Changing the Narrative of the Charter School Movement

A Clear and Simple Message


Why the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Came to Us: After years of stepping in when the national charter movement needed it most, the National Alliance approached us again in 2016 at a time when the national charter school movement was being hit with several negative themes, including a lack of momentum, inequitable funding and a low-performing virtual charter school sector. We quarterbacked a steady communications plan that proactively addressed these issues, while also helping the organization reframe myths and help turn the negative narrative into a positive one.


Our Strategy for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools: We helped the Alliance establish a strategic cadence of positive visibility that built positive momentum. This happened by creatively packaging and disseminating a proactive communications plan which showcased the performance of the charter school movement, promoted the Alliance’s efforts to drive quality within the movement and then helped the Alliance patiently stick with executing this game plan.


To accomplish these goals, we drove a communications calendar designed to shine the light on the positive momentum of the charter school movement, including releasing a series of reports focused on quality, while also showcasing the faces served by the movement. First, we spearheaded the national “Health of the Movement” campaign, designed to highlight states with positive policies and momentum in the charter movement and drive attention to states in need of improvement. Second, we released a public opinion survey which found that 78 percent of parents across the nation support having a charter school open in their neighborhood, with 73 percent in support of more charter schools opening nationwide. Third, we released a hard-hitting report calling to hold virtual charter schools accountable, to drive attention to the issue of underperforming virtual charter schools across the country, as well as in the states where most of these schools are located.

Why It’s Worth Talking About


Over the course of 2016, and while we helped the Alliance get its new internal communications team in place, the Alliance was able to reclaim the positive narrative for charter schools. We helped the Alliance shine the spotlight on where state policies were helping to foster a positive environment for quality charter school growth, and demonstrate to the news media, policymakers and the broader public that the Alliance was serious about standing for the expansion of high-quality charter schools.