Case Study: Accountability System Support

Three School Buses

SchoolWorks’ partnership with the Chicago Public Schools Office of Innovation and Incubation (I&I) began in 2006 and featured a range of services, including charter school renewal support, school site visits, and new charter school application reviews.

The Challenge
  • Provide consistent support to refine charter accountability systems and increase the authorizer’s ability to ensure a strong portfolio of schools
SchoolWorks Approach
  • Support CPS charter office leaders in creating sustainable workflows that improve the quality of oversight
  • Work collaboratively with district leadership to review and provide feedback on the Request for Proposal (RFP) process to eliminate duplicate and extraneous information
  • Support updates to the renewal recommendation process and tools to help guide the process for charter renewals, focusing decisions on academic issues
  • Conduct renewal site visits, authoring reports that impact decisions critical to the district’s success
The Results
  • By applying reflection and continuous improvement principles to charter application and renewal processes, SchoolWorks helped CPS build capacity around the review process and ensure its focus on academic, financial, and operational outcomes
  • During the engagement, SchoolWorks facilitated more than 50 new school proposal reviews, more than 40 renewal team recommendations, and conducted more than 30 site visits
  • SchoolWorks also collaborated with the CPS Office of Innovation & Incubation (I&I) regularly to update their renewal and RFP review tools
Dates: 2006 – 2016


"We’re much more confident in our recommendations, ensuring that we’re focusing on the most important issues and able to decipher whether a school is performing well."
- Doresah A. Ford-Bey, CPS

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