Amid growing concern among charter advocates about the mixed academic performance of the sector, an emerging consortium aims to be a force for improving the quality of charter schools across the country.
The initial convening partners for that consortium last month issued what they call “A Framework for Academic Quality,” designed to serve as a foundation and starting point for assessing charter quality. The framework recommends the use of four key indicators: student-achievement level at a single point in time; student progress over time; postsecondary readiness and success (for high schools); and student engagement, such as attendance and continuous enrollment.
The report says that “the powerful potential of the charter movement ... is compromised” by the great variation in academic achievement across charters nationally. The movement “needs to clarify and commit to a common set of basic quality expectations and performance measures to define and assess charter school success,” it says.
The framework was crafted by the Colorado League of Charter Schools, the Center for Educational Outcomes at Stanford University, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.
A version of this article appeared in the July 16, 2008 edition of Education Week