Best Practices for Nonprofit Charter Schools Accountability: A Case Study of American YouthWorks
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Purpose: The purpose of this applied research project is to develop a best practice model for nonprofit charter school accountability, and to gauge how closely American YouthWorks compares to the practical ideal type. American YouthWorks is an award-winning nonprofit charter school in Austin, Texas, and was chosen for this study to gauge the feasibility of implementing a best practices model. A review of the literature has identified four key components for the best practices model: Mission-Based Accountability, Ethical Culture, Financial Practices, and Performance Measures. Methodology: A conceptual framework is developed from the components of the best practices model of nonprofit charter school accountability. A case study research design incorporates a structured face-to-face interview to identify how closely American YouthWorkds measures to the best practice model for nonprofit accountability. Responses to the structured interview questions are measured using a scoring system. Pertinent documents are reviewed in order to supplement the structured interview. Findings: Generally, American YouthWorks exceeds standards delineated in the best practices nonprofit charter school accountability model. However, the organization could improve accountability standards by incorporating a few additional best practices.