Charter Changes Proposed at State Board Meeting

June 22nd, 2012

Category: News

At yesterday’s state board meeting, proposed regulation changes for charter school performance standards were discussed. The new regulations—which were developed by the State Board, Delaware Department of Education (DDOE), the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), and charter schools—will establish a leading edge practice for public accountability, a transparent reporting tool, and finely measuring both growth and proficiency.

If approved at the August board meeting, the frameworks will be available next summer using 2012-13 DCAS data and will inform next year’s charter authorization and renewals, which include Thomas Edison Charter and Sussex Academy.

Three frameworks will be produced, which include:

  • Academic, including DCAS proficiency, growth-to-proficiency (a new measure assessing on track to proficiency within three years or by 10th grade), and SAT and graduation rates for high schools. Each category will receive a score (exceeds, meets, does not meet, far below).
  • Organizational, including mission, governance, whether or not they meet the needs of students and their staffing information. Each category will be determined meets or does not meet.
  • Financial, including near and long-term metrics, such as debt-to-cash ratios, cash flow and total margin. Each category will be determined meets or does not meet.

Charter schools will receive a report annually, and the DDOE will include the results as part of their annual Delaware Charter School Report.

Next year, the State Board will have the opportunity to expand these frameworks to all schools—district schools and non-state charters. This will be an exciting time to expand the benefits of transparency and clear, high expectations to many more parents, educators, and members of the public.

Also covered at the state board’s meeting yesterday was the reconsideration of First State Montessori, which the board approved 4-3. In addition, the DOE gave an update on the ESEA waiver process as well as our uptick in DCAS scores. In addition, we heard an update on the Governor’s Education Agenda as well as the recent graduation of our first Delaware Leadership Project cohort.

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Brett Turner



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