Our Research

The Florida Institute for Charter School Operations started its operations in February, 2023 thanks to the collaboration of the Florida Department of Education’s federal Charter Schools Program grant.  The grant is currently supporting the following research projects.  We anticipate additional funding to be provided by the Florida Legislature to increase the services and programs we are able to offer during the next legislative session. 

Researching Authorizing Best Practices

FCI has been researching high-quality charter authorizing best practices from around the country. We have been in contact with numerous organizations to define and promote the great work already being done and provide possible avenues for future development of authorizing in Florida. We are also working to analyze the Florida Principles & Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing and, given these standards, what needs other authorizers in the state may have for training opportunities, and how we might be able to meet these needs.

Analyze Charter Applications and Evaluations

Through an extensive review of charter applications submitted throughout the state, The Institute will find exemplar samples of effective charter applications and provide guidance on the development and evaluation of charter school applications.

Evaluate Charter School Renewals

While studying authorizing best practices, FCI will also reach out to the top performing charter school authorizers in the country to identify their renewal processes. We will also review the renewal processes utilized throughout Florida to find commonalities and best practices with the goal of developing recommended practices on charter renewals in the state.

Review Financial Data

Through a comprehensive review of charter school annual audits and financial reports, The Institute will collect data regarding financial practices at charter schools throughout the state. This data will then be compared to academic performance to identify financial best practices in use at these schools.

Document LEA Responsibilities

Florida Statute allows for charter schools to serve as their own LEA if they meet specific criteria. In addition, with the new option for colleges to become authorizers, several new organizations will pursue independent LEA status. FCI has interviewed all current organizations that hold this status, and is working with the Department of Education to develop a manual outlining best practices for organizations exploring this option.

Research Instructional Best Practices

Through examining and interviewing the top performing public charter schools in Florida, FCI will identify what leadership and instructional practices are most commonly used at these schools and develop information and training based on the data.

Develop Instructional and Leadership Seminars

FCI has and will continue to develop and deliver a series of research-based best practice workshops for teachers, instructional coaches, and school leaders to increase the effectiveness of school outcomes. We are also initiating a working group and fellowship program that provides more intensive development to individuals who are committed to implementing research-based best practices in their classrooms and schools.

Host IMPACT Symposium

FCI partnered with Building Hope, a national non-profit organization to host the 2023 IMPACT Summit and Awards. The Summit was held at Miami-Dade College and featured speakers and conversations with the top performing charter schools in the country. Videos and materials from the summit are available on our IMPACT page.

Research Teacher Pipeline

FCI will study charter school staffing data and trends to determine possible avenues of support for schools and policy recommendations to address staffing concerns. We will review data submitted by charters as part of annual report requirements and compare this to the data of traditional schools. Additionally, we will survey schools to better understand the challenges they are trying to overcome.