Charter Schools for Wisconsin
The Office of Educational Opportunity (OEO) was created through the Wisconsin Legislature in 2015 as part of the biannual budget Act 55 and amended in 2017 to allow for statewide chartering of schools. Statutes 36.54, and 118.40(2x) define the scope and authority of the office. Its director is appointed by the president of the University of Wisconsin System.
What We Do
Incubation, Innovation, and Equity
We help create new school partnerships and opportunities. Our role is to solicit and review public charter school proposals and then hold those who operate public schools that we authorize accountable to students, families, professional educators, and taxpayers.
When we review proposals for schools, we may say “yes” if the concept meets our three thresholds for authorization: incubating a new educational experience, making innovations to existing educational options, and increasing educational equity for all students.
OEO reviews proposals on a publicly available rubric, negotiates contracts for the creation of (or renewal) of a school. The UW Board of Regents must approve the final contract.
Ensure and Oversee Public Charter School Integrity and Impact
As with all schools in Wisconsin, the Department of Public Instruction regulates any OEO authorized charter schools.
Per its charter contracts, OEO conducts monitoring and oversight activities to schools to ensure schools uphold their mission and meet performance targets for academic, financial, and organizational outcomes
These activities include evaluations, presentations at board meetings, formal written communication to the school leadership and board, site visits, data review and analysis, and informal feedback.
Vanessa Moran currently serves as Director for OEO. Previously, she served as Principal of Little Chute Elementary School, located in the Fox Valley. Moran has also held administrative positions as an Associate Principal and Dean of Students. While teaching elementary education for a decade, Moran was awarded the Golden Apple Award by the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and was also named a Herb Kohl Fellowship State Finalist.
Moran received her B.A. from UW–Green Bay and her M.A. from UW Oshkosh. She holds a dual licensure as both a Principal and Director of Curriculum and Instruction. She also serves on the School Board for the Howard-Suamico School District, where she resides with her husband and two young children.
OEO convenes highly-qualified individuals from diverse educational, professional, and cultural backgrounds to evaluate charter school proposals and renewal applications. The Advisory Council reads applications, participates in capacity interviews with applications, and collectively provides recommendations to the OEO.
Advisory council members include university faculty and students, school leaders, and designers.
- Barbara Bales, Director, Strategic Initiatives and Educational Innovation in PK-20 and Education Programs, UW System
- Al Brandt, Ph.D., Charter School Liaison, Appleton Area School District
- Cynthia Gonzalez, Advisor, Bilingual Education & Parent/Caregiver Engagement, Escuela Verde
- Colleston Morgan, Jr,, Director of Policy & Advocacy, City Forward Collective
- Anny Morrobel-Sosa, Ph.D., Vice President of of Academic and Student Affairs, UW System
- Kristi Cole, Ph.D., Chief Education Officer, The Lincoln Academy
- Kevin Lawrence Henry, Jr., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, UW Madison
- Noah Brisbin, Legal Counsel, UW System
Every public charter school proposal is reviewed by some, but may not be reviewed by all council members.