Achievement First- A High-Performing Network of Charter Schools Faces Political and Patron Pressures

Fawzia Ahmed, Jaan Elias, and Sharon Oster 

In the summer of 2006, AF was facing critical questions about its future direction. The funding environment in Connecticut for charter schools remained perilous. Representatives of AF’s largest financial backer wanted to put expansion in Connecticut on hold and build more schools in New York, where public funding was more generous. Others on the AF board wanted to open more schools in Connecticut to build on the political momentum in the state. AF also faced questions of how much to spend on its central office function, particularly on curriculum development and teacher recruitment and training. Internally, AF grappled with how expansion would influence its operations and ability to recruit talent. Finally, AF’s leaders considered the fundamental issue of how to best leverage their efforts to drive educational reform and help close the achievement gap nationwide.

Access through the Cases and Simulations Portal from Rutgers SPAA
Copyright © 2018, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. All rights reserved.