SchoolWorks is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to implement the Minnesota Authorizer Performance Evaluation System (MAPES); a comprehensive evaluation of their existing charter school mdeauthorizers.
SchoolWorks was contracted by MDE in February 2015 to review  four cohorts of authorizers between the Spring of 2015 through the winter of 2017 – up to 18 authorizers in total.

The MAPES review process uses an extensive rubric developed by MDE. The rubric includes twenty unique performance measures; nine focused on the extent to which an authorizer has established their expectations and procedures and eleven focused on their implementation. Utilizing this rubric, two-person SchoolWorks teams review evidence to evaluate the performance measures, each with very detailed specifications. In order to collect and confirm evidence against each of these measures, the review team conducts an exhaustive document review and separate stakeholder interviews with both the authorizing staff, their board of directors, and charter school directors. Teams evaluate the evidence and determine a rating for each measure utilizing a standard five-point Likert Scale. Team writers then compile the ratings and evidence in a comprehensive report that eventually becomes public record.

The authorizer evaluation work that MDE is conducting is especially noteworthy in that it is the first example in the country of a state Department of Education holding its authorizers accountable for their oversight of charter schools. As a key partner in MDE’s implementation, SchoolWorks finds itself on the leading edge of national accountability work.  This was evident at the most recent National Association of School Authorizers (NACSA) conference when hundreds of people attended a session on authorizer accountability that highlighted the MAPES work. SchoolWorks is excited to be on the frontier of this accountability work.

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