The National Study of Charter Management Organization (CMO) Effectiveness: Report on Interim Findings

The first major study of the nation’s 82 charter management organizations (CMOs) suggests wide variability between organizations, as well as significant organizational and financial challenges.

Conducted by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, the National Study of Charter Management Organization Effectiveness released an interim report in late June. Complete findings, to be released in summer 2011, will identify how CMOs and their practices impact student achievement.

The interim report found variations in educational approaches and organization structures, an emphasis on increased instructional time and accountability, and ambivalence from the districts in which they operate. It also found that most CMOs are reliant on philanthropy, and that collaboration with school districts, extending CMO models to the high school level, and teacher turnover remain key challenges for CMO leaders.

Among the interim findings and recommendations for policymakers:

  • Invest in policies and practices that increase CMO financial viability
  • Provide new options for CMO collaborations, including with colleges of education and local school districts
  • Invest in new innovative practices, including technology and teacher training programs

The full interim report is available here. A brief of the report’s findings, entitled “Charter Management Organizations: Innovations, Opportunities, and Challenges,” can be downloaded here.


The final report, released in November 2011, can be found here.