In the 2017 renewal application cycle, we supported client schools from all three authorizers. We now wait with the schools and boards to find out charter term recommendations. Based on our experience in this round so far, here are our takeaways about the areas of priority for the authorizers:
Board performance matters
Do board members understand the promises made in the school’s charter? Boards that can speak specifically about their school's mission and design, performance, and continuous improvement plans are faring the best during renewal interviews. As always, it is also critical to show evidence of effective oversight, including member participation and compliance.
Quality and consistency in academics
During renewal visits, instructional consistency between classrooms has been an area of focus. Schools should also expect review of their academic performance for the entire term. In most cases, a school with a modest, positive trend over time is a stronger candidate than a school with one flashy data point right before renewal.
Pay attention to recruitment, retention, and performance of special populations
Expect to discuss the recruitment and retention efforts
and the academic success
of students with disabilities, English language learners, and those with economic disadvantage.