NACSA enlisted the talents of a diverse and well-recognized group of authorizers and accountability experts to identify and define key outcomes, as well as important areas to probe as a part of the case study process of the Quality Practice Project (QPP). This Advisory Panel agreed on a set of 11 indicators that can define quality authorizing outcomes. These 11 outcomes are separated into two broad categories of Portfolio Outcomes and Performance Outcomes. The full list of Portfolio Outcome and Performance Outcome measures, including how each was assessed, is included as Appendix C at the end of this document. In general, schools in an authorizer’s portfolio were assessed on the following areas:
- Proportion of high-performing schools
- Proportion of low-performing schools
- Financial viability
- Socio-demographic representation
- Ethical resource management
- Availability of school performance information
- Extent of autonomy in decision making
- Extent of strong new school openings
- Closing schools with egregious academic, operational, financial, or unlawful practices
- Closing schools with very poor academic performance
- Expansion of schools with strong academic performance.
Due to data availability, resources, and time, some of the assessment methods used are indirect proxies of the outcome(s) of interest. While the measurement method of each individual outcome indicator is imperfect, the combination of strong performance across indicators provides greater confidence that selected authorizers are authorizers worth studying.
For more information on NACSA’s Sample and Methods, reference full report, Leadership, Commitment, Judgment: Elements of Successful Charter School , appendix B, page 39.