SchoolWorks assists state departments of education, charter authorizers, charter management organizations, and large districts to design efficient, evidence-based school accountability systems. In addition, we help school founders design effective schools to meet the needs of their student populations.

New School Design

SchoolWorks brings a deeply collaborative process to new school design services offered to charter school founders. We help school founders understand research-based practices and apply them to the unique needs of the communities they intend to serve. The process begins by understanding the mission and vision of the founders. SchoolWorks then guides the founders through the selection of research-based practices that align to their vision. The entire design is captured in writing for the application process.

Accountability System Design

Our design approach focuses on key aspects of sound evaluation practices. Our systems utilize research-based criteria to frame all school accountability processes. For existing schools, we collect evidence from a variety of sources about a school’s performance in order to support evaluation findings. When appropriate, we promote an interactive process that engages a school in the assessment of its performance. When designing processes to evaluate new school proposals, we begin by understanding the larger accountability context and design an aligned approach. The final design is captured in policy documents, protocols, and guidance materials that make the system transparent to schools. For example, SchoolWorks assisted the Louisiana Department of Education redesign its charter application processes to meet the state’s strategic objectives for school reform and to ensure a strong base of evidence to support each charter school accountability decision.

School and Authorizer Reviews

SchoolWorks implements key components of accountability systems, whether designed by SchoolWorks or its clients. For example, the Colorado Department of Education needed to develop a process for evaluating a school’s success in implementing its school improvement plan and providing formative support to a school. It engaged SchoolWorks to design, pilot, and train local evaluators in how to conduct a site review process.

 

Download our Accountability and Design Services fact sheet here.