Case Study: Creation of a State Authorizer Evaluation Framework
Among other responsibilities, The Tennessee State Board of Education ensures the effective operation of charter school authorizers in the state and evaluates authorizer quality. To establish a process and tools to support this work, the State Board began working with SchoolWorks in 2019.
Revise state authorizing principles and standards, create a state authorizer evaluation framework, and provide gradual release training to enable the State Board to conduct ongoing evaluations of state charter school authorizers.
The SchoolWorks Team began by collecting input on current authorizing practices via focus groups and interviews of state authorizers. The team then hosted a half-day session with the State Board to review the summary of input and refine the state standards accordingly. A Task Force was designated to work with SchoolWorks team members update and refine the working document virtually. This process resulted in the Tennessee State Board of Education Quality Charter Authorizing Standards in May of 2019.
SchoolWorks and State Board stakeholders then collaborated to create a state authorizer evaluation framework aligned to the standards. Toward that end, SchoolWorks hosted a second half-day session with the State Board stakeholders and participating authorizer staff to present and solicit feedback that would inform a process for authorizer evaluations. A dedicated Process Development Task Force then engaged in subsequent virtual meetings with SchoolWorks to update and refine the working process documents. The resulting Authorizer Evaluation Tools were finalized in the Summer of 2019.
Using the resulting process and tools, SchoolWorks supported State Board stakeholders in facilitating Pilot Evaluations at Achievement School District and Metro Nashville Public Schools in 2020.
Hamilton County Schools, Knox County Schools, and Shelby County Schools were subsequently evaluated by the State Board in 2021, with support from SchoolWorks evaluators.
Following evaluations, SchoolWorks partnered with the State Board to provide ongoing professional development of authorizers via the company’s online professional development program for charter school authorizers.
The organizations then collaborated to form an Authorizer Oversight Community of Practice, to be launched in 2022.