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How Does Your New School Design Stack up Against Models of School Quality?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019  
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From the New School Development Team

The discussion of what constitutes QUALITY in a school is neither a new discussion topic nor one that has been satisfactorily resolved, especially when it comes to how schools are evaluated, statewide or nationwide. This discussion should, however, be extremely important to you if you are considering or in the midst of designing a quality, innovative charter school! If you are interested in learning more about a few of the models that have been developed to measure school quality and even contributing to a study on school quality in Colorado, keep reading.

MODEL 1: California CORE Districts School Quality Improvement System

The CORE Districts have been working to improve student achievement by fostering meaningful collaboration and learning across school districts. The eight participating school districts are Los Angeles, Long Beach, Fresno, Santa Ana, San Francisco, Garden Grove, Sacramento City, and Oakland school districts, which together serve more than a million students. They use improvement community structures and a whole-child, whole-school data and analytics approach to improve student learning. Their School Quality Improvement System was developed by educators and experts working with the CORE Districts, and was designed to offer more and better information to help schools and teachers help students learn. In this system, schools are evaluated 60% on academics (performance and growth, graduation rates) and 40% on social-emotional culture and climate metrics. Click here to read more about the metrics used in this innovative system on quality improvement.

MODEL 2: MCIEA’s School Quality Measures Framework

The Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment (MCIEA) is a partnership of eight MA public school districts joined together to create a fair and effective accountability system that offers a more dynamic picture of student learning and school quality than a single standardized test. MCIEA seeks to increase achievement for all students, close prevailing achievement gaps among subgroups, and prepare a diversity of students for college, career, and life. The framework has been built around multiple measures, which include academic, social-emotional, and school culture indicators, in order to piece together a fairer and more comprehensive picture of school performance. These indicators have been further organized into two main categories: Essential Inputs and Key Outcomes. Read more about MCIEA’s Framework here, and listen to a podcast on measuring school quality featuring the main researcher behind the MCIEA’s framework here

MODEL 3: NYC’s Framework for Great Schools

NYC’s Framework for Great Schools is the primary way the Department of Education partners with schools. At the center of the Framework is student achievement. The core goal of education is to help students get to the next level and succeed. Surrounding that core are the three elements of student support: instructional guidance, teacher empowerment, and student-centered learning. Beyond the classroom, we need effective school leadership and strong parent-community collaboration. The element that ties all of these supports together is trust. Building trust across the system and within a school—between administrators, educators, students, and families—is the foundation of the Framework for Great Schools. Read more on how NYC’s Framework works here. 

QUALITY IN COLORADO: The League has developed a framework of quality specific to charters, one that is the result of decades of work in Colorado charters and extensive knowledge of what makes charters effective and sustainable educational institutions. This framework focuses on characteristics that new charter schools, especially after Year 1 of operation, should possess, and is called the 6 Quality Outcomes for New Schools, which covers a range of topics from Operational Practices to School Culture. A more in-depth examination of quality that is specific to new school development in Colorado is the Quality Standards for Developing Charter Schools, developed for founding groups that are in the process of designing a charter school and writing a charter application. These standards were created in order to provide clear guidance for developing groups on what it means to be a high-quality, successful applicant. They also serve to support charter school application reviewers in understanding the elements of a quality charter school plan.

QUALITY STUDY: If you are interested in contributing to the future of QUALITY SCHOOLS IN COLORADO by participating in a research study, please submit your information to us via this link. We will contact you soon with additional details. Thank you so much for your interest!