Public Charter School Board Launches New Performance Framework to Hold Schools Much More Accountable for Success

Tuesday, September 1, 2009
News Release
3333 14th Street, N.W., Suite 210
Washington, DC  20010
Phone: 202-328-2660
For Immediate Release:  September 1, 2009
Contact: Audrey Williams  202-328-2748
Washington, D.C. — The D.C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB) today launched its new performance management framework (PMF), which advances its already comprehensive accountability system one step further.  The PMF, supported by an overhauled and upgraded information technology infrastructure, will facilitate the evaluation of charter school performance, based on common measures across all schools. These measures include absolute student achievement as well as student growth performance measures, indicators of readiness for high school and college, and mission-specific measures at each school.  Evaluations of non-academic measures, including governance, compliance with local and federal laws, and financial management will also be incorporated into the PMF. With funding from national foundations, the PCSB developed what is considered nationally to be a ground-breaking model for charter school accountability.

The PCSB’s previous accountability system was comprehensive but more focused on individualized evaluations of each charter school’s annual performance. The PMF will continue to respect schools’ individuality, while providing a more holistic look at charter school performance across schools.  In addition, the PCSB will provide struggling schools with targeted support and allow high performing schools more freedom.

“Some of the changes that schools will see include an annual evaluation based on a standard set of measures, the addition of a growth measure, customized review of schools’ missions, while continuing to respect each charter school’s autonomy,” said PCSB Executive Director Josephine Baker.   

The PMF will improve the PCSB’s ability to define high, medium, low-performing and at-risk schools and to clearly communicate the expectations, rewards and consequences to schools, families and communities.  “This framework will allow the Board to make clear judgments about school performance and better manage the portfolio of public charter school offerings,” said Board Chair Tom Nida.  “The key objective is to drive high-achieving schools to full potential, mediocre schools to high-achieving levels, and to eliminate low-performing schools,” Nida said. 

This new framework, which was piloted in the 2008-2009 school year on a select group of schools, will be fully implemented during the 2009-2010 school year.  Results of the review will be publicly available in fall 2010 and will provide the community with a comprehensive view of public charter schools’ academic, fiscal, and governance performance.

The D.C. Public Charter School Board currently oversees 57 public charter schools on 99 campuses, serving approximately 28,000 students living in every ward of the city.

For more information about the performance management framework click here