awarded the ICSB a strategic planning grant of $30,500. To learn more about the ICSB’s 5-Year Strategic Plan, please see our Vision and Mission. In 2012, the Fund for Authorizing Excellence awarded the ICSB an implementation grant of $100,000 to finalize the ICSB Accountability System processes and procedures, and to support the design and implementation of tools designed to foster innovative school models.

Mission and Vision

The Indiana Charter School Board (“ICSB”) adopted a 5-Year Strategic Plan in June 2012 and has established the following vision, mission and guiding principles to direct the activities of the ICSB. To read the ICSB’s 2012-2017 Strategic Plan, please click here.

Vision

The ICSB’s vision is that students throughout Indiana have access to high-performing public schools.

Mission

The ICSB’s mission is to authorize and hold accountable a portfolio of high-performing charter schools in which students achieve high levels of growth and graduate prepared for college and careers.

Guiding Principles

Students First. When performing its duties, the ICSB always assesses whether its actions will further the best interests of students.

High Expectations. The ICSB expects the charter schools it authorizes to set high academic achievement expectations, develop strong plans for family and community engagement, and adhere to high ethical standards for students, staff and board members. Similarly, the ICSB establishes high performance expectations, engagement plans and ethical standards for itself.

Excellence in Leadership. Operating a high-performing charter school requires excellent leadership from school boards and staff. The ICSB authorizes schools that can demonstrate strong leadership at both the school governance and administrative levels.

Commitment to Innovation. The ICSB is particularly interested in operators that show strong potential to accelerate student success through dramatically different school models, instructional strategies, uses of technology, staffing models, governance arrangements, family and community engagement strategies, and other approaches.

Rigorous and Transparent Accountability. The ICSB holds schools accountable for performance through rigorous and transparent accountability mechanisms that uphold schools’ autonomy, foster excellence, and protect student and public interests. In turn, the ICSB is held to a high performance bar by the State Board of Education.