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Authorizing Quality Initiative

Authorizing Quality Initiative

The Authorizing Quality Initiative is a comprehensive effort to improve the quality, clarity, transparency, and consistency of the School District of Philadelphia's charter school authorizing practices. The ultimate goal is to ensure that all charter schools authorized by the District are high-quality options for Philadelphia students. The School Reform Commission and the School District of Philadelphia's Charter Schools Office established three principles to guide the work:

  • Charter School Accountability - Improving the District's capacity to establish and maintain high standards for its charter schools, including ongoing monitoring of charter performance against clear standards and consequences for not meeting standards.
  • Charter School Autonomy - Preserving charter school independence by focusing on accountability for student outcomes (rather than processes) and eliminating unnecessary charter compliance burdens.
  • Student and Public Equity - Protecting the rights of students and parents to equal access and treatment in Philadelphia charter schools; requiring responsible stewardship of public funding by charter schools and the School District of Philadelphia as authorizer.

Launched in November 2012, the Authorizing Quality Initiative is conducted in three phases:

  • Phase One: Policy Development

The Charter Schools Office conducted extensive research from around the country and engaged over thirty stakeholders from inside and outside the charter community as it developed policies on charter school application, renewal, monitoring, the Renaissance Charter Schools initiative and the responsibilities of the Charter Schools Office. 

  • Phase Two: Performance Standards Development

The School District is developing a Charter Performance Framework that will replace the current School Performance Index (SPI). The Charter Performance Framework analyzes a charter school's academic performance, organizational compliance, and financial stewardship on a yearly basis. The Charter School Office conducted stakeholder engagement meetings on these standards in July, August and September of 2013 - resources from those meetings can be found below. 

  • Phase Three: Procedures Development

The Charter Schools Office will conclude the Authorizing Quality Initiative by developing a set of improved tools and public-facing documents to support the execution of high-quality authorizing work. This effort will begin in February 2014 and will involve opportunities for engagement and feedback.

Philadelphia Charter Sector - Background and Context

Frequently Asked Questions

Surveys

District-run and Charter School Leader Survey (for School Progress Report)
Charter School Leader Survey (for Organizational & Financial Standards)

Resources & Meeting Notes:

2016-2017 Charter Convening Materials 

Meeting Materials
July 12 AQI Meeting Deck
July 17 Working Group Meeting (for District-run and Charter School Leaders) Deck | Notes
July 19 Working Group Meeting (for District-run and Charter School Leaders) Notes
July 22 Working Group Meeting (for District-run and Charter School Leaders) Notes
July 26 Working Group Meeting (for District-run and Charter School Leaders) Notes
August 1 Working Group Meeting (for District-run and Charter School Leaders) Notes
August 26, 27 & 28 Working Group Meetings (for Charter Leaders Only) Deck | Notes | Model Frameworks
 September 26 & 27 Working Group Meetings (for Charter Leaders Only)
Deck | Draft Framework