Theses Doctoral

Ready to Scale: A Readiness Assessment Tool for Charter Schools and Charter Organizations

Mendoza, Clarisse Marie

Since their inception nearly three decades ago, charter schools have played a critical role in the reform of our nation’s public education system. As the charter movement has progressed, many single-site schools have evolved into charter management organizations (CMOs) responsible for operating networks of several campuses with the hope of increasing the number of quality seats available to students and families. Growing to scale is often challenging for single-site schools and small CMOs. In order to execute expansion successfully, this study sought to answer the overarching question, “How does a charter school or small CMO know that it is ready to grow?” The study’s findings demonstrated that, in order to evaluate readiness for scale, charter/CMO leaders must consider several key internal and external factors. The internal factors are: (a) “The Why” (primary reason or motivation for scaling), (b) Organizational Identity, (c) Human Capital, (d) Governance, (e) Fiscal Health, (f) Infrastructure, and (g) Growth Mindset and Strategy. The external factors are: (a) Need and Demand; (b) Funding; (c) Facilities; (d) Political Context, Policy, and Climate; (e) Parent and Community Relations; and (f) Collaboration and Competition Inside and Outside the Sector. The research and findings from this study also informed the development of a workbook for charter/CMO leaders seeking to evaluate their organization’s proficiency in internal factors and optimality of external factors in order to determine their readiness to scale.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Perkins, Brian K.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 10, 2018