Case Study: Charter Application Decision Management

Philadelphia’s 85 charter schools serve approximately 70,000 students. The School District of Philadelphia Charter Schools Office (CSO) monitors performance and promotes high standards in Philadelphia’s charter schools while preserving charter school autonomy and protecting the rights of students and families. The CSO is also responsible for evaluating applications for new charter schools and making recommendations to the Board of Education to grant or deny a new charter. The district authorizer contracted SchoolWorks in 2018 to provide experienced and qualified new school application reviewers who would add capacity to its existing staff during the 2018-2019 New Charter Application cycle.

The Challenge
  • Provide qualified and vetted evaluators to serve alongside Charter Schools Office personnel in completing evaluations of charter applications.
SchoolWorks Approach
  • Staff a team of highly experienced and qualified application reviewers to serve as evaluators on behalf of the School District of Philadelphia Charter Schools Office.
  • Work collaboratively with stakeholders of the School District of Philadelphia Charter Schools Office to coordinate timelines of deliverables and reviewer trainings.
  • Oversee SchoolWorks-supplied evaluators in the tasks of:
    • Reviewing specified sections of applications in adherence to provided guidelines and criteria.
    • Completing the associated rubric and clearly summarizing findings with section-specific comments, citations, and references to be used in written evaluation reports.
The Results
  • On behalf of the School District of Philadelphia Charter Schools Office, SchoolWorks completed a total of ten application evaluations for the 2018-19 new charter application cycle, including three general application evaluations and seven curriculum-specific applications.
  • Evaluations were used by the School District of Philadelphia Charter Schools Office to support recommendations to the Board of Education.
Dates: 2018-2019


"SchoolWorks provided the experienced and qualified reviewers we needed to supplement our capacity in order to support an effective decision-making process."
- Peng Chao, Acting Chief of Charter Schools, School District of Philadelphia


For more information on how SchoolWorks can add capacity support to your upcoming charter school application cycle, contact us here.

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