Identifying Indicators of Distress in Charter Schools: An Authorizer Master Class
Charter school authorizers are committed to fostering high-quality educational opportunities for all students. To fulfill this objective, it is imperative for authorizers to understand the nature of school distress, school improvement, and school failure. NCSRC’s research on identifying early warning signs of school distress is meant to help authorizers identify struggling schools long before a state accountability grade designates them as “failing.”
Below you will find four of the resources that NCSRC has created to help authorizers leverage our research on the indicators of distress in charter schools. These include a report on the indicators of distress from the perspective of charter school authorizers, tool to support authorizers in data collection related to the indicators of distress, and workshop recordings to further aid authorizers in leveraging this information.
By engaging with these resources, authorizers should gain an understanding of:
- The factors that demonstrate that a school is showing early signs of distress;
- Tools to assess and audit their portfolio to better identify schools showing early signs of distress; and
- Real world examples of how fellow charter authorizers leverages the ideas presented in the reports in their own context.
Master Class Contents
Module #1: Report
Identifying Indicators of Distress in Charter Schools Part 1: The Role and Perspective of Charter School Authorizers
This report labels and categorizes the indicators of distress that authorizers encounter as a school’s quality begins to decline. This report can help authorizers and other charter sector stakeholders recognize signs of distress in schools in their unique contexts and take action towards the goal of school improvement.
Module #2: Webinar
"The Death Spiral" - Identifying Early Indicators of Distress in Charter Schools (A Conversation with Authorizers)
Charter school authorizers from across the country joined together for a webinar to explore the findings of NCSRC’s Identifying Indicators of Distress in Charter Schools report. Attendees heard from their peers how to use the data they already collect to identify struggling schools prior to failure, how to incorporate the indicators of distress into existing monitoring practices, and the ways an early warning system could help identify schools in distress.
Webinar Materials (also available on the sidebar at the top right of this page)
Module #3: Report
Identifying Indicators of Distress in Charter Schools - Tools to Support Authorizer Data Collection
This toolkit is a self-guided resource for authorizers to identify indicators of distress, audit their current data collection methods for evaluating indicators of distress, and assess whether and to what extent the schools in their portfolio are showing indicators of distress. It builds on NCSRC’s report Identifying Indicators of Distress in Charter Schools Part 1: The Role and Perspective of Charter School Authorizers, above.
Module #4: Webinar
Identifying Distress in Charter Schools: A Workshop for Authorizers and State Departments of Education
During this workshop, attendees reviewed the indicators of distress in charter schools and engaged in a self-assessment of their own data collection and early warning signs exhibited by charter schools in their portfolio. They also heard from the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority about their data collection methods and how they identify schools experiencing early indicators of distress. Please download the Supplemental Workbook to follow along with the activities in this session.
Webinar materials (also available on the sidebar at the top right of this page)
Additional Recommended Reading/Viewing
Tell Us What You Think
After using this learning module, please share your feedback in this survey, especially any additional resources that would help you apply the indicators of distress to your context.