The process of evaluating a charter school begins with the submission of a request to establish a charter school by an applicant or an existing charter operator and, for those that the Board approves, continues through the life of the school. Through its Performance Framework (see “Board’s Performance Framework” below), the Board has established clear performance expectations for its schools. It has identified the points at which the Board will intervene if schools fall short of meeting those expectations and will reward schools that continue to meet the Board’s expectations by reducing submission requirements and making it simpler for them to serve more students through their quality programs. Additionally, the State has developed an A-F Letter Grade System that evaluates all public charter and district schools (see “Arizona’s A-F Letter Grade System” below).
Board's Performance Framework
State law requires the Board to adopt a performance framework and to ground its actions in evidence of the charter holder’s performance in accordance with the performance framework. The term “charter holder” refers to the entity that has entered into a charter contract with the Board to operate one or more charter schools. The Board’s Performance Framework includes an academic performance component (“academic framework”), a financial performance component (“financial framework”) and an operational performance component ("operational framework"). More information about each component may be found below.
Through its academic framework, the Board communicates its expectations for ensuring that all charter holders in its portfolio are providing a learning environment where measurable improvement in pupil achievement can be demonstrated. The academic framework uses multiple measures to annually evaluate whether the students at each of the charter holder’s schools are making adequate growth and achieving proficiency. The academic framework also describes how the Board utilizes information concerning a charter holder’s performance and the Board’s academic interventions for charter holders who do not meet its academic performance expectations. The Board has made publicly available each charter school’s academic performance, which is represented in a dashboard format. The documents below provide information on how to access a charter school’s academic performance dashboard and information on interpreting the results found on the dashboard.
Through its financial framework, the Board communicates its expectations for ensuring that all charter holders in its portfolio are viable organizations with strong fiscal management practices. The financial framework uses six measures to annually evaluate each charter holder’s financial condition. Under the financial framework, a charter holder is assigned one of three summative financial performance ratings - "Good Standing," "Adequate Standing," or "Intervention." A charter holder that receives an "Intervention rating must submit information to the Board regarding the charter holder's financial performance. A frequently asked questions document and information about how to access a charter holder's financial performance may be found below.
Through its operational framework, the Board communicates its expectations for ensuring that all charter holders in its portfolio are implementing their education program as set out in the charter and required by law and are adhering to statutory and contractual operational reporting and compliance requirements. The operational framework uses multiple measures to annually evaluate charter holders’ operational performance and relies upon information collected through existing Board policies and processes, as well as reviews conducted by the Arizona Department of Education and other entities. The operational framework also describes how the Board utilizes information concerning a charter holder’s performance. The Board has made publicly available each charter holder’s operational performance, which is represented in a dashboard format. The document below provides information on how to access a charter holder’s operational performance dashboard.
Arizona's A-F Letter Grade System
In 2010, the Governor signed into law a bill passed by the Legislature to create an A-F grading system for all public charter and district schools. Arizona’s A-F Letter Grade System was adopted by the State Board of Education in June 2011. According to information available through the Arizona Department of Education’s (“ADE”) website, “The A-F Letter Grade System was created to provide clear, easy-to-understand information to parents so that they could base their educational decisions on the best information available about the overall academic performance of schools and districts/charter holders.” Using the links below, you may access the current A-F letter grades issued by the ADE and the A-F Letter Grades Guide for Parents (available on the linked page's "Information for Parents" tab). In evaluating a charter school’s academic performance under its Performance Framework, the Board considers the letter grade issued by ADE.