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Charter School Academic Accountability

Section 302.10 | Board Report 22-0928-PO1 | Date Adopted September 28, 2022

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THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER RECOMMENDS

That the Chicago Board of Education (the Board) rescind Board Report 15-1028-PO1, and adopt a new Charter School Academic Accountability Policy. The policy was posted for public comment from August 15, 2022 to September 15, 2022.

PURPOSE: This policy is intended to establish a system of transparent academic accountability performance standards for district-authorized charter schools, while the district redesigns a long-term accountability system in line with the values and priorities enumerated by Board resolution on April 27, 2022 (Board Report 22-0427-RS1). Along with the district’s redesign of accountability for district-run schools, this policy will fill a gap in accountability as the district works to redesign an accountability system specifically for district-authorized charter schools for the 2024-2025 school year.

The former Charter School Quality Policy (15-1028-PO1) relied expressly on the now-rescinded School Quality Rating Policy, and is therefore defunct. The policy presented here rescinds the Charter School Quality Policy and establishes a system of academic accountability performance standards for charter schools that relies on the Illinois State Board of Education's summative designations—in alignment with the policy adopted on July 27, 2022 doing the same for district-run schools (Board Report 22-0727-RS1).

POLICY TEXT

I. Scope of Policy

This policy sets out broad charter school academic performance standards to ensure that (1) there is transparency regarding the expectations and standards for charter school academic performance; and (2) the portfolio of charter schools available to Chicago families and students contains academically high-quality schools.

This policy must be considered when determining which charter schools are subject to contract revocation or non-renewal for failure to meet or make reasonable progress towards student academic achievement in accordance with Section 27A-9(c)(2) of the Illinois School Code. Nothing in this policy will prevent the CEO from making recommendations for charter expansion or replication.

This policy does not apply to Options schools.

II. Definitions

Intensive Academic Support List: Refers to the list maintained by the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) or designee that identifies charter schools or campuses failing to meet or make reasonable progress towards student academic achievement. A charter school or campus will be placed on the Intensive Academic Support List, if the charter school or campus:

  • Receives an ISBE Summative Designation of Underperforming (Targeted); or
  • Receives an ISBE Summative Designation of Lowest Performing (Comprehensive)

If the charter school or campus on the Intensive Academic Support List achieves an ISBE Summative Designation of Commendable or Exemplary, the school or campus will be removed from the Intensive Academic Support List, regardless of its prior ISBE Summative Designation.

III. Academic Accountability Standards

Charter schools will receive a status based on ISBE’s designations aligned to ESSA:

  • All schools designated “Exemplary” or “Commendable” by ISBE will be deemed to have met or be making reasonable progress toward student academic achievement standards in accordance with Section 27A-9(c)(2) of the Illinois School Code.
  • All schools designated “Targeted” or “Comprehensive” by ISBE are subject to contract revocation or non-renewal for failure to meet or make reasonable progress toward student academic achievement in accordance with Section 27A-9(c)(2) of the Illinois School Code and will be placed on the Intensive Academic Support List.

IV. Standards For Renewal And Non-renewal

School renewal recommendations will be based on the academic, financial, and operational performance during the entirety of a school’s contract term, or the last three years, whichever is longer. The district will also use an equity lens as set forth in the CPS Equity Framework and consider community impact when making renewal recommendations.

If a charter school seeks to renew its contract, the CEO will make recommendations concerning the school’s ability to meet or make reasonable progress toward student academic achievement standards to the Board. A charter school campus will be considered to be meeting or making reasonable progress toward achievement of the content standards or pupil performance standards if the school receives an ISBE Summative Designation of Exemplary or Commendable.

Charter school operators who operate two or more charter schools or campuses will have each school or campus evaluated individually for renewal or non-renewal.

V. Standards And Process For Revocation

When a charter school or campus is placed on the Intensive Academic Support List, the CEO or designee will send notice that the school or campus is in revocation status and subject to possible closure pursuant to Section 27A(9)(c) of the Illinois School Code. Upon receipt of such notice, the charter school or campus must submit a written school improvement plan to the CEO or designee to rectify the problems that resulted in the charter school or campus being placed on the Intensive Academic Support List. The written school improvement plan must include a timeline for implementation, and the CEO or designee must monitor the implementation and adherence to the school improvement plan requirements. The CEO will recommend the revocation of a charter school or campus to the Board if the CEO determines that the charter school or campus failed to implement the school improvement plan and adhere to the timeline.

No school’s charter will be revoked solely based on its academic accountability status. The district will also use an equity lens as set forth in the CPS Equity Framework when reviewing a school’s overall performance.

VI. Other Considerations

Nothing in this policy prohibits the CEO from making individual recommendations regarding charter school expansion or replication, non-renewal, or revocation based on the totality of factors the CEO deems relevant, particularly including equity considerations. Nothing in this policy prohibits the Board from revoking or not renewing a charter for failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management, for failure to comply with applicable law, or for committing a material violation of any of the conditions, standards, or procedures set forth in their charter school agreement.

Amends/Rescinds Rescinds 15-1028-PO1
Cross References 22-0727-RS1; 22-0427-RS1
Legal References 105 ILCS 5/27A-9(c); 105 ILCS 5/27A-5(b)
Public Comment Pursuant to Board Rule 2-6 this Policy was subject to Public Comment from 8/15/22 - 9/15/22.

Policy and Procedures

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