CCSA Calls for Non-Renewal of Five Academically Underperforming Charter Schools

December 5, 2017

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CCSA Calls for Non-Renewal of Five Academically Underperforming Charter Schools

Public Call Serves as Measure of Accountability

Sacramento, CA - Since 2011, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) has publicly called for the non-renewal of chronically underperforming charter public schools. Today, CCSA calls for the non-renewal of five charter schools across the state.

As the number of charter schools continues to grow in California, it is more important than ever to hold them accountable to their promise of academic achievement. We want all schools to provide a high-quality option to their students. When charter schools do not meet that standard, they should close.

"Just as we call on authorizers to approve strong charter schools, we must ask them not to renew schools that are not performing at minimal benchmarks," said Jed Wallace, president and CEO, CCSA. "We urge the authorizers of these schools to continue to put students first and today that means closing schools that aren't performing well despite what may be the best intentions and the hardest efforts."

Recommending a school's closure is a difficult decision and CCSA is committed to working with closing schools to find new options that will better meet the academic needs of students and families.

"Charter schools exist on the premise of greater flexibility for greater accountability," said Elizabeth Robitaille, SVP, Achievement and Performance Management, CCSA. "We work with schools to assess their impact on student learning in as many unique and nuanced ways as possible. But in the end, charter schools set out to provide better options for students to succeed and thrive - when they fail to do so, they should close."

As the membership and advocacy organization that supports nearly 1,300 charter schools in California, CCSA has worked with its member schools over the past several years to establish an accountability framework and minimum criteria for charter renewal. This framework assesses a multi-year view of a school's performance using multiple student outcome measures. We start by using publicly available data, and we take into account students' demographics. We also work individually with charter schools below our minimum criteria and give them an opportunity to provide additional compelling evidence of growth in student achievement.

The following schools fall below CCSA's minimum renewal criteria for the 2017-18 school year and are chronically underperforming on several other academic performance measures.

Charter Public Schools Below CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal
Charter Schools Renewing in 2017-18
School Name Authorizer County
Epiphany Prep Charter San Diego San Diego Unified School District San Diego
Three Rivers Charter Fort Bragg Unified School District Mendocino
Sonoma Charter Sonoma Valley Unified School District Sonoma
Kepler Neighborhood School Fresno Unified School District Fresno
Union Hill Elementary Union Hill Elementary School District Nevada

CCSA's Accountability Framework
To qualify for CCSA renewal support in 2017-18, a school needed to meet one of the four criteria outlined below. Charters meeting ANY initial filter OR showing academic success through the Multiple Measure Review met the academic threshold to receive CCSA's full advocacy support for renewal or replication. The schools included in the table above did not meet any of the initial criteria and the Multiple Measure Review did not yield evidence of student outcome success and growth in achievement beyond that which is seen at other schools.

CCSA's Minimum Academic Criteria for Renewing and Replicating Schools, 2017-18

  1. Status measure: Above the 40th percentile on Smarter Balanced Assessments "SBAC"
    • CCSA uses a weighted average of SBAC scale scores measuring how far the average student is above/below the "Met" standard and ranked 0-100th percentile statewide. (This is called the "Average Point Difference" or "APD.")
    • Additionally, schools performing in the bottom 5% of performance statewide need to participate in CCSA's Multiple Measure Review before receiving CCSA's advocacy support for renewal or replication
  2. Growth/Postsecondary readiness
    • Elementary/middle schools: Growth over time on SBAC
      An increase on the Average Point Difference "APD" measure by at least 18 scale score points on CAASPP between 2014-15 and 2016-17 (the 75th percentile of growth statewide)
    • High schools: 75% or more of 12th grade graduates completing all "a-g" requirements (college readiness measures)
  3. Similar Students: "Within or above predicted" on two of the last three years on CCSA's Similar Students Measure (measures how schools are performing with similar students across the state)

Multiple Measure Review

  1. Schools below ALL the initial filters or in the bottom 5% statewide on SBAC can share outcomes aligned to California's 8 state priorities as described in the school's Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Schools can tell their own story of success by choosing measures most closely aligned to their mission.

CCSA's Minimum Academic Accountability Criteria would not apply if a school is designated as alternative "DASS," less than four years old, or has less than 30 valid test takers.

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About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association's vision is to increase student learning by growing the number of families choosing high quality charter public schools so that no child is denied the right to a great public education. Our mission is to ensure a million students attend charter public schools by 2022, with charter public schools outperforming non-charter public schools on every measure. We do this by serving as the advocacy organization that builds the policy environment needed to grow as quickly as possible the number of students attending high quality charter public schools. For more information, please visit our website at