High Quality Charter School
From: Garnell, Holly (MDE) [mailto:Holly.Garnell@state.mn.us]
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2013 11:00 AM
To: Musa Farah
Cc: Murphy, Cindy (MDE); firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Ubah Medical Academy receives High-Quality designation
Dear Musa Farah,
Congratulations – Ubah Medical Academy has been identified as a “High-Quality Charter School “ (HQCS) for the purpose of determining eligibility for a significant expansion/replication grant from Minnesota’s federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) grant project! This identification is based on an interim definition that incorporates MCA proficiency and growth (and graduation rate for high schools) along with a demographic comparison. Twenty-four (24) of Minnesota’s charter schools were identified as HQCS. The attached Method & Process document provides the details.
The first opportunity for your school to apply for a federal CSP significant expansion/replication grant will be in the spring of 2014. The grant opportunity notice will be posted by late March, and applications will likely be due in mid-May. Please consider applying! More details regarding application requirements will be provided; if you have questions in the meantime regarding your school’s thoughts and plans I encourage you to contact me directly.
There will be two opportunities for identified schools to apply each year (fall and spring), eligibility for the next year’s competitions will be established each fall. Your school will retain eligibility for one year, based on the current data calculations, which include the Spring 2014 and Fall 2014 competitions (but may be re-identified for future opportunities as well).
We are notifying identified HQCS today; a press release will be widely distributed tomorrow (and sent to you directly as well). The list of eligible schools for 2014 is attached.
Some more details:
- MDE received a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase charter school quality and authorizer accountability. Minnesota’s Federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grant Project will:
- Increase the number of high-quality charter schools in the state;
- Establish a charter school accountability framework to increase academic performance and decrease the achievement gap;
- Improve the capacity of authorizers to effectively authorize, monitor, and hold accountable charter schools; and
- Disseminate promising and innovative practices of high-quality charter schools to each LEA in the state.
- MDE successfully requested a waiver to the limit of one Planning/Implementation grant per school, which provides an opportunity to award grants for significant expansions of existing high-quality charter schools.
- MDE intends to award Planning/Implementation grants to existing high-quality charter schools that wish to significantly expand or replicate the charter school beyond plans approved in the school’s original affidavit and charter. Grants are awarded for up to three years (one year of planning, first two years of operation) and range from $100,000-225,000 per year.
- Eligibility Criteria for Significant Expansion and Replication Grants (items A-B included in establishing eligibility; items C-E addressed in the grant application):
- Have a track record of increasing student achievement and student success by meeting the state’s interim definition of “high-quality” (detailed in attachment);
- Successfully complete its first federal CSP grant project at least two years before applying for a significant expansion award;
- Demonstrate a history of organizational and financial stability and viability;
- Have the capacity to effectively implement the proposed expansion; and
- Plan to add an elementary or secondary component not reflected in original affidavit and charter contract and increase enrollment by at least 50% for existing schools that serve at least 200 students (net increase of at least 100 students) beyond plans presented in original affidavit and charter contract.
- This is an interim definition based on academic performance; the longer-term initiative will develop a comprehensive performance framework that incorporates multiple indicators of success (including operational and financial performance indicators).
- This interim definition determines eligibility for a significant expansion/replication grant. In order to receive a grant, eligible schools must apply and be selected via a competitive grant process that will run twice a year (fall and spring). The first opportunity will be posted in late March, 2014.
- A separate competition for “Best Practice Mini-Grants” of $5,000 is slated for late summer, 2014. This list also determines eligibility to apply for a mini-grant in 2014. Key practices of charter schools that receive mini-grants will be disseminated to traditional and charter public schools.
Again, congratulations! Please let me know if you have questions. More communications to follow!
Charter Center Coordinator
Charter Center Director
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West, Roseville, MN 55113-4266
Leading for educational excellence and equity. Every day for every one.
Charter Schools Meeting Minnesota's Interim Definition of "High-Quality" for the Purpose of Determining Eligibility for Minnesota's Federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grant Project - 2014.
Home Dist #
CS Non White
Math And Science Academy
Twin Cities Academy High School
Eagle Ridge Academy School
International Spanish Language Acad
Seven Hills Classical Academy
St. Croix Preparatory Academy
Harbor City International Charter
Schoolcraft Learning Community Chtr
Beacon Preparatory School
Face To Face Academy
Ubah Medical Academy Charter School
Paideia Academy Charter School
PACT Charter School
Minneapolis Academy Charter School
Harvest Preparatory School
World Learner Charter School
Duluth Public Schools Academy
Hiawatha Leadership Acad
These 24 "High-Quality Charter Schools" are eligible to apply for Replication/Expansion & Best Practice CSP Grants in 2014
QI= Quality Index, CS = Charter School, Dist and Home Dist = Traditional School District in which charter
is located, FRP = Free/Reduced Price Lunch
To meet demographic requirements,CS NonWhite > DistMinNonWhite and CS FRP > DistMinFRP
MMR Status: For Title I schools, MMR designations are listed, if any, for school sites within the charter LEA.
Reward; Celeb = Celebration; Cel Elig = Celebration Eligible;
NA = not a Title I school, no designation; None = Title I school, no designation
Interim High-Quality Charter School Method & Process Summary
To establish an interim list of "high-quality" charter Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that are eligible to compete for a Federal Charter Schools Program replication/significant expansion grant.
- Charter school LEAs were compared with individual district schools.
- An interim "Quality Index" ranking was developed for all charter LEAs and district schools across the state of Minnesota based on:
Absolute grade-normed proficiency
4-yr cohort graduation rate
- Charters in the top third (33%) of all Minnesota public schools based on the Quality Index were identified (34 charter LEAs, 24.3% of Minnesota charters).
- Demographic information for the charter LEAs was compared to that of the schools in the district in which the charter is located.
- Charter LEAs that were in the top 33% of the Quality Index and were above the minimum reasonable resident district percent Non-White and percent Free and Reduced Price Lunch meet the interim "high-quality" definition for eligibility (25 charter LEAs, 17.9% of Minnesota charters). One charter that would have been eligible was removed from this list, however – charters must have completed at least three years of operation.
Creating the Quality Index - Overview
- For schools not serving grade 12, a quality index was calculated by taking an average of the school’s proficiency z-score (50%) and the school’s re-normed growth z-score (50%).
- For schools serving grade 12, a quality index was calculated by taking a weighted average of the school’s proficiency z-score (40%), the school’s growth z-score (40%), and the school’s graduation z-score (20%).
- For schools only having a proficiency z-score, the quality index was based 100% on that score.
- The quality index was used to sort schools in descending order. From that list the top 33% of all schools was selected. 34 charter LEAs were within that top 33%.
Creating the Quality Index - Proficiency Scores
- Absolute proficiency was calculated for each grade within each school using the formula:
Number of students proficient in Math + Number of students proficient in Reading
Number of students tested in Math+ Number of students tested in Reading
- Within each grade, regardless of number of students served, the mean and standard deviation of school proficiency were used to calculate a z-score for absolute proficiency. This was done to account for known statewide differences in proficiency across grade levels. Calculation of z-scores does not require a normal distribution.
- The grade-level proficiency z-scores were averaged for each school across all grades served. For charter schools, the grade-level proficiency z-scores were averaged across all grades served by the LEA. Unweighted averages were used to give equal importance to proficiency in every grade served.
- School and LEA proficiency z-scores were averaged across 2011, 2012, and 2013, or as many of those years as possible given available data.
Creating the Quality Index - Growth Scores
- For all schools having at least 1 student with a growth score in 2011, 2012, or 2013, school-level average growth z-scores were re-scaled within year using their mean and standard deviation to put them on the same scale as the proficiency scores. The growth z-scores were then averaged over the three years, or as many of those years as possible given available data.
Creating the Quality Index - Graduation Rates
- For all schools serving grade 12, regardless of graduating class size, 4-yr cohort graduation rates from 2010, 2011, and 2012 were normed to create a graduation z-score. The graduation z-scores were then averaged over the three years, or as many of those years as possible given available data.
- For each of the top 34 charter LEAs, the percent of students who were Non-White and receiving Free or Reduced Price Lunch were calculated from the 2011, 2012, and 2013 enrollment files. These percentages were averaged across the three years.
- To account for the diversity within districts, mean and standard deviations of the three-year average percent of students who were Non-White or receiving Free or Reduced Price Lunch were calculated across all schools in the resident district of each charter LEA. From these statistics, minimum reasonable percents Non White and Free or Reduced Price Lunch were calculated using the formula.
- Using the minimums and the demographics of each LEA, it was determined if the diversity of the LEA’s student population was comparable to the diversity of schools in the LEA’s resident district. This demographic comparison reduced the list of schools to 25 charter LEAs. One of these LEAs was too new to be eligible.
- 24 charter LEAs are eligible high-quality charter schools for the purposes of the CSP grant project during 2014.
Questions? Please contact Holly.Garnell@state.mn.us, 651-582-8362.