Changes to CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal

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September 24, 2013 In June 2013, CCSA's Board of Directors adopted several important changes to the Association's Accountability Framework which were recommended by the CCSA Member Council. This includes changes to CCSA's Minimum Criteria for Renewal.

1) Higher Standards:

  • Revised One of Four Criteria and Increased Flexibility Accountability continues to be a central tenet of the California charter movement and in keeping with this leadership stance, in June 2013 the Member Council recommended increasing the minimum performance expectations for schools in renewal, and setting an increasing bar over time. It is imperative to note that CCSA will continue to be guided by a multi-pronged accountability framework: a school must pass JUST ONE of four criteria (status, growth, Similar Students Measure and second look) to receive CCSA's complete support at time of renewal. The threshold for the status criteria was raised from an Academic Performance Index (API) Score of 700 to the 25th percentile of API and gradually increasing over five years to the 33rd percentile. The shift to a percentile-based threshold will provide greater flexibility, allowing CCSA to transfer minimum criteria to other accountability systems as the state revises the API, shifts to the Common Core and Smarter Balanced Assessment tests, and the use of higher quality data.

  • Raised Minimum Number of Valid Test Scores from 20 to 50
    In addition, the Member Council recommended increasing the minimum number of valid test scores that a school must have in order to be held accountable under CCSA's Minimum Criteria from 20 valid test scores to 50. This will continue to ensure that CCSA's Minimum Criteria only identifies truly chronically underperforming schools for non-renewal.

2) Higher Level of Support:

  • Increased Early Warning Efforts and Supports to Schools at Risk
    The Member Council recommended that CCSA increase supports to schools at risk of non-renewal including expanding resources available to struggling schools and intensifying efforts to broker relationships between struggling schools and schools that have expertise and are willing to provide support to others. We are 1. Launching a Self-Assessment portal, 2. Making many reports available through snapshots.org, 3. Encouraging schools to sign up to receive value added growth reports, 4. Providing guidance to charter schools to make sure they have crucial data to inform instruction and are fully supported in the transition to Common Core.

3) Harder Push for Quality Data:

  • Increased Commitment to Push for Incorporation of Higher Quality Data into Accountability Systems
    The Member Council recommended that CCSA increase its commitment to push for the incorporation of higher quality data, including value added modeling data and postsecondary readiness metrics. CCSA is partnering with the University Wisconsin Madison's Value Added Research Center to provide members with high level valued added data at no additional cost beyond membership. Over the next several months CCSA will be providing additional support and guidance to schools in helping them measure progress and align teaching and learning toward postsecondary readiness through Common Core standards and assessments.

4) Additional Uses of CCSA's Accountability Framework:

  • Using Minimum Criteria to Guide Advocacy for Charter Replications
    The Member Council recommended using Minimum Accountability Criteria to inform CCSA's advocacy stance on charter school replications. CCSA will advocate on behalf of replicating schools whose performance is above CCSA's Minimum Accountability Criteria and against those whose performance is below. For a very small number of replicating schools whose performance is close to the minimum bar (this is estimated to be no more than 3-5 schools per year), the Member Council recommended that CCSA determine advocacy support for these schools on a case-by-case basis, using academic performance criteria (such as that required by our "second look" process for Public Call for Non-Renewal). Final determination on CCSA's advocacy position for these schools would be guided by a small subcommittee of Member Council representatives. The Member Council reiterated the importance of CCSA staff providing ample feedback and early warning to schools that may be below CCSA's Minimum Academic Accountability Criteria to minimize the frequency of having to advocate against underperforming replicating schools.

  • No Recommendation to Embed Accountability Language in Petitions for Renewing Schools or Developers
    The Member Council recommended, based on member feedback particularly at regional meetings held in May and June 2013, that CCSA not consider requiring school developers or renewing schools to embed accountability language in school petitions as a condition of CCSA advocacy support. As a result, the Member Council did not recommend this use of the accountability framework to the Board of Directors in June 2013.

5) CCSA's Accountability Framework in 2014-15:
While we anticipated a change to the state's accountability systems and engaged the Member Council to make our minimum criteria more flexible so that we could apply them to whatever accountability system the state might adopt, a suspension of all test score data for accountability purposes will require additional planning. We want to ensure we are strategically aligned to move forward in the way that is most helpful to California charter schools during this transition. Over the next few months we will be working closely with the Member Council to determine any necessary revisions to CCSA's Minimum Academic Criteria for Renewal and advocacy orientation for 2014-15 renewing and replicating schools.

6) Read about CCSA's Efforts to Support Charter Schools in the Transition to Common Core

2013-14 Accountability Timeline

CCSA will send regular updates to our members related to accountability and guidance to schools in successfully transitioning to Common Core during the fall.

  • September: Regional Meetings - CCSA staff will walk through our Accountability Framework, 2013-14 timeline and field questions.
  • Oct. 15: CCSA will publish individual school Academic Accountability Report Cards at http://snapshots.ccsa.org *Note that report cards will not publish online for any schools below CCSA's Criteria for Non-Renewal. This group of schools will receive an email from CCSA with a PDF of their report card andhave the opportunity to provide additional data.
  • Oct. 15 - Nov. 27: All schools, but notably schools below the minimum criteria will have the opportunity make data corrections and submit additional data like Academic Growth over Time (AGT Reports) during this period and receive a "second look" at their academic performance data.
  • Dec. 19: CCSA will publicly call for the non-renewal of schools that are below our Minimum Criteria for Renewal and that are up for renewal before June 30, 2014