The National Charter Collaborative (NCC) supports single-site charter school leaders of color who invest in the hopes and dreams of students through the cultural fabric of their communities.

Charter school leaders of color are a critical, yet overlooked, collective representing an estimated one-fourth of charter schools impacting over 335,000 students across the U.S. Single-site leaders of color not only embody diversity, but they reflect the cultural fabric of the communities and students served. 

Charter leaders of color are valuable and necessary contributors to building a healthy, diverse and dynamic charter sector. For the charter sector to provide equitable education options, schools led by leaders of color must thrive.

Our mission is to create a flourishing ecosystem of high-performing single-site charters led by leaders of color by ensuring  the leaders have the resources and support needed to build quality schools.

Our vision is single-site charter schools led by Black and Latino leaders will be high-performing schools that provide quality education opportunities for students.


    • 59% of ALL charter schools are independently run non-profits schools (National Alliance of Public Charter Schools).
    • Schools led by leaders of color impact the lives of over 335,000 predominately low-income students
    • Majority of failing charters are single-site charters
    • Historically schools led by leaders of color lack access to:
      • Deep-pocket funders to provide sustainable funding
      • Quality human capital to create high-performing learning environments
      • Targeted support services to address student and operational needs
      • Connections to the individuals and organizations that have the political and financial will to invest in and advocate for their success

Our Secure, Proprietary Database Tells Us...

  • Over 423 Single-Site Schools led by leaders of color

    We continue to build our database of single-site charter schools led by leaders of color

  • Over 135,000 Students

    Our identified single-site charter schools led by leaders of color educate over 135,000 students

  • Leader Demographics

    72% Leaders are Black, 20% Latino, 6% Asian and 1% Middle East/North Africa

  • 74% Students are Black or Latino

    41% Black and 33% Latino


We know how hard it is to run a school and simultaneously stay connected to opportunities to bring resources to create a high-performing school.  The challenge can be even higher for leaders of color who may not have access to key networks.

We started the National Charter Collaborative specifically to build a community of leaders of color with the goal of supporting the success of your school and you, as a valuable, impactful leader.

The NCC provides school leaders of color with the following levels of support:


  • Online and face-to-face opportunities for collaboration and sharing best practices
  • Access to expertise, resources and demonstration models


Host solutions workshops to provide professional development and pair experts and school service providers with leaders of color to address high-need areas


  • Two-year school and leadership development program for qualifying members
  • Fellows collaborate on scalable solution to common problem

The Fellowship is currently in the development phase.


We’re rounding out our workshop and convening schedule for the 2018-2019 school year. Stay tuned…


Join our peer to peer online community, offered to single-site charter school leaders of color. It’s a private space where you’ll connect with other leaders, share best practices, get access to resources, read great articles, get free webinars, be first to register for free NCC workshops and much more. Sign up to be invited to the network!

If you’re not a school leader of color, but you’re interested in following our work, sign up for our newsletter.


The National Charter Collaborative was started by two women of color, Kim Smith and Trish Dziko,  who connected through the Aspen Institute Pahara Fellowship geared toward leaders in education reform.  Not wanting to shy away from big issues, Kim and Trish partnered to solve a national systemic problem in the charter schools movement — the lack of support for single-site charters led by people of color.

  • Kim Smith
    Kim Smith Chief Executive Officer

    Executive Director League of Innovative Schools, Digital Promise

    Former Board Chair, Arts and Technology Academy — Washington, DC

    Former Board Member, BAEO

    Spring 2013 Aspen-Pahara Cohort Fellow

  • Trish Millines Dziko
    Trish Millines Dziko Chief Operating Officer

    Co-Founder and Executive Director, Technology Access Foundation

    Appointed Member, Washington State Charter Commission

    Board Member, Washington Technology Industry Association

    Spring 2013 Aspen-Pahara Cohort Fellow

Our Board

  • Kriste Dragon
    Kriste Dragon Chief Executive Officer

    Citizens Of The World Charter Schools

  • David Hardy
    David Hardy Philadelphia Schools Advocacy Partners

    and Founder, Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia

  • Rick Cruz
    Rick Cruz Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships

    The College Board

  • Ted Thompson
    Ted Thompson Vice President of Engagement & Implementation

    Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship

  • Todd Ziebarth
    Todd Ziebarth Senior Vice President for State Advocacy

    National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

  • Mashea Ashton
    Mashea Ashton CEO, Founder

    Digital Pioneers Academy

  • William Haft
    William Haft Managing Partner

    Tandem Learning Partners

  • Dr. Laura McGowan-Robinson
    Dr. Laura McGowan-Robinson Chief Operating Officer
    California Charter Schools Association
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